Swirled Easter Cake

This quick and easy Swirled Easter Cake starts with a box mix and is topped with a homemade fluffy vanilla frosting! It’s a fun spring dessert recipe that the kids can help make. They will love swirling the colors together then cutting into the cake to see the design they made.

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If you want an easy Easter cake recipe to make this year, this swirl cake is perfect! It’s colorful and a fun baking activity to do with kids – mine have so much fun swirling the colors. It’s a great dessert for your Easter celebration!

We also love to make no-bake Easter egg nests and Peep’s rice krispies treats if you’re looking for more Easter dessert ideas!

Spatula holding piece of Swirled Easter Cake

Why this Spring Cake Works!

  • We’re taking a semi-homemade approach for this recipe with white vanilla cake mix and vanilla frosting made from scratch!
  • The cake is swirled with Easter-colored batter so it bakes up with a colorful design. It’s cute and, I promise, it’s easy to make.
  • What I love about this swirl cake is that you can change the colors – it doesn’t have to be for Easter or spring. Just use food coloring to match any holiday!

I’m sharing all of my tips so your cake turns out perfectly every time. Your kids will love to help you make it!

Swirled Easter Cake Ingredients

Cake Ingredients

  • White cake mix – use your favorite brand! Just make sure it’s a 15.25-ounce box.
  • Water
  • Large egg whites – I like to use just the whites so the cake is really white. It makes the colors pop!
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sour cream – this adds a subtle tangy flavor and also gives your cake tons of moisture.
  • Vanilla extract – I use clear vanilla extract since the cake is white, but you can use regular if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Food coloring – for an Easter cake, I use blue, pink, and yellow but you can use any colors you like.
  • Pastel sprinkles – or other sprinkles that you like.

Helpful Tools

How to Make a Swirl Cake

Make the Cake Batter: Beat the cake mix with the water, egg whites, oil, sour cream, and vanilla. Pour two cups of the batter into a prepared 9×13” baking pan.

Tint the Batter: Divide the rest of the batter between three bowls, about 1/2 cup of batter per bowl. Tint each bowl of batter a color and stir well to combine.

Swirl the Cake! Drop spoonfuls of the tinted batters on top of the batter in the pan. Swirl them with a butter knife.

Bake: Place the pan in the oven and bake the cake at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

Swirled Easter Frosting Ingredients

Frosting Ingredients

  • Softened butter – leave it out at room temperature for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Powdered sugar – if your sugar has a lot of lumps you may want to sift it first.
  • Vanilla extract – Once again I used clear vanilla to take the tint out of the frosting, but you can use regular vanilla extract if that’s all you need.
  • Salt – Brings out the flavor!
  • Heavy cream or milk – you only need a few tablespoons to thin your frosting.

Want to go the easy route? Grab a container of frosting at the store and use that if you prefer.

Frosting: Whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and salt and mix until well combined. Add the vanilla and some cream and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Decorate: Frost the cake and then add the sprinkles for decoration.

Substitutions and Recipe Tips

  • Change the food coloring to match any holiday – red and blue for 4th of July, red and green for Christmas, rainbow colors for St. Patrick’s day… you get the idea!
  • When you add the food coloring, start with only one or two drops. It’s easier to add more if you need it, but if you add too much it’s hard to fix.
  • When you do the swirling, don’t overdo it. I like to swirl the colors from left to right while gradually moving down the pan. This makes the most symmetrical pattern.
  • You can use whole eggs in this recipe, but they will tint your cake yellow. This can make the colored swirls look duller.
  • You can keep the decoration simple with sprinkles or feel free to decorate the cake with some Easter candy!

How should you store the cake?

The cake will keep well covered at room temperature for three to four days.

Can I use store-bought frosting?

Yes, you can use canned vanilla frosting for this recipe or another homemade frosting that you like. I think buttercream frosting and cream cheese frosting would work well, too!

Piece of spring swirled cake on green paper plate

This sweet swirled Easter cake will get everyone in the spring spirit! Whether you make it for Easter or just because I hope you love it. Enjoy!

More Cute Baking Recipes

If you take a picture and share this easy cake on Instagram make sure to #kidsactivityzone or tag us @kidsactivityzoneblog so we can see it!

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Easter Swirled Cake Square

Swirled Easter Cake

Beautiful, yet easy Swirled Easter cake that starts with a boxed mix and is topped with homemade vanilla frosting! Perfect for any spring dessert.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 12 pieces


Cake Ingredients

  • 15.25 ounce box white cake mix
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Blue pink and yellow food coloring
  • pastel sprinkles

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-4 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk


Cake Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cake mix, water, egg whites, oil, sour cream, and clear vanilla extract. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds or until combined. Scrape the edges of the bowl. Then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes more, scraping the edges occasionally.
  • Pour 2 cups of the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Divide the remaining batter between 3 medium bowls (about ½ cup each). Add a few drops of blue, pink, and yellow food coloring (one color per bowl) to the batter, stirring well after each drop, until the batter reaches the desired color.
  • Place spoonfuls of each colored batter in random places on top of the white batter. Run a butter knife back and forth through the batter to swirl the added color.
  • Bake cake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Frosting

  • Place softened butter in mixing bowl. Then with an electric mixer, whip the butter for 1-2 minutes until it is lighter in color and a bit fluffy.
  • Add the powdered sugar and salt. Beat on low to medium speed for about 1 minute until well combined, occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of cream and beat for one minute. Slowly add more cream, if necessary, to get the desired consistency. Whip for 1 more minute or until light and fluffy.
  • Frost and decorate the cake with Easter sprinkles.



Serving: 1g | Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 287mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g
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