Why You Must Make These Mini Tie-Dye Layer Cakes

How to make miniature layer cakes with a tie-dye center

As a kid, I was more likely to daydream about a wildly successful book signing to celebrate my first novel than the details of my wedding day. In fact, I never gave the date much thought, except for one little detail: the cake.

mini tie-dye cake closeup

You know the one. The tiered confection that has its own ritual at the wedding reception. I knew it had to represent our relationship and be “don’t judge me for taking thirds!” delicious. I knew it had to have a tie-dye interior. (That part I realized about 8 months before getting engaged, when marriage really hadn’t crossed my mind, but I saw a slice of Blue Note Bakery’s South Austin cake and HAD to have it. A photo of the page from Everyday with Rachael Ray has been sitting in My Pictures folder ever since that fateful day in March.)

Nate and Candace Davison's wedding cake
The REAL wedding cake

Thankfully, Nate (the now-husband) was all on board with my off-the-wall idea, even if several bakers thought we were more than a little bonkers. (Including our baker, who referred to it as the “psycho cake,” which she assured us meant “psychadelic.” Yeah, surrrre.) The cake was us: our relationship was built on the unexpected–dates included ice cream fights, geocaching and thinking about Weird Things–so it was only fitting our cake reflected our love of life’s beautiful little quirks.

Serving the first bite of cake
How Nate chose to “share” the first bite of cake with me. Punk. (I got him back though. Boy, did I.)

Monday, April 15, marks one year of marriage, and in honor of that milestone, I recreated our cake in miniature form. We won’t be enjoying the top tier, like many couples do, because this cake was so gobble-worthy we took it to Hawaii and feasted on it during our honeymoon. (Chocolate-chip tie-dye cake for breakfast? If there’s one time you can get away with it, it’s your honeymoon, people. Plus, it’s a heck of a lot better than thawing a freezer-burned layer 365 days later.)


If you make one, be sure to share it! We never got photos of the interior of my beloved, beloved confection, so now I feel obligated to live vicariously through its reincarnations.

Go ahead, frost it in whatever you like! (Chocolate fudge is very rich, but very lip-smackin' gooood.)
Go ahead, frost it in whatever you like! (Chocolate fudge is very rich, but very lip-smackin’ gooood.)

Tie-Dye Mini Layer Cakes


  1. Use this recipe for the tie-dye cake batter, but instead of layering all the batter in muffin tins, use a 4-inch cake pan and a mini-muffin tin to create the layers. (Sadly, regular-sized muffin tins are too close in size to the minis and the 4-inch, so they don’t really work here.)
  2. Sprinkle in a few mini chocolate chips as you layer the different color batters. Fill each cup 2/3s of the way, so it will bake evenly without creating a muffin top.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes for the minis and 18-20 minutes for the 4-inch cakes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let ’em cool for 15 minutes until moving on to the assembly phase.
How to bake a tie-dye cake
How to bake a tie-dye cake


  1. Use a knife to make a small cut all the way around the 4-inch cake. As you turn the cake, make slices deeper and deeper until you’ve cut all the way through into two even layers. (This is an easy way to cut in a straight line.) Set the top layer aside and place small strips of parchment paper under the bottom layer.
  2. Frost the top of the bottom layer and plop on the top half. Set a mini-cupcake on top and push a straw through the center of both cakes. This keeps the layers from sliding apart. Trim the straw to the size of the layer cake. Now frost the entire thing.
  3. ¬†Spoon some frosting into a resealable plastic bag and cut a tiny hole the size of a Sharpie’s felt tip in one corner. You can use this to pipe on any swirls, polka dots or other decorations.

How to assemble a mini layer cake

NOTE: Be sure to warn people about the straws before serving! You don’t want them gnawing on (or worse, swallowing) it.

Other Desserts You’ll Crave Endlessly:

mini layer cake

1 Comment

  1. […] that our wedding cake had a tie-dye interior, you can only imagine how quickly I decided that we had — yes, had — to try this bagel […]

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