Easy Tie Dye Cake {Shirt Cake}

Learn how to make a tie dye cake (shirt cake), using this step-by-step tutorial. Easy to make with rainbow colored frosting and toothpicks! Great for Father’s Day!

If you remember this Shirt Cake from a few years ago, today’s version is just a different spin on it. It uses an ugly sweater cake pan instead of a round cake pan and the decorations are done with frosting instead of fondant.

You don’t need any fancy tools or equipment to decorate this cake. All you need is rainbow colored buttercream icings and toothpicks.

This father’s Day, make this cake for your Dad and give him this cool Homemade Football Gift Basket.

Homemade Tie Dye Cake With a Slice Cut Out- Overhead Shot

How to make tie dye cake with frosting?

  1. Bake cake in ugly sweater pan– And let it cool.
  2. Make frostings- Color them white, pink, yellow, green, blue.
  3. Crumb coat cake- With thin layer of white icing.
  4. Make tie dye design- Fill 4 piping bags with 4 different colored icings. Pipe inverted/upside down “6” all over the cake. Position a toothpick in the center of each “6” and drag it out.
  5. Clean up- Wipe off messy icing around the base of cake with moist paper towels and toss sprinkles here.
  6. Add final details- Like sleeves and neck line with m&m candies.
  7. Enjoy- Serve immediately or store in fridge for later.
Easy Tie Dye Birthday Cake With Neon Frosting Design on Grayish White Background

Variations for tie dye shirt cake

Use other frosting colors- I used neon pink, yellow, green and blue frostings but use any colors you like. Try pastel shades.

Try other cake flavors- Such as Pineapple Cake (With Cake Mix) or this Depression Cake (Wacky Cake).

Use other frosting flavors- Such as Marshmallow Frosting or Cooked Flour Buttercream (Ermine Frosting). It needs to be a white frosting so that it can easily be tinted.

Fill cake- With Homemade Strawberry Jam, Homemade Caramel Sauce, Dulce De Leche or peanut butter or even Nutella and even fresh berries.

Closeup Shot of Tie Dye Frosting Design on Shirt Cake

Tips and Techniques for tie dye birthday cake

Don’t frost warm cake- Allow the cake to cool fully to room temperature and then ice it because if you frost a warm cake, the icing will melt into a sticky mess.

Don’t have an ugly sweater cake pan? That’s not a problem. Make a big rectangle cake and use a sharp knife to cut out a shirt shape. I suggest making a paper template of a shirt and using that to cut out the proper shape.

Icing consistency needs to fairly thin- It should not be so thin that it’s dripping everywhere but thin enough that you can still pipe. It should spread a little when you are piping. If you use thick consistency icing, you will not be able to run the toothpick through it smoothly.

Gel colors vs. Liquid food colors- Either can be used.

Line pan with parchment paper- This makes it easier to remove cake from the pan.

How do you know when cake is done baking? An inserted toothpick in the center will come out clean.

Slice of Chocolate Cake with Colorful Tie Dye Frosting


Refrigerate- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freeze- Unfrosted cake can be stored in a sealed container for up to 1 month. When you are ready to enjoy it, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then, decorate it with frosting.

Make ahead instructions- This can be baked and decorated 1 day in advance and stored in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Collage Image with Step by Step Process Shots on How to Make Tie Dye Cake

More Father’s Day Desserts

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Tie Dye Cake (Shirt Cake)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Decorating time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Learn how to make a tie dye cake (shirt cake), using this step-by-step tutorial. Easy to make with rainbow colored frosting and toothpicks! Great for Father's Day!
Yield: 10 Slices



  • Bake cake in the ugly sweater cake pan.Let it cool down and to room temperature.Then, place it on a large serving plate.
  • Use a spatula to frost your cake in white buttercream icing. Don't worry about frosting it neatly. This needs to be a crumb coat.
  • Fill 4 piping bags with 4 different colored icings and attach Tip#12.
  • Start piping an inverted/upside down "6" all over the cake, as shown by the arrows.Fill all empty space by piping random lines or squiggles.
  • For the sides, just randomly squeeze your piping bags in an angle and let the icing flow.It will look really messy but don't worry. It will get cleaned up at the end.
  • Now, position your toothpick in the center of each "6" and drag it out, as shown by the arrows. Do this for all the "6" shapes you made.
  • For the sides, drag your toothpick right and left randomly until you are happy with the design.
  • Use moist paper towels to wipe off all that messy icing around your cake.
  • Arrange some red m&m candies along the sleeves and the neck line.
  • Toss some colorful sprinkles around the base of your tie dye shirt cake. Enjoy!


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 


Calories: 752kcal, Carbohydrates: 124g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 606mg, Potassium: 189mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 102g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 752
Author: Abeer Rizvi

6 comments on “Easy Tie Dye Cake {Shirt Cake}”

  1. WOW – that’s so cool – saving this for future!!
    5 stars

  2. OMG this is just too darn cute to have to wait until I have a kid (or choose to borrow someones!). My husband is a big kid. This will work for him!5 stars

  3. Such an awesome idea! I had no idea they even sold those kinds of cake pans!5 stars

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