Sign up here to get my free guide on 3 things I do with every reciept to save money!

Easy. Peasy. Done.
Tailgate Cake is perfect football food! #tailgatefood #tailgatefoodmakeahead
Recipes Desserts Party Food

Tailgate Cake – Make it in your team colors!


Tailgate cake is easy to customize to your favorite team’s colors and is the perfect shareable tailagte food!  Make it ahead of the game and it’s easy to transport to a tailgate or viewing party! This post contains affiliate links.

I’m doing an extra post this week because I’m so excited to be making this recipe on ciLiving (a local lifestyle show for any non-central Illinoisans 🙂 this afternoon.  The last time I was on TV was several years ago when I was strolling through the mall and I looked ahead and saw that the news was filming me.  I played it cool by freezing like a deer in the headlights and then slinking sideways like a giant crab into the nearest store.  I was the only one in that part of the mall, so there’s no missing it.  And that’s the footage they aired!  Other than spraying the host with some cake batter (gah!! But she couldn’t have been nicer about it) this appearance went better!  Check out the video here.  

Like I mentioned here, I love football season, but I am really just here for the food.  Actually that’s kinda me in a lot of things.  Typically my list of things to do on vacation is just a list of places I want to eat.  So I’m pretty easy to take on vacation or to a tailgate or really any event.  Just feed me and I’m pretty happy.  Tailgate cake is a twist on my Jello Watermelon Sheet Cake that’s been a summer go-to for me for years and I wanted to take it into fall.  This tailgate cake starts with a boxed cake mix and a box of Jello and it’s super easy to make ahead.  Always a plus in my book.

Tailgate Cake How-to

So seriously easy peasy, grab a boxed white cake mix, a box of jello that matches your team colors, some cans of frosting and food coloring.  I went with the ol’ alma mater’s colors for this one (shout out to the University of Illinois!), but I think you could make this work with most team’s color combos.

Tailgate Cake is perfect football food! #tailgatefood #tailgatefoodmakeahead

Dump your cake mix and jello into a bowl and mix it up with your eggs, oil and water.  If you want to ramp up the color, add some drops of food coloring, but my orange was orangey enough for me here so I let it ride.

Tailgate Cake is perfect football food! #tailgatefood #tailgatefoodmakeahead

Tailgate Cake Flair Time!

Now I definitely went for some flair here.  I tried to find football shaped sprinkles, but that is apparently a very underserved market, so I just went with a variety of regular sprinkles.  Hey, I’d already used three cans of frosting, so I thought I’d just go ahead and live it up on the sugar front.  Plus I added these fun football toothpicks — find something similar here or these would be fun for next time.

Tailgate Cake is perfect football food! #tailgatefood #tailgatefoodmakeahead

My fun football plates are napkins are from the Target Dollar Spot.  Like most things at Target, they weren’t on my list, but that doesn’t mean I left without them! Which pretty much describes 98% of the things I buy at Target.  I couldn’t find them online to link to them, but I put the closest thing I could find in my “Tools” section below to check out.

Tailgate Cake is perfect football food! #tailgatefood #tailgatefoodmakeahead

Then you’re ready to roll to your tailgate in customized team color style!  Need a few more tailgate food ideas?  Rolo Pretzel Treats are easy to customize to your team colors or just do a general fall theme and Green Goddess Dip is another tailgate food that’s easy to make ahead (or absolutely last minute, whatever’s your jam :))  Anyone else try Jello/frosting combos for their team colors?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Tailgate Cake
Serves 15
Tailgate cake is an easy to make ahead tailgate food that is easy to customize to your team's colors!
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. 1 box of white cake mix
  2. 1 3 oz. package of Jello that matches your team colors
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 1/4 c. of water
  5. 1/4 c. of vegetable oil
  6. 1-3 cans of frosting
  7. Red and green food coloring (optional)
  8. Sprinkles (optional)
  1. Add the box of cake mix, box of jello, eggs, water and oil into a large bowl. If you'd like to take the cake color up a notch, add a few drops of red food coloring.
  2. Mix all on high for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan and pop into a 350° oven for 35-38 minutes.
  4. Let the cake cool completely and top with 1-3 cans of prepared frosting, adding food coloring to match your team colors
  5. Top with sprinkles if you want some flair!
Spoonful of Easy

Tools I used for Tailgate Cake:


(Visited 1,457 times, 1 visits today)


2 Comment

  1. This is so fascinating, I saw the heading for this cake and had to check it out lol, I had never heard of a “tailgate cake ” before. Do you think this would work if I made the cake mix from scratch, I have a gluten intolerance and prefer to bake my cakes from scratch so I know what’s in them, I’d love to try it out though.

    1. I think it would work — I’ve tried adding a jello mix to a cookie mix and it worked just fine. I think mix it up and add the jello in and if it’s a little dry add a few tablespoons of water. I’d love to know how it works for you. Thanks for stopping by, Vicki!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *