Zinc oxide doped with Cadmium and rare earth elements synthesized by solgel auto combustion route is reported in this work. The studies have been carried out to analyze the structural, morphological and optical properties of Cd doped ZnO and rare earth doped ZnCdO. The XRD analysis reveals that the addition of rare earth impurity decreases the particle size of ZnCdO. La doped ZnCdO has the least particle size among the samples of ZnCdO and rare earth doped ZnCdO. The morphological changes due to the addition of rare earth impurities have been found. Samples of La doped ZnCdO shows a pillar like morphology. The hexagonal structures are prominently seen in the SEM micrographs of the samples of ZnCdO. The UV-Visible spectral analyses show that the bandgap reduces when ZnCdO is doped with the rare earth impurities. The photoluminescence spectra show the broad spectrum in visible region exhibited by ZnO and a scanty UV emission. The UV emission of rare earth doped samples decreases due to the destruction in the crystal structure. The rare earth doped ZnCdO shows a small peak in green emission that decreases when rare earth impurities are doped. There is a uniform spectral response other than a small Gaussian like green peak. The overall analyses show that the samples can be used in optoelectronic applications to work in the visible region.