Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rainbow Party: The Cake

The interwebs are ablaze with rainbow layered cakes.  And I'd be lying if I didn't say that I chose the whole rainbow theme just so I could make one.

A few weeks before Scout's birthday, I had a trial run.  I decided to make small, 4" cakes so that Scout had a rainbow cake to smash and the rest of the party would have the option of eating vanilla or chocolate cupcakes. The rainbow layers were actually pretty easy to put together.


Click for the step-by-step photos.

To start, you need a white cake batter.  You can use a box (use the egg white only recipe for better dyeing) or you can make one from scratch.  Prepare the batter as directed and then divide the batter into 6 bowls (or more or less depending on how many colors you are using).

Use gel food coloring to dye the batter to your desired colors.  I used this food coloring by AmeriColors and purchased at Hobby Lobby.  But the Wilton colors would also work well.  Traditional grocery store food coloring won't give you the intense colors like the gel colors.

Rainbow Food Coloring

Now your batter looks pretty.

Rainbow Cake Batter 01

If you wanted to make a traditional 8" or 9" pan, you could just pour each color into its own pan (you may have to bake in shifts) and bake until done.  Again, I used 4" cake pans that I purchased in packs of 3 at Hobby Lobby.  I splurged for an extra set so that I wouldn't be baking cakes forever.

Cake Pans 01

For the 4" cakes, I put about 2-4 T of cake batter into each.  I was not methodical about this and just used a regular spoon.  I spread it as evenly as possible, and then put them in the oven.

The cakes baked for approximately 5-8 minutes (give or take).

Rainbow Cakes Baking
BTW I have 2 ovens and the bottom oven is a convection oven, but I don't know how to use it.  Hints?
Once the cakes were cooled, I popped them out of the pans and onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  I placed them in the freezer because I thought it would make assembly easier.  For her actual party, I made the cakes in advance and then stored them in the freezer until the morning of the party.  One standard cake recipe will make enough layers for four - 4" layer cakes.

To assemble, trim the tops (if you want) and then layer with frosting.

I was tempted to leave it just like this.

Rainbow Mini Cake in Progress

But the edges were a bit discolored from the greased pans, so I finished with the frosting.

Rainbow Mini Cake Frosted 02

Admittedly, it's not the world's smoothest frosting.

Rainbow Cake 07

My mom had those rainbow dishes hidden in her basement.  I'm going to steal them.

I also made some rainbow dancer toppers that I'll show you soon.

Rainbow Table 02

The genius of the cake is, of course, on the inside.

Rainbow Cake 03

1 comment(s). Tell me what you think!:

RadioactiveUnicorn said...

We have a convection oven and pretty much use it for everything. When we enter a temperature, it automatically lowers it by 25ยบ (so when a recipe calls for an oven at 350 we set it to "350" and it displays "325"). We just eyeball things to see when they are done. Theoretically they should cook faster but in my experience they take the same amount of time at the lower temperature. I haven't really played around with it too much though.

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