Monday, April 12, 2010

Rainbow Cake

As I may have mentioned, little miss had a birthday this weekend. In addition to all of the celebratory cake pops that we made, I also wanted to make a more traditional birthday cake to bring with us to our Sunday night family dinner. I also had the rare instance of having the house (and thus, kitchen) to myself for a while on Sunday morning, so I was able to surprise everyone with my cake creation.

What I brought with us was this:

Totally normal looking cake, yummy chocolate frosting, pretty, pastel flower sprinkles... No one suspected anything. But when the cake was sliced, what everyone got was this:

Isn't that cool? And the awesome part was that everyone was surprised. Yay!

I have actually wanted to make this for a while. I was planning on making it in cupcake form for little miss's preschool class before deciding on the cake pops. When I came home from the gym Sunday morning to an empty house, though, I knew I had my opportunity.

This is actually pretty simple to make, but requires a little planning, some food coloring, and a lot of bowls. Once again, I used a cake mix, this time for a white cake, to give myself the cleanest base for my colors. Once the cake batter was prepared the normal way, I divided it into five bowls, one for each color that I wanted in my rainbow. The tricky part of this process is figuring out quite how much batter to put in each bowl. You have to know which color you want to be your outside ring (red, for me), and you need the most of that color, with slightly less of each following color, ending with the least of your final, center color (in my case, blue).

Because I wanted a two layer cake, I prepared two eight inch cake pans and began building my rainbow. Beginning with my red (okay, pink... there is only so much food coloring I was willing to use...) batter, I poured half directly into the center of each pan. It doesn't reach the edges, but that is not a worry. I then took my orange batter and poured half directly into the center of each pan, right in the middle of the pink layer. The addition of the orange batter helps to push the pink batter out further to the edge of the pan. I repeated the same process with the yellow, green, and, finally, blue batter, pouring half of each directly into the center of the pan, right in the middle of the previous color. What resulted was so cool looking, don't you think?

The other thing that resulted was a sink full of dishes. The prettiest dishes I think I have ever generated with a single baking project, but a LOT of dishes none the less.

The hardest part of the process was making sure that no-one peeked at the cakes while they were cooling. Daddy and little miss came home not too long after these came out of the oven, so I tented them with some foil and put a note over them requesting that they pretty-please not peek. I then took advantage of the beautiful weather later in the afternoon by sending them outside to play so that I could layer them up and frost everything.

This was a ton of fun to make, and even more fun to surprise the family with. I will definitely do it again, though I am now on the lookout for better food colorings - both more vibrant, and without all the fake chemicals and and preservatives... and I will stop using cake mixes...


  1. Awesome! My birthday is St. Patrick's Day and I had many a green cake growing up courtesy of lime jello and cake mix. :)

  2. We always had chocolate cake (Betty Crocker, I think) with Mom's famous marshmallow frosting for all our birthdays, which we all absolutely adored (literally licking the cake plate clean!), but this rainbow cake is just so cool it might be worth forfeiting the chocolate cake, at least for one birthday... :)


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