You know you are getting old when the things that were popular when you were a teen are popular once again. Smurfs, puffed sleeves and yes, my favorite teen-aged trend – the rainbow. In my day, it didn’t represent New Age, or homosexuality – it was just cool. And we had rainbows on everything – t-shirts, stickers, bedding, you name it!
It is with much joy that I see that my youngest girls also think it is cool. And for both of their birthdays this year, we baked rainbows. 🙂 Such fun!
For my newest teen – freshly 13 years old, we made tie dye cupcakes.
I didn’t take photos as I went – it was a midnight oil type of project – but they were very easy to do. Instead of a recipe I used a white cake mix and equally divided the batter into 6 bowls. Each bowl was tinted a colour of the rainbow. One spoonful of each colour, done in reverse order, into a white cupcake paper resulted in 15 lovely full cupcakes with a funky tie-dye appearance. A white fluffy buttercream frosting swirled on top and it was a hit!
For my youngest’s 11th birthday, she requested a monster of a rainbow cake – 6 tiers, “with white frosting and sprinkles, please Mommy!”
I read Martha Stewart’s recipe (consisting of 14 egg whites and endless hours of whipping and baking) and decided that a revamp was in order!
The basics are: 6 layers – each layer is 1/3 of one standard recipe (therefore, 2 recipes will produce 6 layers)
Helpful tips before you begin: Precise division of both cake batter and filling are imperative. I used a scale for the cake batter, and a measuring cup for the filling. Baking one recipe at a time made these divisions much more manageable.
Using white margarine made a cloud white frosting for the outer layer. I used a cream cheese frosting for the filling, but can imagine many delicious possibilities such as coconut, lemon or vanilla flavours
The Nuts and Bolts: Betty Crocker has a great white cake recipe – using only 4 egg whites, mind you. A doubled recipe is required, but I recommend mixing and baking them separately.
After mixing the batter, measure and divide into separate bowls (3 for each recipe), making sure each bowl holds exactly the same amount of batter. Colour each bowl with the appropriate colour of the rainbow. Orange is easy with a bit of red and yellow, and purple with yellow and red. I found that a mixed green was muddy looking, so I used a bottled green food colour.
Each bowl will fill a 9″ cake tin about 1/3 full. These bake rather quickly, so watch them carefully. 20 minutes should be sufficient. Use a toothpick to test.
As the first recipe cools, mix the second recipe and follow the same procedures.
Once cooled, begin stacking and filling in between each layer. Remember to work in reverse of the colour spectrum – purple, blue, orange, yellow and red. Use exactly the same amount of filling between each layer and spread evenly, extending slightly beyond the edge of the cake
Finally, frost the outside of the cake and top. Add whatever (if any) sprinkles or embellishments you like and Voila! You can taste a rainbow!
Things I learned along the way
More filling! Having a nice white divide between each colour makes for a greater impact.
Use Green food colour instead of yellow and blue combined.
More colouring = more intense colour. Best option would be powdered or paste colour, but my cheapy liquid worked well and didn’t noticeably change the flavour of the cake.
Make plenty frosting for the outside of the cake – This is not your average sized cake so a double recipe will be required.
Next time, I would love to make a 3 dimensional rainbow to place on top – either from moulding chocolate or royal icing. However, the surprise on everyone’s faces when we sliced into what appeared to be a lovely white cake, was worth the secret 🙂