You know one of the things that I love about having kids?
Rainbow colored birthday cake.
Isn't it beautiful!?! I love rainbows and I love cake. So it just seemed like a good idea to put one together. I'm glad my daughter had the idea. Got to love the limitless imagination of a 4 year old. :) I was just happy to be able to fulfill the request.
The whole process was a little bit of extra time from a one-color cake and a whole lot of extra mixing, but all around pretty fun.
It looks so innocent in the vanilla frosting, doesn't it?
And it turned out...rainbow-ish. Yeah, yeah, it probably would have helped if I hadn't accidentally reversed the order of the colors when I poured the cake batter into the pans. Know what? It still tasted just as good as if the colors had been in order. So I'll take it!
Here's how: Rainbow Cake Tutorial
Step 1) Buy a box of white cake mix, vanilla frosting, olive/vegetable oil, and eggs. Also purchase gel food coloring. Must be gel and not the liquid kind we're all used to. GEL, people. That is where the vivid color comes from. I found it at Fred Meyers (Kroger) in Alaska, you can probably find it at some other comparable grocery store where you are.
Step 2) Preheat oven and prepare the cake batter as directed on the box. Don't forget to only use egg whites or else your white cake will turn out yellow. I don't know if using them would effect the final color of your rainbow cake, but I figure that it's best to start out with a blank slate and opted to make the traditional white.
Step 3) Split the cake batter into 6 equal portions. You should now have 6 separate bowls of white cake batter.
Step 4) Add the food coloring and mix well. I found that I had to add a lot of red to make the batter not look pinkish while I didn't have to add much blue, purple, or yellow before the color looked right. Just add the food coloring until you have your desired color.
Step 5) TAKE THE TIME TO DO THIS STEP! Grease and line with parchment paper two 8 or 9 inch round pans.
I found that even when I followed the directions and let the cake cool completely, the bottoms were still stuck to the pans. Lucky for me, I was planning on icing the cake anyway but if I hadn't then I'd have been really pissed. Save yourself the pain in the ass. Just line the pans ahead of time.
Step 6) Slowly pour one color of cake batter at a time into the center of the pans.
For a rainbow, use the following sequence:
Pan 1 - Red, orange, yellow
Pan 2 - Blue, green, purple
(For a cake like mine, reverse that order.)
Step 7) Bake as directed on the box. Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pans.
Step 8) Once completely cool, invert Pan 2 onto a cake platter or plate. Spread frosting on top of the layer.
If the cake puffs up in the middle too much to lay flat on the plate, then you can trim the first 1/4 to 1/2 inch off of the top before inverting the pan.
Step 9) Invert Pan 1 on top of the frosted first layer using the same method to level the cake as in Step 7.
Step 10) Frost the cake starting from the middle on the top and working your way to the outsides.
Step 11) Enjoy your creation!
My daughter cleaned her plate completely, but her brother left this behind:
Yes, those are crumbs on the floor.
Yes, the dogs liked the rainbow cake, too.
And after all that, if you're still feeling fiesty then you can make cupcakes too!
I love how little bubbles of the other layers of color rose to the surface while the cupcakes were baking. I almost didn't want to cover them with frosting because I liked the effect so much. Then I remembered who I was baking these for...
I don't think the kids at daycare would appreciate the colors on top as much as the frosting so I went ahead and covered this up:
Original un-tweaked recipe can be found here: Omnomicon's Rainbow Cake.