A lot of people I know may not be fussed about eating a rainbow, but, as I discovered, for one family this rainbow cake caused extreme excitement.
I know it seems strange but often when I have too many cakes, tarts, biscuits and possibly a spare dinner or two, I walk out the front door towards the neighbours house food in hand and then stop in my tracks. No, silly idea is what I think to myself. They will not possibly want this, what are you thinking?. That’s what I think, and then I walk back into my house still with food in hand.
Not long ago the neighbours told me they loved cake and they would welcome any that happened to come their way, but I am not sure that was a genuine comment, I am not sure they understood my capacity for baking, because after the third cake in as many weeks they quietly told me that they were not going to welcome them so fondly from now on. Perhaps I should have taken the spare dinner or other savoury creation?. Ah , God I do worry.
So after I made the kick ass rainbow cake, I really wanted some kids to have it. The neighbours have 3 kids, and what the heck it’s the school holidays. What’s a few colours on a day off? I marched next door with the cake in a container. I rang the door bell, they answered ( thankfully) I opened the container and showed them the cake and they began to squeal (children and Mother). Mother suggested that she would like a cake just like that when it was one of the girls birthdays. I was confused and I pushed it towards her suggesting that she take it now rather than wait till the future….and they squealed again.
“OMG really are you kidding, we can have that cake?” they said. I was a bit disturbed that they were more excited about this rainbow cake than anything I have previously offered…..and then it was gone. Just like that.
Now there are two reasons that that cake is so good; because not only did it look good it also tasted good. Moist but not too much so and colourful but not too much so ( just a joke) The first is that the recipe is care of this perfect white cake. The second is the colours.
I was sent these colours from the Australian owned company Queen. I thought they were going to be a bit watery and the first thing I did was make some small cakes and coloured the royal icing to incredible results.
This encouraged me to move onto colouring a white cake. The colours were vibrant and stayed true after baking. There was no aroma and no odd flavour, as there can be with some of the professional and very expensive brands.
Rainbow Cake colour testing
So, I went on to my last test. I coloured the roll out sugar icing and even blended and matched the colours in the cake and, to my amazement the colours were dazzling. The icing didn’t get sticky and once again there was no flavour or aroma. All this in a $2.50 food colour you can get easily in the supermarket…..yipee. I have used every brand- expensive and cheap on the market; pastes, gels, liquids, the lot. These are the best I have used. The easiest the neatest and the most vibrant colours. They don’t smell and they don’t taste strange. They aren’t liquid so they dont mess up the texture of the bits you are colouring.
I am thoroughly impressed. Just look at my cake that’s the proof. Totally Rainbiffic!
Here’s how I made the cake.
- 420 gm plain flour ( cake flour is ideal)or 3 cups
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 20 gm baking powder (1 tablespoon)
- 250 gm unsalted butter
- 400 gm caster sugar/ granulated
- 250 ml milk room temperature (1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 large egg whites only ( 70gm eggs)
- 250 gm unsalted butter ( 2 sticks)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla ( or a vanilla bean)
- 20 ml Lemon Juice (1 tablespoon)
- 240 gm Icing sugar (powdered) 2 cups
- 1 Tablespoon ( optional) freeze dried raspberry powder ( you can use essential oil)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 kg of white sugar icing ( roll out , plastic icing)
- Queen food colour gels in what ever colours you like
- Sift the dry ingredients together
- Using an eletric mixer and the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar till light ( the mixture is quite sugary. Make sure you beat well, this will give you a light cake)
- Mix the vanilla and milk. Add ¼ of the milk to the butter and continue beating. Add ½ the flour and ½ the remaining milk beating till just combined. Add the remaining flour and milk.
- Pour into a large bowl and set aside.
- Beat the whites in a very clean bowl of the electric mixer with the whisk attachment, till light and fluffy and white.
- Fold the white gently through the cake batter.
- The layers are very thin. Bake for approx 10 minutes or untill the cakes are firm in the centre when touched lightly. You may need to wash the cake tin between layers. Leave to cool completely on racks
- Beat the butter till white and very airy light and creamy. Add 1 cup of the sugar and beat. Add juice, raspberry, the rest of the sugar and vanilla and beat till light and creamy. Taste, if it is light and delicious and not too sweet dont be tempted to add more sugar.
- Set aside 1½ cups of icing for the outside. Evenly divide the same amount of icing between the 4 layers and sandwich together as you go. The buttercream doesn't need to be thick. Finish the cake with the buttercream, smoothing all over and refridgerate to set.
- Cut off ¼ of the roll. Knead the ¾ of a roll till smooth then roll out evenly using a bit of pure icing sugar to stop it sticking to the bench. Measure from one side across the top and over the other side to work out how big you need to roll out your white icing.
- Roll the icing over a rolling pin and onto the cake smoothing down with a cake smoother or a soft piece of muslin or a teatowl. This prevents lots of finger marks. Set aside.
- Separate the remaining icing into 5 separate small balls and colour the same colours as the cake layers. Add colour gradualy and knead in. Stop when the colours are the desired depth.
- Once again roll the pieces out using a rolling pin and cut different sized circles with your cutters. Make all the circles in different colours and sizes before you begin to decorate. Lay them flat on a tray with parchment till you are ready.
- Make a decorators glue by adding ¼ of an egg white to around 1- ½ cups of sifted pure icing sugar . Add the sugar gradually and mix till a smooth moisturizing cream, texture is achieved. This will glue on all of your circles.
- Lay them on the cake first and then stick them when you are happy. Spread a tiny amount onto your circle before adherring to the white icing.
- Customize this however you like. You could use whatever colours you like or perhaps another shape. It's up to you