Showing posts with label rainbow cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rainbow cake. Show all posts

a rainbow cake for sonnashine



My freshman year of college, I was assigned work study in the cafeteria. The first day I showed up in this room with fifty other students and they started calling out areas they needed help in. "The Grill. The Wok. The Pasta Station. The Bakery." And up my hand flew. So then five of us went to the bakery and they listed off other tasks, "Cookies. Bars. Cake Decorating." I was the last to pick and they said, "we'll put you on cake decorating."

It was awesome. I had a whole counter with every color imaginable. I had five gallon buckets of frosting all around me and a list each time I showed up of students who had a parent order them a birthday cake. There was every tip you could imagine for the piping. There was every color frosting in the world. It was like a little playground for me.

Only trouble was that I had no idea what I was doing. And those first cakes were horrendous. I had a great time making them, but my lesson was brief and the bags felt huge and I was awkward. My signature cake became one with confetti and big balloons because once the bag hit an air pocket and burst unplanned frosting all over my cake, I had no choice. Confetti and balloons covered all.

No one knew I was the cake decorator and I always thought that was a good thing. And no paying customer (the parents) ever saw the cake they paid for. Another good thing.


All this to say, I kept thinking about my days in the Gustavus bakery as I decorated this cake because this one, though it took time, was so easy to decorate. I used a large tip and made little imperfect circles, just going for texture and color. It's my favorite cake I've made. And has my head swimming with new ideas for the next one.

It took four recipes of Aunt Jan's cream cheese frosting. It took two white cake mixes to make the six layers. It took one day to make. It took seven minutes and thirteen six year olds to consume. And it was awesome.


I was planning on pastels on the inside, but wow that food gel is potent. I kept trying to use less and less but it wasn't meant to be. For the frosting I figured out how to just use a toothpick drop of color for each layer, and that gave me the pastels I was going for.

Sonna was my perfect client. She was thrilled and told her thirteen kindergarten friends, "Everyone has to close their eyes when my aunt cuts it, because there is a surprise inside! Ready. Close them!"

So Happy Birthday Sonna! We love you so much. You are the perfect colorful personality to have such a colorful rainbow cake.

rainbow cupcakes

Well, I think we can all agree it was just a matter of time. I finally made the rainbow cupcakes. This weekend was filled with birthday celebrations and cupcakes as Mara had her party on Saturday and Sonna had her party on Sunday.  So I gave the rainbow cupcakes a go, with a sweet request from Sonna to make them like the rainbow cake, but just with tiny cupcakes. They turned out splendidly.





This blog post was sponsored in part by Red Dye #40: Nothing Natural About It.

...it went over well

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I know the recipients of this cake very well and was quite confident that Sara and Lisa would appreciate this rainbow of goodness as much as I already loved it. But the sounds of sheer glee that came out of our three mouths as I cut the first piece were louder and more excited than I could have ever imagined. They loved it, and that means a lot because these two are always raising the bar in their baking endeavors. (Though it is possible that my squeeling may have been the loudest. I was just so pleased with how the cake cut and kept yelling, "It's perfect! It cuts perfect" while flailing the large knife and cake server in my hand.)
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It tasted pretty good too. Which was completely not the point of this cake. But a nice added bonus.
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So HAPPY BIRTHDAY LADIES! I am blessed beyond words to have these two favorite friends of mine as my family FOREVER.
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Roy G. Biv

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So a few months ago I saw this post about the rainbow cake. I emailed my mother-in-law immediately and told her I had a cake to make for Lisa and Sara's (my sister-in-laws) birthdays and have been excited to make it ever since.

I simplified quite a bit from the original rainbow cake. I used two boxes of white cake mix instead of making the cake from scratch. And then I separated the batter into six bowls, trying to make the amount in each one as even as possible.
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Using Wilton's Cake Gel, I added 1/2 tsp of color to each bowl. Honest to goodness this stuff is lethal. If it touches anything it will turn that color...clothing, countertops, kitchen sinks... I took my time with this step and ended up with all the dye ending up in the bowl. I'm pretty proud of this fact. I have a very white kitchen...
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Don't you spell Wallah like Viola or something? Because that's what I want to say about the bright colors below. Tada!
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I didn't want each layer to bake up too thick, and dividing 2 boxes of batter into six bowls seemed to make the right thickness for each individual cake. I heavily sprayed my cake pan, lined it with waxed paper and then sprayed the pan again. I wasn't going to risk one of these suckers getting stuck in the pan. I had two cakes in the oven at a time for about 20 minutes.
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They came out, I let them cool and then mixed up my super easy and delicious lemon icing. It was divine. And runny. And hard to keep on the cake, but it really was good stuff.
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from my taste of home cookbook: one 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk, 3/4 cup lemonade concentrate, one 8 oz carton thawed whipped topping. Mix the milk and lemonade and gently fold in the cool whip.
I doubled the recipe, and I used my mixer. Hence the runny frosting. I knew better than to beat the fluff out of the cool whip, and I even thought, "this might not turn out so well" but I was sort of ready to be done at that point and it seemed like a risky shortcut I was willing to take.
I frosted between the layers and used three wooden skewers to hold the cake together when I was all done because this baby liked to slide around and had a serious Tower of Pisa tilt without the skewers.
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I frosted the rest of the cake a day later with my friend Amanda and we very much enjoyed watching the drippy frosting melt off the cake as we quickly tried to cover all the color. Thankfully my cake stand has a one inch lip around the bottom. That lip has always bothered me before because it's so hard to frost a normal cake with that ring around the bottom, but today it was an absolute lifesaver. I just let the frosting pool.

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Then I threw it in fridge for another few hours to set up and later I hit the road with this beauty to go and track down the birthday girls. Pictures of the cake cutting and the birthday girls are coming later.

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(You don't want to know how tempted I was to seatbelted this baby in.)

layers of rainbow

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Check this out. These bright, brilliant bowls of color, my friends, is cake batter. I can't wait to assemble this baby. We've got some birthdays in the family this week and I have been waiting to make this cake for months now. Today I woke up with a skip in my step knowing that the day to make this beauty had finally arrived!

More pictures tomorrow, for sure. Until then, I'd just like to thank Wilton's gel color for being so ridiculously incredible. And I'd like to thank the Lord that I didn't get any of this dye on my countertops or clothing.