photography, random riffs, Test kitchen...

Dispatch from the test kitchen: Rainbow cake…

Rainbow cake, a la crazedparent

The second I saw this post over at Omnomicon with photos of an amazing rainbow cake, I knew I'd be trying it at home. It was just a matter of picking an occasion. I wrote about the cake over at Yahoo! Shine for my Itty Bitty Bites series because I think it's one of those feats that will truly knock your kids' socks off when they see a slice. A Shine reader commented that it would make a cool Easter cake and, mira, that was all the inspiration I needed.

I followed the directions over at Omnomicon to the letter with only exception: I did not use soda in my cake mix (side note: I used Duncan Hines white cake mix). 

Should you want to try to make the Rainbow Cake, let my lessons learned be your tips:

1. The cake: You're using one box of cake mix for each layer. After you're done baking, pick the layer that isn't as pretty for the bottom of your cake. You'll need to trim about 1.5 to 2 inches off the top of the cake to get it to a reasonable height for layering. Use a serrated knife (I use our bread knife) to cut that layer after it has cooled. Be careful, be slow, and don't worry that you're cutting out too many colors. No one will notice.

2. Food gels: Instead of mixing colors to get orange and purple, pick up a pack of regular AND neon Betty Crocker Gel Food Colors. You'll need way more gel than you expect and it's nice to have purple and orange already mixed. And if you are looking to get the kids involved, the mixing of the colors with the batter is the perfect time.

3. Frosting: Use cake frosting instead of a whipped topping mix. The flavor of the whipped topic mixed with pudding is good, but it's really, really difficult to move on the cake. Even after being out for a few hours, the whipped topping wasn't very smooth. It felt like I was pushing spackle on plaster. Also? It would pick up lots of crumbs and sometimes would break the cake a bit.

So use frosting that is at room temperature. It'll add extra creaminess to the cake and be much easier to push.

4. Once frosted, don't be shocked that this cake ways a gajillion pounds. It's a thick mutha. But so tasty!

I highly recommend this cake for any party. Forget the "wow" factor — it's just a clever cake that will make guests smile (especially if they are small and under the age of 10.)

Plus, the photos! My favorite is the cake spatula after several slices. Pretty! (and yummers!)


5 thoughts on “Dispatch from the test kitchen: Rainbow cake…

  1. cool! If you freeze the cake layers before frosting it cuts down on the “crumb factor” too – makes frosting it much easier. 30 minutes in the freezer is all it needs.

  2. I don’t know when, but I will be trying this. I clicked the link back to Omnomicon and she is funny! I’m glad you’re testing this stuff out for us. I never liked to be a guinee pig. 🙂

  3. Too funny that you have this! I made a similar cake for my daughter’s 2nd birthday last month. It was fun because only a few people knew about it, so when we cut into it the Wow! factor was quite nice.

  4. Rachel says:

    I love it! I’m totally doing that for my “really hard to impress” soon to be nine year old. And I’m going to keep it a secret, so that Mr. too cool gets surprised, too.
    Thank you for sharing this, and your lessons, too.

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