A couple of months ago, I got the bright idea that I would make Little L a six-layered rainbow cake for her fifth birthday. And even more stupidly, I decided to share this idea with her parents, so then I kind of had to do it.
Last year, I wasn't quite so ambitious, and made a three-tiered chocolate cake and just covered it in sweets and chocolate. She loved it.
|Little L's 2012 birthday cake|
Now, I am pretty competitive. And much like Monica in Friends, competition with myself is my favourite kind, so I wanted her to love this cake even more than she loved the chocolate one. And in my head, a rainbow cake was the only way to do this.
I think we've all seen examples of rainbow cakes before, right? I think the original was Whisk Kid's, and this was then reproduced by Sweetapolita. I had a look at these recipes, but as they involved using just the egg whites, and I'm not a big fan of doing that unless I have a use for the yolks, I went with Raspberri Cupcakes' recipe. I'm not going to reproduce it here, because I didn't change it at all, and that'd just be plagiarism. Naughty.
However, I will offer some tips from my experience- because that might help one of you make a better version than I did (and while Competitive Alice doesn't like that idea, Altruistic Alice is alright with it)
- Doctor Oetker gel colours will not make your cake as bright as Steph's. I was actually rather disappointed in these colours, and I won't be buying them again because they just weren't bright enough for me. But I did like the pastel effect, it just wasn't exactly what I was after.
- Do not even think about trying to make this cake by hand. You will need some sort of electric mixer- I used a hand mixer which was fine, but if you have a stand mixer/ KitchenAid, use that. I have never wished I had a KitchenAid more than I did when I was making this cake. You will also need an absolutely enormous bowl. Seriously- I used our biggest bowl and it was only just big enough by the end. There's a lot of batter.
- Make sure you weigh your bowl before you start, then weigh your batter when its finished. Subtract the weight of the bowl and divide the remainder left by six. This will make you have six even layers. Yes, it's picky, and yes, it is important. I think my bowl was something like 150g, I ended up with 2275g of batter, so did something like (2275-150)/6 = 354.167g. I rounded to 350g of batter per layer, because I don't have digital scales, and my layers were really very even. It is worth it.
- I would recommend assembling and decorating this as late as possible before serving. Because I work, and was taking the cake to Little L after work on Friday, I had no choice but to make it and assemble on Thursday night. While the cake stayed perfectly moist, the bottom layers were compacted by the weight of the cake on top of it- hence why despite my measuring, the layers decrease in size as you go down- see?
- Put jam between every other layer. If you put buttercream all over the outside of the cake, and then between each layer, it will be far too much. Maybe not if you use lemon icing, like most suggest, but I used vanilla, and you really needed the jam.
As it was- Little L loved it. But actually, I think she was more excited by the Skittles on the top of the cake than the cake itself. Ah well, I needed an excuse to make it, and as far as I was concerned, it was really tasty. Next year, I think I might just ask her what she wants though...!