Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rainbow Cake

My sister in law asked me to make this cake a while back. When she sent me the picture of it I thought it just might be the cutest cake ever! The recipe I found for it sounded good. I set out to make the cake, was loving every minute of it. I should have known better when the recipe used something other than a buttercream frosting. I put all 6 layers on the cake, started frosting the outside of the cake and then disaster struck. My beautiful fun cake slowly started sliding. The more I tried to stop it the more it slid. You know on Sleeping Beauty (I think thats the one) when the 3 fairies are are making her birthday cake and it starts falling over and they put a broomstick to hold it up? Well thats what I wanted to do, but couldn't. It was very tragic! Ever since this horrible cake experience I have been even more determined to make this cake. I have learned from my mistakes and have made a beautifully fun rainbow cake!

Here are some tips for making this cake a success for you the first time.

First: Gel food colors are awesome! You need much less food color to get the beautiful bright colors that are so awesome in this cake.

Second: Make sure you cake is cooked thoroughly, and cooled thoroughly before trying to do anything with it. If your cake is too soft it will fall apart. If it is warm at all the frosting wont be strong enough to hold everything in place. This takes me to my next type...

Third: Make sure you are using a sturdy frosting. You need your frosting to be just soft enough to spread it on the cake without ripping the cake apart, but still thick and sturdy enough that your layers are going to slide off.

Fourth: Know that you can use whatever colors you want. I thought the rainbow colors were very fun, but I have also seen it done in different shades of pink. If you want different colors then do different colors!

Fifth: If you do make this cake, and it turns out perfectly for you (which I know it will ) then you are bound to be the favorite cake maker your friends and family have ever known. Good work.

Rainbow Cake


Vegetable shortening
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/3 cups sugar
3 egg at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple gel food coloring
Your favorite Butter cream Frosting (you will want at least double what you normally use)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush six 9-inch-round cake pans (or as many 9-inch cake pans as you have, reusing them as necessary) with shortening. Line bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper; brush again and set aside. If using pans that are prone to stick you might want to flour them as well.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Slowly add eggs  and mix until well combined. Add vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Add flour mixture and milk in two alternating additions, beginning with the flour and ending with the milk. Mix until well combined.

Divide batter evenly between six medium bowls. Add enough of each color of food coloring to each bowl, whisking, until desired shade is reached. Transfer each color to an individual cake pan. Transfer to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 15 minutes (working in batches if necessary).

Remove cakes from oven and transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto a wire rack; re-invert and let cool completely.

Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the purple layer on the cake plate. Spread a scant 1 cup buttercream frosting over the first layer with a small offset spatula so it extends just beyond edges.

Repeat process with blue, green, yellow, and orange layers.

Place the remaining red layer on top, bottom-side up. Gently sweep away any loose crumbs with a pastry brush. Using an offset spatula, cover the top and sides with frosting. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Recipe Source: Martha Steward

In case any of you wanted to see pictures of my first cake (the disastrous one) here you go.

Rainbow Cake looking beautiful and fun

And now for the Rainbow cake in its final disastrous state :(

1 comment:

  1. I love the way you frosted your successful rainbow cake. The color and design are beautiful!