I love colours, yep I love them all especially when they come together in a rainbow. It’s an almost childish feeling but I’m sure you’ll agree that bright and colourful stuff make you feel happy and optimistic. I’ve been wanting to recreate the medley of colours of a rainbow cake in my own kitchen for ages. The basic concept is to stack together layers of different colours of cake to mimic the spectrum of light which is in turn masked by a generous coat of frosting. The explosion of colours that gets revealed at cake-cutting time is a feast for the eyes, though you will need more than a few drops of Wilton gel food colours to get those vibrant shades of red, orange and purple.
My birthday baking always involves a full day in the kitchen right till early hours of the morning to wind up the little details and packaging. Other than my birthday cake [yes, I have to bake my own!], my other birthday goodies for this year included orange & poppy seed muffins, toasted almond muffins, oat & raisin cookies and white chocolate & pecan brownies. I often have to start a day in advance to manage the tall order and this time I used the white cake recipe from Pixelated Crumb for my rainbow cake and topped if off with this deliciously creamy cream cheese frosting by Pioneer Woman. The perfect celebration cake for anyone young at heart!
RAINBOW LAYER CAKE
For the Rainbow Layer Cake
330 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
525 grams (2 1/3 cups) sugar
5 large egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple gel food colour
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
100 grams unsalted butter, softened
200 grams cream cheese, softened
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- For the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare six 9-inch-round cake pans (or as many 9-inch cake pans as you have).
- Brush the base of each pan with melted butter. Line the bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper and brush again.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Use an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for creaming.
- Cream butter and sugar. Slowly add egg whites 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 them well.
- Divide batter evenly between 6 medium bowls. Add enough of each color of food coloring to each bowl, about 1/8 teaspoon.
- Whisk until desired shade is reached. Transfer each color to an individual cake pan. Transfer cake pans to preheated oven.
- Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 12-15 minutes (bake cakes in batches if necessary).
- Remove cakes from oven and transfer to a wire rack; cool for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack and re-invert.
- Leave to cool completely. For the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese together. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract.
- Beat well until thick and creamy. To assemble the cake, use a serrated knife to trim tops of cakes to make level if necessary.
- Place three or four strips of parchment paper around the perimeter of the serving plate. Place the purple layer on the plate.
- Spread the frosting over the layer with small offset spatula so it extends just beyond edges. Repeat process with blue layer.
- Then do the same with the green, yellow, and orange layers. Place the remaining red layer of cake on top, bottom-side up.
- Gently sweep away any loose crumbs with a pastry brush. Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting.
- Refrigerate the cake until set, about 30 minutes. Using an offset spatula, cover the cake again with the remaining frosting.
Happy Birthday to Me!