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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Recipe: Rainbow Cake

This is not the same rainbow cake that I've raved about from my local bakery, Snickerdoodles. However, it's still a rainbow cake. I decided to give it a try when I saw it featured on Serious Eats a while back. I've had it in my bookmarks ever since and I've been looking for an excuse to give it a try. Well, Monday night was the night! Tuesday was my co-worker's birthday, and since she's the one that usually makes cakes for everyone's birthday, a volunteer was needed to bake her a cake on her special day.

I followed the directions here, but I changed it somewhat.

First of all, I used just regular cake mix, I didn't do the thing with the soda or follow that recipe at all. I used one box of white cake mix, and mixed it according to the package directions. I mean, it was Michelle's birthday, I'm not making her a diet cake, for heavens sake. You can use any white cake recipe that you want, I just wanted to use regular cake mix. When you do your mixing, don't quite beat the mix as long as it says to. Leave it a little bit undone, because you're going to continue to mix it once you add the coloring.

Once I mixed up the mix according to the directions, I then followed the step on the link that says to measure the mix so that you know how much it makes. Skip this step. I don't think it's necessary and the more transferring of mix that you do from bowl to bowl, the more you lose and the more that it gets over mixed. All you need to do is divide the mix into however many bowls you need for however many colors you want. I think 5 is a good amount of colors, so I did 5 colors. Just try to make the amount of mix in each bowl even with the others.

I went in search of the gel food coloring that was mentioned in Omnomicon's blog, and Wegman's didn't have the exact kind. They had gel food colors from Wilton that were pastels, so I bought those. I was disappointed to not get the primary colors in the original photos, but still I thought it would turn out nice (and thankfully I was making this for a female). I'm not sure where else to look for the gel food coloring, and I had limited time, so I just took the pastels.

So, once I divided it into five bowls, I added the food coloring and mixed it. I was pretty liberal with the color, and I didn't measure it. I would suggest adding a few drops, mixing and then adding a few more until you get your desired shade. It will get darker when it cooks, too. I used pink, yellow, blue, green (which were the included colors) and then mixed red and blue to make a purple layer.

Drop the mix into the prepared cake pans one color at a time. Put them in the pan in order, and then put them in the second pan in reverse order. On the first pan, your first color should be the most and the last color should be the least. Just estimate. So, since I put pink in the first pan first, I used 2/3 of my pink mix on the first pan. Then, I used a little less yellow, then 1/2 of the blue and green, and 1/3 of the purple. Then, I reversed it on the second pan, putting in the remaining of each - purple, then blue, then green, then yellow, then pink. Don't mix it, just plop them in the center of the pan (see the link above for info).

Bake according to package directions, and do with it what you want to do with a layer cake. I iced mine with Domino Sugar's Buttercream Frosting (my favorite frosting -- there is no reason to purchase frosting in a tub!). My cousin had given me my grandmother's frosting recipe, but I wasn't feeling brave enough to be adventurous with both the cake AND the frosting at the same time, so I elected not to try it. That, and I don't have a double boiler.

I want to try this again, but try to get a little more mix out of it. I found the cake to be somewhat short and flat, which I think came from over mixing. I had fully mixed the mix before mixing in the coloring. So, one solution would be what I wrote above, which is to mix the mix less before mixing in the coloring. Another solution would be to double the mix and use two boxes of mix. Or, just settle for a shorter cake. It still tasted good, after all. And, it looked quite festive.

Happy birthday, Michelle!

1 comment:

Lacey Nicole said...

oh my gosh! BEEEyoooteeful!!!!!! i'm so impressed!

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