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Spectacular Rainbow Cake

Posted by on April 9, 2012

This week one of my friends is heading into surgery for a double mastectomy, and she’s really fond of rainbows. So fond, in fact, she has a Pinterest board dedicated to them. A few friends decided we’d throw her a rainbow party to cheer her up prior to the surgery.

She had expressed interest in having me bake a rainbow cake, and we ooed and aahhhed over photos of them together. She was really fond of this one from the Omnomicon blog:

We also really loved the look of the ‘sunshine in a jar’ rainbow cake on The Family Kitchen food blog:

Armed with this inspiration, I set off looking for the necessary Wilton Color Gels that I’d wanted for *years*. I only had a few days, and I knew that the supermarket liquid colour just wouldn’t be intense enough to colour the cake batter.

I heard on the grapevine that Spotlight stocks Wilton products, but was very disappointed after the grumpy and unhelpful sales staff said that they have ‘a box out the back somewhere‘ and ‘give me a week to see if I can find it‘. I only had 4 days.

Being in Cairns has lots of drawbacks when it comes to tricky products. Things take a few days to get posted here, and boutique specialist shops are thin on the ground. Luckily, I discovered Baking and Catering Services who were *amazing*. Their knowledge was incredible, and they were so helpful. I can’t recommend them enough. I bought the 8 pack of icing gels I was seeking, and a couple extra so I was sure of the colours in my rainbow cake.

As I was searching around, I discovered an amazing rainbow layer cake on Martha Stewart’s website, and the moment I saw it I just knew this would be the one I would make. It’s so much more elegant than the marbled style above, but the frosting quantity did horrify me a bit.

I decided I didn’t want to use a boring white buttercake and found a great-looking recipe from the Tender Crumb blog. I was really concerned about having  tight cake crumb, as I didn’t want the cake to break into lots of crummy bits as I was cutting it.

I also loved the look of the cream cheese frosting with that recipe, and so used that as well.

We took the batter, and divided it into 6 portions. While I had every intention of making a rainbow-correct 7 layer cake, I decided indigo is not a very attractive food colour, and dropped it. This also made the baking a bit easier, as I had 3 round tins, and only had to bake twice.

Here’s the batter divided up, freshly coloured:

and… the final cake:

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