RAINBOW LAYER CAKE
As I was already baking a few cakes for this weekend, today I decided to give a cake I’ve been wanting to try for a while. It turned out to be the literal rainbow on an otherwise rainy day… the weather itself wasn’t so bad, however I had £80 stolen from my purse that I’d dropped outside Tesco. Following this, I binged on this delightful cake and am now writing this from my cake coma…
Before I start I have to say, this cake is very very simple however can be very time consuming, as it is baked in layers. As I only wanted to practice it, and I wasn’t using my smallest tin today, I used a 5 inch tin, which I only own one of. Therefore this process took me hours to bake 7 individual layers, however would take half the time had I used bigger tins that I have more of! With such a small cake, it can be quite hard to get straight…
I’m not sure how much cake mixture I used in the entire cake as I was baking other things as I went along, however a simple recipe to start with is to use 60g of each ingredient per egg. For example a standard victoria sponge recipe-
Caster sugar: 180g
Self-raising flour: 180g
I then started colouring my cake mixture. I started at the beginning of my rainbow with red, however when I looked in my baking drawer I realised I only had CHRISTMAS red left… and very little of it. So the mixture turned out a little bit pink.
I spread quite a thin layer of red/pink mixture in my 5 inch cake tin and put it in the oven for 20 minutes (somebody once told me on an electric oven to turn down the temperature 20 degrees less than usual if they “peak”, and mine never do now! So I put mine in at 180/190 degrees)
Admittedly, they don’t look great when they just come out of the oven. Infact most of the layers don’t actually look like the colour they are supposed to.. which led to be poking and stabbing the red cake a little bit just the make sure the sponge inside really had changed colour!!
I use Sugarflair products to colour my cake mixture, fondant and buttercream. Instead of the usual liquid food colouring that can be bought from supermarkets, I buy these gels online. I usually buy them from various sellers on eBay, and they last a lot longer than the liquid because a little goes a long way. The pigment is also a lot stronger than the liquids, and they do not compromise the taste at all.
The colours I used for the rainbow as shown above (you can tell how long I’ve had mine considering they are covered in colour!) are:
Cream (had to compromise on yellow!)
There are so many colours to chose from, and you can mix them!
As the day went on, I baked more rainbow layer. When each layer was cool, I sliced the top off using a bread knife in order to make them flat so they would sit on top of each other comfortably.
Once all 7 layers had been baked and cooled, I made some buttercream using my food processor. You can do it by hand, however it is time consuming and is much more efficient and thoroughly done in a machine. I’m not sure how much I made because it depends on how much it takes to cover the cake and I was continuously making it for my other cakes, however a rule to follow when making buttercream is to use double the weight of icing sugar that you do butter/margarine.
I use margarine as I prefer the taste to butter, and use BLOCK Stork margarine that is 69p per 250g block in supermarkets. I then would add 500g of icing sugar and some vanilla extract. (I recommend using block Lurpack if you prefer butter however this is much more expensive than Stork. I wouldn’t recommend using margarine/butter from a tub because this does not ‘crust’ like the block, and will stay soft.)
I made sure the layers matched and stood straight before icing them together (however this shows violet-red, I changed it around the red-violet.)
The cake at this point was starting to look really unappealing (every layer seemed to look slightly green…) and I was wondering whether I’d made a mistake wasting half my day. I spread a little bit of jam on one side and buttercream on the other and started stacking them up…
The colours started blending into one…
Until I had stacked all 7 colours up and it looked like a dirty rainbow. Brilliant.
I then crumb coated the cake, where buttercream is used to trap crumbs to smooth down the outerlayer of a cake. It is best to put the cake in the fridge between these crumb coats to speed up the hardening of the buttercream.
Once the final crumb coat was added, I decided to place some balls of pink fondant around the bottom of the cake, and piped a few pink roses on top (which I will write about how I do them soon.) I like the look of this cake even if there wasn’t a rainbow inside!!
For a first attempt, I was quite impressed!! Like I said the beginning of this blog post, it is time consuming and would help if you owned more baking tins of the same size. You could cut the time even more by only using a few colours, I think my next layer cake will be an ombre type, maybe lilac running through deep purple. Enjoy :)