Monday, September 26, 2011

Week Nine -- Rainbow Cake

Okay, who wouldn’t be enchanted by rainbow colored cupcakes, especially when they are rendered in such bright colors that one might suspect they would glow in the dark? And who knew it could be so easy?
We actually opted to bake a rainbow cake instead of rainbow cupcakes, reasoning that the effect would be multiplied exponentially in a layer cake.

• One box of white cake mix
• Ingredients needed for the mix. In our case, 3 egg whites, 3 T of vegetable oil, and water.
• Food colors (We used Wilton gel colors for their lack of flavor and their bright colors.) Red, yellow, and blue.
• Either two cans of white frosting or a batch of homemade white frosting.
• Two eight or nine inch round cake pans.

• Prepare the cake mix according to the package instructions.
• Separate the mix into six (or seven if you’re a rainbow purist) bowls.
• Using a toothpick (or in our case chopsticks) add a small amount of the appropriate dye to each bowl, keeping in mind that you can always add color, but you can’t take it away (see our notes below). We ended up with red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and vomit. I’m sorry, but there it is. Our purple just went south fast and kept getting worse the more we messed with it.
• Layer the colors carefully in your pans. If you are making layer cakes as we were, layer one with red, orange, and yellow (in that order) and the other with green, blue, and purple (or in our case just green and blue).
• Bake according to package directions, being careful not to over bake.
• Remove from the oven and let your layers cool. This is a good chance to mix up your icing, clean up all those bowls, and poke around for decorations (if you want to use them). We didn’t this time, but I think next time we might have to go bigger.
Once your layers are cool, slice them horizontally if you like into two layers each (for a total of four), or just use them whole.
• Ice your cake, being careful to cover all the color with your white icing. Your goal is to have a completely white cake when you are finished. This makes the reveal that much cooler. You can, at this point, use some of your frosting to make ‘clouds’ on top of the cake. You might also look for Sour Punch X-tremes to use as decoration. I see using them as mini rainbows on top or as a border around your cake.
• Slice into your cake and enjoy.

Notes on a Barf Cake: Okay, we ended up with vomit colored cake batter, so we decided to make a second (smaller cake) with it. Then we dyed some of our frosting rotten avocado green. My son called it barf cake. It’s true. And the thing is, I think the barf cake actually ended up being the highlight. Anyone can make a beautiful rainbow cake which everyone will ooh and aah over. Who can say the same about our barf cake?

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