Saturday, April 18, 2009

Taste the Rainbow

Alright, so I totally stole the tagline from Skittles. A few weeks ago, I came across a recipe for a rainbow cake and I was intrigued. I had to find a reason to make it. After checking out the recipe, I realized that it was going to be a fair amount of work, especially considering the icing was homemade. But it looked like it might be worth it. Or at least it would look cool.

Since Ally's birthday party is actually on the day of her birthday this year, I initially wanted to make it for that. The problem is that there are more kids coming than the cake would feed, so I opted out of that. I'm making her a Hello Kitty cake tomorrow.

Grandma Kathi's birthday is the 15th, and we had them over for dinner and cake last night. I made one of my favorite dinners, Italian Herb Chicken with pasta. Yum. It's a crockpot recipe, which makes it even better. I'm all about putting the least amount of effort into dinner as humanly possible. Especially on a day like yesterday. A day where I was attempting something new.

I got all the ingredients, or so I thought, the day before. Ended up needing to send Tom to the store to get a few last essentials that I had forgotten. (Really, what is the point of taking a list to the store if you can't even manage to get the items ON the list???) I started working on the batter since I knew it was going to take a while.

Each layer of the cake is a different flavor. The pink is raspberry, orange is orange, yellow is lemon, green is lime, blue is blueberry and purple is blackberry. You add some pureed fruit or zest and juice for each layer, plus a little food coloring. There you have it, rainbow cake. The icing didn't quite come out the way I would have liked, but it was yummy. White chocolate buttercream. Can't go wrong there, really. The bottom layers did get a little compacted, but it was still good. Next time I make it, I'll do a better job. I made some notes on the recipe. :)

It tasted a bit strange, like a bowl of Fruit Loops in cake form. Each layer really did have a distinct flavor, all from the real fruit used in the recipe. The kids thought it was pretty cool. Most of all, the birthday girl was amused.

Here is the recipe, stolen from another website. If you've got a few hours to spare and are curious, it's worth the effort. And if people don't know what is under the white frosting, it's a pretty cool surprise.

Rainbow Cake
2 boxes white cake mix
6 eggs
1 c. water
2/3 c. oil
1/2 c. raspberries (pureed)
Zest of 1 orange + 2 T. juice
Zest of 1 lemon + 2 T. juice
Zest of 1 lime + 2 T. juice
1/2 c. blueberries (pureed)
1/2 c. blackberries (pureed)
Wilton Icing colors in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple
***I used regular food coloring***

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, water, and oil together. Scoop 1 cup of batter into six small bowls. In the first bowl, mix raspberries and 1/4 tsp. red coloring. In the second bowl, mix orange zest and juice, and 1/2 tsp. orange coloring. In the third bowl, mix lemon zest and juice and 1/4 tsp. yellow coloring. In the fourth bowl, mix lime zest and juice and 1/4 tsp. green coloring. In the fifth bowl, mix blueberries and 1/4 tsp. blue coloring. In the sixth bowl, mix blackberries and 1/4 tsp. purple coloring.

*** The next time I make it, I will probably strain the raspberry, blueberry and blackberry puree before I add it to get the seeds out. ***

Prepare six 8 inch cake pans by greasing and flouring each generously. Using a spatula, spoon and spread each color of batter into its own cake pan. Bake in an oven, preheated to 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes, or until tops spring back when touched lightly.

***The next time I make it, I will bake 3 layers at a time, since the ones on the bottom rack didn't rise enough (why they were a little squished)***

Allow to cool completely. Frost with White Chocolate Frosting.

Billowed White Chocolate Frosting
1 c. butter, softened
1 bag white chocolate chips
3 lbs. powdered sugar
1 1/2 c. milk (room temperature)

In a large bowl, microwave white chips until melted. Immediately beat in butter until smooth. Add half the sugar, then the milk. Beat. Add remaining sugar and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Makes enough frosting to ice between each layer of cake, and around the outside of the cake.

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