Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Somewhere over the rainbow....

I spent a long time trying to decide on a theme for Sophie's birthday cake this year. Shes at an age where she loves everything, but there's no one particular thing that stands out for her. I would say her favourite thing right now is all things princess (or drindess as Sophie would say!) but I wanted to save that for when shes older. So, after coming across a gorgeous looking rainbow cake in a magazine I decided to give it a go. And here are the results :)

I found that this cake was great fun, yet relatively easy to make and looked really stunning when I cut into it. Suprisingly it didn't even take that long either. Everyone loved it so it was well worth the effort.

The cake recipe I used comes from the Good Food website and creates quite a dense cake, which doesn't rise much at all - leaving the layers thin and flat, so ideal for stacking. I did 7 layers altogether, but you can do less if you want.

The following recipe is enough for 2 layers, for subsequent layers, just repeat;

  • 125g butter , softened
  • 225g plain flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together using an electric whisk, then separate equally into 2 bowls and add your food colouring. Put in 2 greased and lined 20in round sandwich tins and bake in a preheated oven 180C/160C fan/gas 4 for 12 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Repeat for additional layers.

For the frosting I wanted to use a cream cheese frosting, as with the Good Food recipe, but found the one they suggested came out way too runny, so I used one with butter.

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 1200g icing sugar
  • 500g full fat cream cheese

Mix together the butter and icing sugar, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add the cream cheese and mix in. I actually found it easier to split the ingredients in 2 and make 2 separate lots of icing.

When all your cakes have cooled sandwich them together with the icing and then coat. I found it best to do a thin crumb coat first, then a thicker coat afterwards.

Hints and Tips

  •  Avoid using supermarket food colourings - to get the depth of colour to make this cake look stunning you really do need professional food colouring gels or pastes. Even the gels you can buy in the supermarket aren't strong enough, by the time you have added enough to get the vibrant colours you will have altered the taste and consistency of the cake. I used the Sugarflair range of colours and while not the cheapest you only need to use a small amount. I also mixed the orange and purple myself from the other colours
  •  If your cakes rise and dome too much they will need trimming. The easiest way to do that is to freeze the cake first, use a sharp knife and trim the top, then while still frozen spread a thin crumb layer of icing onto your cake
  • To ensure the top of your cake is flat turn over the top later of cake so the bottom is on top
  • Theres no need for lots of decoration on the outside of this cake - it looks so impressive when you cut into it.
  • There are a variety of different icings you could use on this cake. Buttercream, white, dark or milk chocolate grenache, cream cheese frosting are just a few

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