January 25, 2009

Rainbow Cake!

So here's how you make rainbow cake.

You start with a really good recipe for delicious cake, sink some dollars into some good quality gel food coloring (found in the cake decorating aisle of your local craft store, not the supermarket), and use all the bowls and stirring implements in the kitchen.
We had cheap aluminum 9" round pans so I buttered and floured them beforehand. (the flouring makes all the difference in de-panning, trust me).  
I've started saving discarded butter wrappers in the fridge for expressly this purpose.
Then I made a batch of buttermilk cake batter and split it into 6 roughly equal parts:

Here are the colors.  I just dipped the tip of a butter knife into the gel color and mixed that into the batter really well.  Purple was kind of hard to get right because the batter was yellowish.

Once you have all the colors, start pouring them into the pans in rainbow sequence like so:  Use a bunch of the red, like nearly all of it except for a tablespoon or two, for the first layer of the first cake.  Then follow with almost as much of the orange (but reserve a bit more), and so on with the rest of the colors.  When you reach purple, you should only be putting a dollop of batter in the center and reserving the rest.

For the second cake, repeat the pouring process but in reverse order (all the purple first, etc.)

You will wind up with one bulls-eye rainbow with red on the outside,  and one bulls-eye rainbow with purple on the outside.

Bake the cakes as per the usual and layer and frost with delicious whipped cream cheese frosting.

Then eat it.

Buttermilk cake recipe:

2 1/2 cups flour 
1 cup granulated sugar 
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla 

Cream butter and sugars together, then beat in eggs one at a time and add vanilla.  Sift in the rest of the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, and beat well until batter is smooth.  Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out dry.

Whipped cream cheese frosting

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. sugar

Whip the cream and half the sugar together until they form soft peaks, then transfer to another bowl for temporary storage.  Whip the cream cheese and the rest of the sugar together until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is no longer grainy.  Gently fold in whipped cream and mix to combine (the paddle attachment at low speed works fine).

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