Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rainbow Cake: Happy Birthday Matt!

Oh my goodness.

I'm in love. Really. Oh my goodness.

The first time I saw this cake I fell in love with it--immediately. I really, really, like bright bold colors, and this was everything I could imagine. I never thought of dying batter before (other than for red velvet) but this idea is both festive and versitile (think red and green on Christmas, red, white and blue on the 4th, even black and orange for Halloweenie). I figured I'd go big or go home, and plus, the colors were just...well... fitting. Matt loves a vanilla-y cake with a chocolate frosting, and darn it, that's what he's gonna get!

What ya need:
3 egg whites
1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
**1/3 cup applesauce
Paste/Gel Food Coloring... Regular works too, but the vivid colors come from the gel!
I'll use red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

**Feel free to use vegetable oil instead of applesauce, if you want heart disease! Totally just kidding, but could use the same amount of oil-- the applesauce makes this soooo moist though, and 1/3 cup of applesauce is only 33 calories and 0 g fat...the same amount of oil is almost 650 calories and 75 g of fat. So, a BIG difference, if you catch my drift)
What ya do:
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F
Line the bottom of two 9 inch pans with parchment paper and cooking spray. (I'm never not parchment-ing again!)
Beat the egg whites with a mixer until they become frothy...takes about a minute. Add the cake mix, water and canola oil (here you could easily use applesauce too). Continue to beat for about two minutes on medium

Divide your batter evenly into six separate bowls. Yeah, a lot of bowls. Use a toothpick to scoop a drop of the food coloring (use food coloring paste/gel) into one bowl of batter and stir. Add color until you reach the desired shade and repeat with remaining colors and batter.

This is the part where you should be patient. Think about each bowl of batter, and how much is in it. This part is tricky, so pay attention. We need to do the colors in opposite layers for the two cakes so for ONE cake pan we will go: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. The other cake pan will go: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red.

So, start with pan number one. Use about 2/3 of your red batter, and then about half of your orange and yellow batter in that same pan.

Then, switch to pan number two, and go opposite. Use about 2/3 purple batter, and then about half of your blue and green. This assures your pans will be evenly filled with batter.

Then, use your remaining colors to add in correct order in each pan. You want all six colors in each pan, just opposite layers.
 It's a long process.

Just keep layering.

It's time consuming, but so worth it.

 Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes clean, about 30-35 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Ooh...Ahhh
As mentioned above, find the chocolate icing recipe here. You can make it with both regular or dark cocoa powder. I think this time, I'll do regular.

I put a dollop of the icing down on the plate first so my cakes stay still. Then go nuts with the chocolate. Next time I make this recipe, I'm going to do a double batch. You can tell my cakes were a little tiny. Double = better.
Look at those beautiful flowers. Pink = Amie, Green = Moi. I know you loved the flowers, Matt! But, the best part of this cake is that you'd have no idea from the above picture that the inside was going to be so pretty... One slice and BAM... holy color.

You're not limited to boxed white cake, but it works well because it's easy. You're going to spend a long time with the dyeing, so why not make the process a bit less hectic?
It was really popular. Like Regina George popular. 

This cake will surely be a hit at your next big celebration. I mean, I know it may have been drunk folk at a bar asking me, but still, everyone wanted to know how this was done... now ya know!


ann low said...

WOW! This rainbow cake is really colorful! Happy Birthday to Matt ;)

Rick said...

That looks so good! My favorite cake!

Shoebotmom said...

This is also fun to do with cupcakes....and with kids!!! They love to add and stir in the coloring to the different bowls of batter. We made them with cupcakes and they turned out FABULOUS! I wish I had a picture...but sadly, I can't cook and take photos--especially when the kiddos are cooking with me!