Sunday, April 27, 2014

The beauty of a simply imperfect rainbow cake.

I am officially done.  Okay that's not true.  I will be officially done on Saturday morning, because I had to move Ava's birthday slumber party to next weekend because Ava's BFF couldn't make it this weekend. (Whaaaa I want my mommy.  Will this birthday madness never end?) (Pray for me.) (Just kidding. It's mostly fun.) (But I am NOT baking another cake, I can tell you that right now.)
Speaking of cake.

I've got some very strong feelings about this one.  I am passionately in love with rainbow cake.  Passionately, I tell you.  I believe that every home should have a rainbow cake at least once a year.  It should be a rule.

I also believe that the reason I feel so strongly about this, is that you can not mess this cake up.  Trust me, I've tried. You can have too few pans, skimpy batter, food coloring issues, you name it, but it comes out alright in the end and it's so forgiving since you don't have to frost the outsides and make it perfect.  The perfection of this cake is it's wonky imperfection.  People, I can't tell you how freeing that is.

Henceforth, I shall find an excuse to bake this once a year.


 I promised my Instagram peeps that I'd share some tips so that they too, could bask in the glow of a bright rainbow cake on their counter tops.  To say this is a tutorial, is probably a gross exaggeration.  It's more of a list of basic tips for how I do this, and I hope it helps you bake a rainbow cake too!
*I begin with six bowls, all the same size and a two layer cake recipe. (Any recipe or box mix will work as long as it's for a two layer cake.  Double check that before you start.) Prepare as directed.

*I have 4 eight inch pans but someday I need to grab two more.  I begin by taking one, and setting it on a stack of 6 pieces of parchment paper.  I trace a circle around the pan and then I cut all six out at once so I can line all my pans with parchment.  I do this because the cake is very thin and this helps.  Once those are cut I line up my four pans, spray them heavily with Pam cooking spray, lay the parchment circles in the bottom and spray that.  I flour all my pans lightly. (I use cup for cup GF flour but any kind would work.)

*Next I take my batter and divide it evenly among all six bowls.  There won't be much batter in them.

*I use red, yellow, green, blue and purple food colorings and mix orange from the food coloring box guide. I mix each bowl until the colors are bright and vibrant.  Make them darker than you think they need to be and you'll be fine.

*Gently begin spreading your batter.  Because it's a small amount you will need to go slow, take your time and work it around until it's edge to edge.  I always have a moment of panic because it never looks like there will be enough batter to cover the whole pan!  (I use a spatula to get every single scrap of batter out of the bowl.) Once its all spread, I tap the cake pan on the counter and work air bubbles out and then I put all four pans into the oven at once (reserving the final two colors until two more pans are free.) I bake them for about 13-15 min- until a knife in the center comes out clean.  I let them sit 10 minutes and then flip them onto a piece of parchment.  (I quickly wash and prepare two more pans and get the final two cake colors into the oven.)

*Once all the cake layers are cool, I mix up the following frosting recipe and you will use the entire batch.  If you want to be precise you can always divide it up into six equal portions but I just eyeball it and make a nice frosting layer between each layer, about a half inch thick.  This whole process is actually very quick and easy and suddenly you've got a gorgeous cake with very little effort. I like that.

Fluffy Cake Frosting:
*Beat 4 1/2 sticks room-temperature butter and 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar until pale and fluffy.  Gradually add an additional 5 1/4 cups powdered sugar.  Add 1 1/2 tbsp milk and 1 tsp real vanilla extract.  Beat until pale and fluffy.

 I used the tutorial here for the rainbow tissue garland and the chalk garland came from my buddy Jen.

 Now, let's talk party accessories.  My friend Ashley sent me a party box and if you also need a party box, she is your girl.  She sent me rainbow colored stripey straws, (which we all know I'm totally addicted to) chevron gift bags (above, that we filled with starburst candies and a pretty polishes for the slumber party girls) wood spoons, mason jar daisy cut straw lids (for drinking shirley temples of course) and the gorgeous huge sprinkles you see on the top of the cake which happen to be my favorites.  Ashely is such a sweetheart and owns my new favorite party supply store.  She has a ton more cute party items in her shop which you should definitely go check out and she is soon to be expanding and adding a bunch of really fun NEW party items!! I can't wait to see what she stocks!

We made rainbow party popcorn (simple, quick and inexpensive) for the slumber party movie, and I reserved some in goody bags to send the girls home with so they can remember the fun night.  We laid popcorn out on cookies sheets and then used colored candy melts to drizzle over the top along with some funfetti sprinkles.  You know, for a bit of extra fun. 

The credit for how darling this party came out goes to my friend Ashley and her inspirational shop and party goods.  I am so thankful for her items that helped me throw such a cheery event for my husband and Ava.   

And to sweeten your day, Ashely is offering you all 15% off any orders from  her shop if you use the coupon code "LEMONADE" when you check out!!  So run over there and stock up on all of your party and summer entertaining bits and bobs.  You will just love her.  

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Lea said...

Oh, my goodness, I love this! And, this cake will be the next project that me and my little Princess tackle. She loves to bake and decorate. With a rainbow theme it has to be a smashing success! Job well done my dear! Now, I'm off to check out your friend's party website!

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

So pretty and FUN!! Your daughter has changed from a young girl to a young lady overnight! Yikes! Hate when that happens! :)

Sally Kelly said...

Oh the cake turned out great! -- and I love those colorful straws alongside it! What a pretty party.

Tonya said...

I have said this before but girl, you have creativity coming out of every pore!
So sweet!

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

so beautiful!! my cousin literally just gave me 8 cake pans. i told her i didn't have any, and then she brings me EIGHT. LOL. i'm destined for a rainbow cake.

Lorraine and Jessica said...

You sure know how to throw a real shindig friend!!! Gosh, I love it!!! I can't believe how mature Ava is looking these days <3 it goes so very quickly!!!!

lori_r8 said...

I love making rainbow cake too! Like you, now I am always trying to find a way to make it for family functions! It just makes me happy looking at it! And it photographs beautifully! Good job with the party details too! I would have loved to be a guest at that party!

Jeannie S said...

I'm voting for you for mom of the year. Everything is so special and done with so much love! Ava is growing up and looking just like her mom. Wow you are amazing!

Steph @ Three Loud Kids! said...

That cake is adorable!

Sheri said...

That is perfect - you should get paid for parties like these - seriously. You rock!!! Want to come to Florida and host Savannah's grad party? :)

Stacy P. said...

Love it. Especially the fact that the cake is one that is best in an imperfect state. That is fantastic! And, may I say, Ava has the prettiest fingernails! (Random, I know, but I love manicures and notice hands/nails often)!

Jensamom23 said...

So cute! Everything!

Erin said...

I am DYING over your Swiss dot milk glass vase and bowl....source? Pretty please with rainbow sprinkles on top? ☺️

Erin said...

I am DYING over your Swiss dot milk glass vase and bowl....source? Pretty please with rainbow sprinkles on top? ☺️

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