Monday, April 30, 2012

From the Kitchen: Rainbow Cake

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Phew! I survived the birthday weekend! Friday was the usual nuttiness of our school schedule, on Saturday we did lots of family activities in a whirlwind of cheap thrills (UM Museum of Art, UM Natural History Museum, Chuck E Cheese, returning pop cans at Walmart, spending $0.25 on “prizes” from the gumball machines, and the like), and Sunday was Sort-of-Big-Party Day. The Trifecta of birthdays… our Kitty, her Auntie Anne, and our nephew Sean who was turning 1. It was a big deal!

In addition to a mini baby-friendly (and adorable) cake of pancakes and strained yogurt, Sean’s talented mother Yoko made a beautiful rich chocolate cake with white chocolate icing (it was truly as yummy and lovely as it sounds). I, on the other, less gourmet hand, used 1.5 box mixes for white cake and made a “surprise cake”… you know, a cake that was surprising!

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This type of cake and variations on the theme are ALL OVER pinterest right now (the craze originating from Martha Stewart, maybe??), and I know multiple people who have pulled off virtual masterpieces in cake. I, too, was captivated by the idea, and a girly cake was needed. So, I gave in. I followed the general directions from this tutorial by Omnomicon but instead of two pans, I used three. It took my cake batter estimating skills to a whole new level of complication, but it turned out great.

The uncut cake:

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It looked sloppy and simple because it was. I whipped up an obscene volume of buttercream and used almost all of it. The weight and relative uneven thinness of the three layers and heavy icing started to break the cake apart from the inside out (poor engineering on my part), so I used more icing to spackle the cracks. Yup. And then I put it in the fridge to set up a  bit. It felt like cheating. But it looked sloppy and I was OK with that. The secret was on the inside, and the ensuing oohs and ahhs from the horde of onlooking little girls when I pulled out the first slice was worth the (minimal) extra effort:

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I had another piece of cake after everyone went home (because I had to take a nice clean picture of the perfect slice, didn’t I? Right? At least that was my rationalization). I even remembered to stack the layers in the right order so it looked intentional. I love how the colors turned out perfectly matchy matchy to the birthday dress, since I think that, whenever possible, one’s clothes should match the food one is eating… plain and simple practicality from a laundry standpoint :)

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3 comments:

Jodi Bonjour said...

That looks so pretty!!!!!

And I don't think putting a cake in the fridge is cheating. I hear it's called a crumb coat.

Karen said...

I think it's called a crumb coat if you intend to frost it more later :) I was too lazy for that. I loved YOUR rainbow cake for Gladys... I was not up for 6 layers, but I think the results are so very impressive. But then, you've got the impressive thing down pat :)

gerlisa said...

love it and the dress is gorgeous (not to speak of your cute girl ;) )