Rainbow Cake

Ingredients for Cake:
  • Vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple gel food coloring. I used Ameri Color soft gel paste from Suzy’s Sweet Tooth in Montclair. (#120 Super Red, #113 Orange, #107 Lemon Yellow, #111 Leaf Green, #102 Royal Blue, #130 Regal Purple
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 2 x 8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
  • 6 cups of confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Directions for Cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush six 9-inch-round cake pans (or as many 9-inch cake pans as you have, reusing them as necessary) with shortening. Line bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper (You can make (3) 9×9 squares which will make 6 circles); brush again and set aside. This helps remove the cake from the pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Slowly add egg whites and mix until well combined. Add vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Add flour mixture and milk in two alternating additions, beginning with the flour and ending with the milk. Mix until well combined.

3. Divide batter evenly between six medium bowls. Should be a perfect cup of cake batter in each bowl. Add enough of each color of food coloring to each bowl, whisking, until desired shade is reached. It’s about 3-5 squirts. Clean whisk between each color. Transfer each color to an individual cake pan. Transfer to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 15-17 minutes (working in batches if necessary).

4. Remove cakes from oven and transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 10 minutes. Place cooked cakes onto a wire rack; let cool completely.
5. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. I didn’t have to do this. They all came out perfect. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. I didn’t do this step. I just put the purple cake on a nice large plate. Place the purple layer on the cake plate. Spread filling over the first layer with a small offset spatula so it extends just beyond edges. About 3/4 cup. Repeat process with blue, green, yellow, and orange layers.

6. Place the remaining red layer on top, bottom-side up. Gently sweep away any loose crumbs with a pastry brush. Using an offset spatula, cover the top and sides with a thin layer of frosting (also use any of the excess frosting visible between the layers). Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.

7. Using an offset spatula, cover cake again with remaining frosting.

8. Put your favorite sprinkles and decor on the top. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Yield: Makes one 9-inch-round six-layer cake

*** This does take a few hours unless you have 6 of the 9 inch pans and bake them all at once. I only had two so I had to bake three different times. I am going back to purchase 4 more for future layer cakes. Thinking of making one for Easter with pastel colors and one for 4th of July with red, white, and blue.

Directions for Cream Cheese Frosting:

1. In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla.

2. Beat until creamy.

My Rainbow Cake Story:

On January 12, 2012, I was walking out of the restaurant at Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. I noticed a beautiful rainbow cake in their dessert case. On my drive home I researched rainbow cake recipes on Google because I had to make that cake. I came across one that Martha Stewart had posted. I called my local cake store: Suzy’s Sweet Tooth to see what time they closed because I noticed I would need Gel food coloring and I knew I didn’t have that. Gel food coloring is not the same as regular food coloring. It’s very thick. The Owner said they closed in 15 minutes but they would stay open for me if I got there after closing. That night I prepared the layers for the cake and the next night I prepared the frosting and took the cake to a friend’s birthday party. It was a total hit and it tasted WONDERFUL. Martha Stewart uses a recipe for a Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream when she makes her Rainbow Cake. I love my cream cheese frosting so I went the safe route and made my frosting with her rainbow cake. Next time I will try her Buttercream recipe.


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