I love Rainbows. There is something so magical about them – I always stop in my tracks if I see one (although I feel like that is less since I was a child…weird). Anyhow, that might be why I decided on a Rainbow theme for Miss Marnie’s first birthday. I become obsessed with finding colourful decorations, party bag favours and even food.
One thing I was desperate to have was a rainbow cake. They aren’t new (I’ve had my fair share for office birthdays from the wonderful Konditor & Cook). But, I wanted it to be home made and knew it
would make a great picture.
I love baking – and became known as a bit of a domestic goddess at work (ha ha..) as I was always the one bringing in homemade cakes and treats for birthdays/leaving do’s and the like. But, since having Miss Marnie I bake less than I would like. And, knew it may be one thing to many to try and do whilst organising her party away from home and my trusted KitchenAid.
So, my lovely (and very talented) little sister stepped into true auntie mode and made it for us. She spent the week before the party baking it – and boy was it worth it – it was amazing! She also knocked up a smaller version especially for some cake smash picts (which was her idea too.) See what a lovely little sis and auntie she is….
I thought I would share the recipe we used and a few tips she discovered along the way.
* OUR RAINBOW BIRTHDAY CAKE *
We followed the Rainbow Birthday Cake recipe at BBC Good Food read it here (you can also follow your fave Victoria sponge recipe and just increase quantities.)
* Use the best quality colouring you can. You need to look for a paste variety – we used Wilton Icing Colour Gel Paste. They cost between £2-£3.50 each – but I found this great set of 6 Rainbow colours on eBay.
* Avoid the watery colouring version as they loosen the batter and can alter the taste – plus you don’t achieve the same vibrant rainbow shades.
* Divide the batter and add the colour slowly with a cocktail stick or a kebab stick. Mix until you have the right colour.
* Use the same size tin for each layer and if you only have 2 tins – bake in batches or use disposable cake or ‘flan’ cases.
* If you do bake in batches of 2 – this means you can follow just a classic double sponge recipe. It’s also a great way to make the whole process a little easier as you can spread it out across a few days…..(see next tip)
* As you can freeze the layers! Just wait until completely cool and wrap each layer in cling firm and place in the bottom of the freezer draws to avoid it breaking or cracking.
* Don’t be afraid of how the cake looks when they are baked – as we can come out dark and not at all colourful. Just cut out a little bit of cake to reveal the shade (this is always a great idea if you’re freezing the layers.)
* In fact freezing the layers is the trick to a great cake. As a ‘fresh’ cake makes for a crumbly sponge that is difficult to stack and ice.* Use butter icing to stack and ice the cakes while still frozen – believe it or not – it makes it so much easier. Ice the layers and ice the outside with a thin layer and leave in fridge to set and then repeat the outside frosting 2 or 3 more times (setting in between in the fridge). Do this the night before you need cake so it’s fully defrosted.
* The above BBC recipe starts with the red sponge as the bottom layer – we opted for red at the top so the rainbow colours were in order going down. But, that’s a personal choice.
* The fun part is the decoration. You can leave it plain and let the inside do all the talking or try rainbow coloured sprinkle or small sweets – be as creative as you like. We went for a Smartie covered top.
Amazing right? And, whats more it served about 18 adults and the 20 or so kids at the party.