Words by Selene Zhang, photos by ladyironchef
Let’s face it. Who doesn’t love pretty things? I first saw the rainbow cake a few years back and never ever thought that I would one day be attempting to make it. I have to say that this cake, till date, is the most challenging one ever for me. I’m not sure why, but making a 3-layered devil food cake sure looks easy-peasy compared to this.
This is a huge monstrous cake that requires quite a lot of time and patience. But if you feel up to it, and would just like to create some kitchen magic, go ahead and give it a try! Sometimes all we need is just a little magic to spice things up.
Below is the recipe for the rainbow cake. Enjoy!
Everything starts when you put the gel colours into each individual batter, and you know that something magical is going to come out from the oven. Who knew that you could make colourful cakes other than the legendary red velvet? And who knew that different coloured layers could come together and create such a magical cake? Slap on some butter-cream and you have a perfectly normal looking cake. People will doubt you when they see the extremely plain looking exterior. But trust me, once you cut a slice of the rainbow cake, people will be applauding once they see what’s inside, and the magic that you have created.
How to make a rainbow cake:
Recipe adapted from Whisk Kid
226g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/3cups (426g) granulated sugar
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups (426g) all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk at room temperature
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple gel paste colouring
Lemony Swiss Meringue Butter-cream
9 egg whites
1 ¾ cups (350) granulated sugar
452g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon extract
To make the cake:
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Butter and line as many 8-inch round pans that you have. If you have a weighing machine, weigh your mixer bowl and take down the weight of it.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Next, using your stand mixer or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on high speed till light and fluffy. Change the speed to medium-low and mix in the vanilla extract and then slowly add the egg whites and blend till fully incorporated.
Switch the speed to low, and using the wet-dry ingredients alternating method, add in one third of the milk and one third of the flour mixture. Keep alternating, ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary and mix it till it all comes together.
Using your weighing machine, weigh the mixer bowl again and minus off the initial weight. Divide the weight by 6 and portion the batter in individual bowls accordingly to the weight that you have calculated. Each batter should get around 263g.
Using a toothpick or metal teaspoon, tint your batter using the gel paste colourings till you get your desired shades. Pour the batter into the lined pans and bake for 15mins each. One done, let it cool in the pans for about 10mins before removing it and letting it cool completely.
Meanwhile, while your cakes are baking, prepare the butter-cream. Using a double boiler method, put the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Whisk the mixture continuously until the sugar is completely dissolved. To know if it is done, test it by simply rubbing the mixture between your fingers. It should feel smooth and velvety.
Once the mixture is cooked, transfer it to your electric mixer and beat it on high speed until room temperature. You should get a huge mass of white meringue when that is done.
Switch the speed to medium-low and slowly add in your butter. Do not add all at once as it will crumble the meringue and the cream will not be smooth and fluffy. Once all the butter is in, switch the mixer back to high speed and whip it until it all comes together, for about 5 mins. Add in the lemon extract and beat briefly.
To assemble the cake, simply put some frosting in between each layers, frost the entire cake and you’re done! You have just created some magic to impress others.
So there you have it, the magical rainbow cake. Cut a slice out and enjoy every bit of the rainbow goodness.
Selene is a food and fashion lover who co-owns local online fashion label Klarra.com. Baking has been her interest since the first lesson in home economics during her teenage years and she aims to open a bakery in the future. Fashion and food is her life and you can read more about her here. She’s also taking orders for the rainbow cake, you can contact her at [email protected]