Why are there so many, songs about Rainbows and what's on the other siiiiiiiiiide?
Perhaps it's because rainbows are one of the most uplifting, joyful images we have. =)
When I was volunteering at no. 3's class to teach the pre-nursery kids to play with their food (;P), I promised the class that I would make them a rainbow cake. The night before, I made friends with a lovely lady, Selphie, who blogged about making a Rainbow Cake. Instantly, I was inspired to try my hand at this. After all, the premise was simple - tinting the cake batter and then assembling it - but the effect! Wow!
In the interim period, some of no. 3's friends would remind me of my promise whenever I go to the school to fetch no. 2 & 3. Since this was the last week of school, I decided to get this done, otherwise they would probably forget about the whole idea of eating a rainbow! ;)
I would have used a cake mix for this in a pinch, but I didn't quite have the time this week to hit the stores. Therefore, I googled for a simple cake mix, and this one had good reviews. In addition, what I like about this recipe is that I needn't separate the eggs. For me, simplicity is key! ;)
I knew that a 7-layer cake would be quite tall if I doubled the basic cake recipe, so I went for 1.5 times the recipe. In all, the cake was a good size to share with a class of 10 preschoolers and their teachers.
The Vanilla* Cake Recipe
* I use Vanilla extract here, but I suppose you can substitute it for any essence you like. No. 1 is already thinking of mango or lemon... ;P
300 g white sugar
170 g butter
15 ml vanilla extract
280 g all-purpose flour (sifted together with the baking powder)
10 g baking powder
180 ml milk
Red, Yellow and Blue Wilton Food Colouring Gel
- In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until the butter lightens. This would take about 8 minutes.
- Add in the eggs one at a time, creaming each one well after cracking it in. Scrape down, mix, and then crack in the next egg.
- Add in the vanilla extract. (Or any other substitute.)
- Make 3 batches of the flour mix and 2 batches of the milk. Add in the flour to the cream mix first, followed by milk, flour, milk and finally flour. At each addition, make sure to mix it well.
- Being one of those needing exact measurement, I weighed out the cake batter - 1073g - and divided it up into 7 portions - about 153g each portion.
- Using the 3 primary colours, add enough gel paste to colour the portions Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet and Indigo (Dark Purple).
- Line and grease 2 or 3 8-inch cake pans and bake them in a 165 degC oven for 15 minutes. Once the cake is done, turn it out onto a cake rack, and reline the cake pan for the next layer.
- Allow all the cake layers to cool before frosting.
Because I baked the night before frosting, I placed each layer of cake on a dinner plate, covered it with a plastic food wrap and put it in the fridge overnight.
Assembling the cake
I used the butter-cream cheese frosting that I've posted before, but used vanilla extract instead of strawberry, in order not to clash with the vanilla cake.
- Starting from the indigo layer, use about 1 heaped tablespoon of the frosting to coat the layer before placing the violet layer on. Do likewise to the violet layer all the way until you get to the red layer. While frosting the layers, take care to 'fill-in' the sides, especially if your cake layers are like mine, tapering off at the sides.
Frosting, frosting... And building upwards... until the last layer... Of course, frost the final red layer and sides before putting it in the fridge. =)
- Once the cake has a frosted coat, return it into the freezer to harden before frosting the cake proper.
I toyed with the idea of making a fluffy looking frosting that is cloud-like, but because of time (I had to tie no. 2 hair for school!!!) I kept the frosting simple.
At the school, I talked to the preschoolers (3-year-olds) about the colours they see in the sky - blue, pinks and black - and the colours of clouds. We talked about favourite colours and those that can be found in a rainbow... and then I cut a slice out and their eyes literally widened! =)
We didn't do this, but I suppose we could have sung:
Red and yellow and pink and green
Purple and orange and blue
I can EAT a rainbow,
EAT a rainbow,
EAT a rainbow too.