Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rainbow Cake - Tutorial


I absolutely love rainbows, and since Hello Kitty and Rainbows just go together, I KNEW this was going to be the inside of my little one's birthday cake!

Let's get started!

You'll Need:
Your white or yellow cake recipe or 2 boxes of white or yellow cake mix (I found it helpful to make one recipe at a time)
8 or 9" cake pans (I used 9)

2 containers of store bought icing (I chose white, as it showed the colors off)
1 FULL box of neon food coloring
A long, sharp, serrated knife (Bread or Slicing Knife works great)
Wax Paper
Cake Stand
4 dowels or drinking straws
Cake Topper

If you'd like to try the icing technique too...

You'll Need:
4 containers of store bought icing.
1 petal tip (I used 103)
Piping Bag or Ziploc Bag
coupler that fits your bag

Lets start on the cake 1st:
Preheat your oven to 350, and spray your cake pans with non-stick spray.  Make sure you spray them REALLY good.  I hear using the kind with flour in it is great, but regular is all I had on hand.

With your 1st recipe of prepared cake batter, divide the mixture evenly into 3 bowls.

I used 3 bowls, since I only had 3 same sized cake pans, so was doing batches of 3.
Since I was using 3 bowls, I used a 1/3c. measuring utensil so that everything would be divided evenly.  I found by using this technique, it makes the layers absolutely perfect.

Now before you go and get carried away....read on.
Start with the food coloring that you want at the bottom.  For instance, I wanted my layers to be: Hot Pink, Pink, Orange, Green, Blue, and Purple. So for my 1st batch, I used Green, Blue, and Purple, because you want to start from the bottom and work your way up as the cakes come out of the oven. 

Food Coloring Tips:
1.) Watch your counter surface.  Our counter tops are white, and now I have Hot Pink streaks from where some missed my bowl.  Nothing a little clorox couldn't fit, but needless to say, it could have been prevented.  Next time I will put wax paper, or an old towel down 1st!
2.) If you are using red for one of your colors, use black and red food colorings to make it a true red.  I have to throw this out there, because I have seen so many accidental salmon & peach colored cakes that were supposed to be red, and people just don't know what they're doing wrong.  That's why I am here!

People don't know what to do, or how to fix the "problem" if they're not provided with the knowledge and tools.  Once you try this, you'll be grateful you read this one day! :)

PS: Black food coloring is available everywhere.  Walmart, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Target, Cake Shops, you name it.  I purchased mine at Wally, and use it for everything! They also sell true color coloring, like Duff's.  It's a little more $, but you don't have the guessing game.  Duff's is available at Michael's, but do some checking around.


Yep, it was a mess!

Moving on...
Once you have your 3 bowls separated, add your coloring and stir to combine.  I just used a regular ol' spoon.

Once your color pallet is achieve, spoon and scrap bowl contents into your prepared cake pans.  I continuously stirred while pouring.  My bowls were small, so some of the bottom contents were still white.

Once your pans are filled, slap them on the counter top to release all the air bubbles, then place them in your preheated oven for 11 min's.  This was the perfect time for mine.  (Remembering that I used 3, 9" pans)
After the 11 min's, take your cakes out, and place them on a cooling rack.  VERY IMPORTANT here!  Seriously...

While cakes are cooling, I start whipping up my other cake batch, and begin lining my cake stand with wax paper.  Lining your stand is completely optional, but I find using wax paper helps keep the icing off the cake stand, which once again saves time and clean up.
It easily slides out from underneath the cake when you're ready to frost or serve
 Stacking:

This is where we go picture-less, for the most part...Sorry folks!

To take the cakes out of your cake pans, make sure they are cool to the touch.  If you can handle them easily, they'll be easier to work with and shouldn't (key word there) break.

To do this:  I personally just line the cake pan (between the cake and the pan) with a butter knife, then flip the cake into the palm of my hand.  If you're nervous about doing this, or haven't done it before, try using a plate.  I use my hand, because I figure it's less action on the cake before it gets to the cake stand.  Just practice, practice, practice.  I hear it makes perfect :)

Once you have your 1st layer on your cake stand,get down (eye level), to make sure your cake is even across the top, if it is...*high fives*...if not...no big deal!  All you do, is take your long serrated knife and cut across the top until it's even.  FYI: You should only be removing small portions of the cake.  They should be little silvers. See below:

After your cake is evened out, lightly ice the top layer, then continue stacking and icing your layers, until your completely done.
 Next, I always ice the outside of my cake 1st, but I believe the professional, insert their dowels at this point.  Pick whichever option you prefer, but I'll show you how I do it my way...

Ice the entire exterior of the cake, including the top:
 Now insert your dowels or straws:
and trim them down to the top of your cake...
Now it's time to frost!

Like I said before...I used a 103 petal tip, to make your ribbons, which I loved.  They have a 102 tip also if you prefer smaller, but I wanted the larger, more voluptuous ribbons.

There's not really a step by step process here, other than trial and error.  This was my 1st time using the ribbon technique and I was terrified of trying it because it was such a big day for our family.  Anyway, I'm glad I went ahead with my vision because the outcome was more than I could have expected.  From me anyway!

Preparing to frost:
Take your ziploc bag, and snip at an angle of the corner of the bag.  Don't take too much off because your coupler will slide through.  Always better to take not enough off, than too much!  Tip:  I find that it's better to cut smaller than you think you'll need and squeeze the coupler into the hole.  It makes for a nice snug fit and you don't have to worry about icing sneaking out anywhere than through the tip itself.  Is it just me, or did that whole description sound a little kinky?! ;)

Once the tip is attached, fill your bag about 1/4 to the 1/2 way point full of frosting.  Don't overfill, or this might happen to you:
Party Foul!
Frosting:
I don't have any real photo's of how to's on this, so I will just try and pass on my tips.  Again, just do what feels right to you.  The 1st try, I did a small run on a saucer, just so I could get comfortable, and knew how fast the frosting would come out of the tip. 

On my 1st try, my line wasn't exactly straight, but I thought it was pretty good for an amateur, so with that attitude, I just kept going, and going.

  • I found that it's easiest if you glaze the frosting tip against the cake to keep a straight line.
  • That it's better to hold your "piping bag" closer to the tip than it is the back end of the frosting.  Now I know why the professionals use rubber bands, or whatever those things are called in the baking industry.
  • Seems to help if you keep the tip pointed down at an angle.
  • Believe it or not, it's actually very relaxing once you get the hang of it. 


Only one piece was saved. It was quickly devoured as soon as we delivered it to our neighbors.
 




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