Thursday, 11 July 2013

I am the Rainbow Princess

This cake has intrigued me for a long time. Unfortunately for me, this is a Plan-and-Bake cake. One cannot simply come home after a day at work and decide 'Oh, I'd like to bake a rainbow cake today!' So, here it is finally in all its glory, baked and iced over 2 days at a leisurely pace with Opus playing in the background. 

This is how I'm feeling right now. As someone put it quite aptly - full of rainbows and white roses. Long  before this song became the anthem for some friends, this song was only famous for being sung by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz and winning an Oscar for Best Original Song

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me
Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then oh why can't I?

If happy bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow why oh why can't I?


9 ounces (250g) Butter, softened
10 ounces (283g) Caster Sugar
12 ounces (340g) Plain Flour 
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
5 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
1 teaspoon Orange Essence (optional)
8 tablespoons Full Cream Milk

Preheat the oven to 140 Celsius. Grease and line a 18cm round cake tin. 

Cream Butter and Sugar until pale with an electric mixer. Beat in Eggs one by one beating well between each addition. Beat in Vanilla and Orange essences. Fold in Flour by hand alternately with Milk beginning and ending with Flour. Beat batter for a few seconds with the electric mixer to ensure everything is well incorporated. 

Divide batter into 6 bowls (about 1 1/4 cups of batter each). Colour the batter red, yellow, orange, green, blue and purple. (I used approximately 1/8 teaspoon of the Wilton gel icing colours for each bowl) Mix the colours well into each divided batch of the batter.
Pour the red batter into the prepared tin and bake in the pre-heated oven at 140 Celsius for about 15 minutes or until a skewer poked through the centre of the cake comes out clean. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.
Repeat with all the rest of the batter until all the colours are baked and cooled.
Store the layers between squares of baking paper (beginning and ending with baking paper, beginning with the red layer and finishing with purple) in a large tupperware overnight in the fridge.
Note - I had only one 18cm round cake tin. I pre-cut 6 rounds of baking paper and in between baking each layer, washed, dried, greased and lined the tin. I did this 6 times for the 6 layers. It takes about 3 hours to bake the 6 layers if you only have one baking tin.

BUTTERCREAM ICING (makes about 3 cups)
(Adapted from Cake Connection)

160g Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Orange Essence
1/4 teaspoon Salt
3 tablespoons Full Cream Milk
450g Icing Sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon Meringue Powder

Cream Butter with Essence and Milk. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. Continue mixing until mixture is creamy.
Note - I made 2 batches of the icing recipe above. It made just enough icing to sandwich, crumb-coat and pipe the roses on. For a tutorial on piping the roses, please see HERE

  1. Remove the cakes from the fridge. 
  2. Peel the baking paper off the purple cake and place it on a cake board just slightly larger than the circumference of the cake. 
  3. Insert pieces baking paper around the cake covering the cake board (as you see in the photo).
  4. Using an offset spatula, spread some buttercream on the top of the purple cake.
  5. Next, take the blue cake, peel off the baking paper and place it on top of the purple cake. Repeat with the icing and build the cake with the rest of the colours in this same way.
  6. Once done, crumb-coat the the cake and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.
  7. Remove from the fridge and pipe on the roses. 
  8. Pull out the pieces of baking paper. They have done their job of keeping the board clean while you ice the cake.
  9. Once done, put the cake back into the fridge to set. Leave it for 30 minutes to an hour before cutting. 
  • I used Queen's Orange Essence.
  • I used Wilton Gel Colours to colour the cakes. 
  • I used Salted Butter in both the cake and the icing. 
  • I used a Wilton 1M tip to pipe the roses. 
  • For a sturdier icing, please use 80g of butter and 80g of shortening in the icing recipe above. This will hold up better in hot weather, while an all-butter icing tends to melt quickly. 

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