Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Cake)

Hi Mamas!  Some of you have been asking for the recipe for the Rainbow Cake I made for Paige’s 4th birthday party, so – viola! Ask and you shall receive! (Warning: it’s a bit of a mish-mash of recipes I’ve collected and adapted, but they were chosen after many years of trial and error, so stick with them!).



Cake recipe:

Hands down, the best white cake recipe I’ve ever tried. It’s easy, and simple to follow. I’ll tell you this – having the ingredients at room temperature is key!
Each batch makes two 8-inch rounds, or 2 layers (or, if you want a smaller cake, 4 layers – simply cut each finished round in half with a serrated knife). So, for this rainbow cake I made each batch 3 times.
Each recipe is about 5 cups, so to split the recipe in two before dying the cake batter, separate into 2 bowls – approx. 2 ½ cups per bowl.
Also, be sure to use GEL food coloring. The color is much more vibrant, and it won’t change the consistency of the batter. (I used Wilton Gel food coloring – available at any large grocery or at a Target that carries groceries.)
As a sidenote, I use these tips as my ‘baking bible’. Seriously, I’m on something like my 5th version because I keep getting cake batter all over it and have to reprint them! Learn them, use them, love them!
Ingredients:
Cake:
            1-1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
            7 large egg whites, at room temperature
            1 whole egg, at room temperature
            1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
            1/2 teaspoon almond extract
            4 cups cake flour, sifted
            2-1/4 cups sugar
            1-3/4 tablespoons baking powder
            1 teaspoon salt
            1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
            6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Instructions
For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease, line with parchment and flour two round 8-inch pans.
In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir 1/2 cup of the milk, stir the egg whites, whole egg, vanilla and the almond extract. Set aside.
Sift cake flour twice. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients, including the sugar, together on low-speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.
Add the butter and shortening (I actually skipped the shortening and just altered the recipe for more butter, but to each his own!), blending on low-speed for about 30 seconds, then add remaining 1 cup of milk, and mix on low-speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1 -1/2 minutes (90 seconds), but no more.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg/milk/extract mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.
Pour 1/2 of your batter (~2 ½ cups) into each prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife.
Bake cake layers two-at-a-time in center of oven and 2″ apart for 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not over-bake. Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals. Let cool on racks for 20 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.
Wash the 2 cake pans and line, grease and flour again and repeat.
Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Best enjoyed day 1 or 2.
Instructions
Icing:
            2-1/2 cups (5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
            5-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
            4-1/2 tablespoons milk
            1-1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract pinch or two of salt
For the Whipped Vanilla Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 3-5 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale & creamy.
Add remaining ingredients and mix on low-speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy. Best used right away (for ideal spreading consistency), but keeps well once frosted.
After I iced the cake I used a small tip to add a small ‘line’ around the base and the top of the cake. I then added small gumballs. Wait until the last minute for this, or else the gumballs will bleed into the white icing.

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