Way back in April I made this super fun “Rainbow Cake” for Missy’s and my daughter’s fourth Birthday party,
and today I’m going to teach you how to make a variation of it.
Don’t let the size fool you, this cake is NOT hard to make. Believe me, if I can make it, you can too! I have zero experience doing any of this professionally, and the only cooking classes I have ever taken date back to grade school.
The reason for the variation is that when my son Logan was deciding what kind of cake he wanted for his 9th Birthday he said, in an ever so “grown up” tone that made me feel OLD- “Mom I want a great big COOL cake like Layla’s, except I don’t want it to have all of those “girlie” colors! Do you think you could make that for me?” Here is what I came up with.
So, first things first, the coloring of the cakes is really the only difference. Logan’s cake is a “water themed” cake, so the colors gradually turn from blue to green. I figured that since we were going boating on his birthday this was a pretty good adaptation from the rainbow cake. The only other difference, is the candy on the outside. For Layla’s I used “Spree” Candy, and for Logan’s I used the little chewy circle candies that you can find everywhere. Missy had this brilliant idea b/c they look like “life preservers” on the “waves” around the cake. It’s a bit of a stretch, but I like it!
You will need:
Food Coloring (I just use the normal watery kind)
1 Jar of Marshmallow Fluff
2 WHITE Cake Mixes
Applesauce (or oil)
Lemon Flavoring (optional)
Candy of Your Choice
Parchment Paper (or wax paper)
Circle Cake Pans (you can try different shapes, it just makes it harder to stack)
Empty Cereal Box (or any box big enough to trace the pan)
and the parchment paper, to trace it six times.
Cut out, and set aside.
STEP2- Mix first cake, following instructions on the back of the box, making sure NOT to use yokes (it will mess up your colors).
I also substitute applesauce instead of using oil. 1cup oil = 1cup applesauce. It’s healthier, and I swear it tastes better if you use the sauce!
STEP4- Divide batter into three bowls, and add the coloring. I used 20 drops of food coloring for each cake, so for Layla’s it was 20-red(for red), 10-red&10-yellow(for orange)…! Logan’s was a little bit different b/c I wanted a gradual change, so I came up with this-(1) 20-blue, (2) 16-blue&4-green, (3) 12-blue&8green, (4) 8-blue&12green, (5) 4-blue&16green, and (6) 20-green!
Place parchment paper in bottom of pan, pour onto parchment paper, and bake.You can follow the baking instructions on the box, just remember each cake is 1/3 of the batter, and not 1/2, so it will take a little less time. Repeat this process with the second cake as well.
STEP5- Once they are cool enough, release the cake from the pan; run your knife around the outside,
put your hand on top of the cake, and pop it out.
Next, partially freeze the cakes, this will make them easier to level (step six). I like to put them separately onto paper plates, and let them rest in the freezer for a half hour or so. That means while you are cooking the second two cakes, the first two can be resting in the freezer, and so on, and so forth.
STEP6- Stacking and leveling the cakes requires a little patience, and a big knife! First take your big bread knife and cut the rounded part of each cake off.
Once you have all six tops off, make sure they are level, and trim off a little more if necessary.
Then lay your cardboard circle down on a big plate. (you will want to freeze the stacked cake before you finish frosting it, so don’t use your cake plate yet).
SIDE NOTE- Please do not let the following information deter you from making this cake. I promise it only takes a little extra time, and hardly any skill. O.k., so I’m just going to come right out and say it, I use three different kinds of frosting for this cake. I know it sounds a smidgen ridiculous, but I promise it’s worth it! To make it sound better it’s actually only two, the second is the first one watered down. So that’s not too crazy is it? I love how we all have set in our minds the things we will do, and the things we won’t do to decorate, or bake, or clean, or yada, yada, yada! So all I really have to say is if you are willing to make this cake, then you should be willing to make three different frosting’s right? I even named them to make it more fun.
#1- Lemonytastic Frosting
1 lb Powdered Sugar
1 stick of Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Lemon Flavoring
1/4 cup water
#2.- Crummy Lemon Frosting
same as #1., just cut the recipe in half, and add some water to make it runny enough for your crum coat (step7 ).
#3.-Marshmallow Fluffy Perfection
(recipe on STEP8)
O.k. back to STEP 6- Spread a little smidgen of the Lemonytastic Frosting on the cardboard round, then place your first cake down (don’t forget to take the parchment paper off).
Next, spread a generous 1/4’ish inch layer of the same frosting on the first layer, then place the next cake round down.
Repeat these steps till the cake is stacked. Be sure to frost the top of the cake with your Lemonytastic Frosting cause it tastes so yummy!!!
Once you have your cake to this point, just pop it in the freezer for a half hour while you make frosting #2.
STEP 7- Coating the cake with Crummy Lemon Frosting. Depending on the day, you will need to add more or less water, so we took a pic of what it should look like. Don’t worry, if it gets too runny just add some more powdered sugar.
Next, spread #2. frosting over the whole cake.
The frosting will get all crummy by the time you’re finished with the crumb coat, which is the whole point. So, to sum things up,
the “crumb coat” stops the “crummy cake” from ruining the “real frosting,”
which is the Marshmallow Fluffy Perfection!
Once it is all covered, (yes it will look that ugly), pop it in the freezer overnight, or for a few hrs till the crumb coat hardens.
Cook over low heat, beating continuously with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
Pull the cake out of the freezer, and transfer it onto the cake plate. Oh wait, put two pieces of parchment paper down on the cake plate before you transfer the cake. This way you can do your decorating without messing up the cake plate. Next you will want to smear dollops of frosting onto the cake.
Once the entire cake is covered,
take the spatula and make the frosting swirl around in random circles.
Slowly pull out the parchment paper, and now you get to decorate! Lays, and her friend Macey, couldn’t just watch anymore and insisted on helping.
And here is my beaming Birthday Boy, with his little bro, and his “non-girlie” cake.
Making this cake takes a bit more time than a single layer cake, but Logan loved it, and that’s what makes it all worth while. My only caution is that you invite enough people to eat the whole thing, or it will call to you at all hours of the day and night!
P.S. My friend told me that the “HowDoesShe” readers might just be thinking,”Who is this new writer named Em?” If you thought that, I’m sorry, I probably should have introduced myself a little better. I’m the Emily that Missy introduced in her “3 FUN First Day of School Traditions” post. She is one of my bestest friends, and I somehow managed to worm my way into getting her to let me write for this site. I consider myself super lucky to know the “HowDoesShe” girls in “REAL LIFE!” All three of them are great, darling, kind, spunky, and just plain fabulous Women! Thanks so much for letting me share a little bit of what I do on your site ladies.