May 16, 2015

Rainbow Cake

This Rainbow Cake has been a long time coming - we're talking five years!  Procrastination is not a trait I am friendly with.  I'm the type that likes to cross things off my to do list as soon as possible but for some reason I waited such a long time to make this cake.   Not anymore.

I'd first seen it featured on the blog Whisk Kid and then later on the Martha Stewart Show.   I loved how the rainbow of colorful cake layers is hidden behind a veil of unassuming white Swiss meringue buttercream.   There's just something so joyful about this surprise that it always makes me smile.

For the cake layers I used the recipe from Cook's Country's Confetti Layer Cake.  I like that it contains cake flour instead of all-purpose and uses a reverse creaming method to make the batter.    I find the crumb of the baked cake is so much more tender this way.   

I have a feeling I'll be getting many requests from family and friends to make this cake again and again.  But since it makes me so happy I don't mind!

Rainbow Cake

Makes one 9" cake

6 large egg whites, room temperature
2/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups (12 ounces) cake flour
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened 
 red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple gel food color (I like Americolor)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease six 9-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper and grease parchment. [I only had four pans so baked the cake layers in batches.]

Whisk together egg whites, milk, and vanilla in bowl.

Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed, about 30 seconds. With mixer running, add butter, 1 piece at a time, until incorporated and mixture resembles moist crumbs. Add all BUT1/2 cup egg mixture and mix until just combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add remaining 1/2 cup egg mixture in slow stream. Scrape down bowl and beat on medium-high speed until well combined, about 15 seconds.

Divide batter evenly in to six bowls.  [By weight is the most accurate.  I weighed the empty mixing bowl at the beginning and once again after the batter was done.  I then took the difference and divided by six to determine the weight of each cake layer.

Add about one teaspoon of gel food color paste to each bowl and mix thoroughly so the color is evenly distributed.   Pour batter in to prepared pans and smooth tops with rubber spatula. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 11 minutes.

Let cakes cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and let cool completely on rack, about 30 minutes. 

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
7 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 sticks (2 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut in to 24 pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place sugar, egg whites and salt in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.

Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.

Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don't worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add vanilla extract, and beat just until combined.

To Assemble Cake:

Place the purple layer on a cake plate or cardboard round.  Spread 1 1/2 cups of buttercream evenly over the cake with an offset spatula.  Repeat process with blue, green, yellow, orange and red, filling with buttercream between each layer.  
Crumb coat the cake by applying a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake and chill for 30 minutes. Then use the remaining buttercream to frost the cake. Using a large offset spatula smooth the sides and top of the cake.  Refrigerate cake.  
Before serving let it sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...