If you know me in real life or have been reading here for a while you know that I often have grand ideas that just don’t play out in reality. Well, it happened, once again, with Boo’s birthday cake.
Several weeks before the birthday Matt sent me the link to a great rainbow cake and told me that he thought I should make it for Boo’s birthday. I debated and debated what to do for his cake and finally decided that I would, indeed, attempt to recreate the rainbow cake. (check out the link in the first sentence; the rest of the post will make more sense if you see the “idea” cake.)
I, as I tend to do, waited until the last minute to set to work on said cake. As in I was looking at the recipe and buying the ingredients the morning of his birthday.
First things first. When I read the recipe thoroughly I noticed that it was going to take 19 egg whites, yes, nineteen. I decided that instead of making the cooked buttercream in the recipe I would make Wilton’s buttercream and use lemon extract instead of vanilla to flavor it. That part worked fine and the icing was very tasty.
As for the cake itself. I gathered all of my ingredients, my gel food coloring, my Kitchenaid stand mixer, and my new kitchen scale. I prepared the cake batter (of course, all three kids woke up from naps right as I started putting ingredients in the bowl) and set it on the scale. I figured in my head the weight I would need to make each layer in order to get six colored layers.
I divided the first couple of layers out and added the appropriate food colors (red and orange). I oiled the pans as directed and popped them in the oven to bake. While those two layers were in the oven I prepared the yellow layer and got it in my third cake pan and then set to work dividing and coloring the green and blue layers.
As I weighed the batter for the green layer I realized that I wasn’t going to have enough batter to make both a blue and a purple layer as well. Oh well, five layers would be fine, not a big deal.
Meanwhile, the red and orange layers are out of the oven and have cooled in the pans for about 10 minutes. I flipped the pans to release the cakes onto the cooling rack and the cakes didn’t budge. I ran a table knife around the edges of the pans and tried again. Still nothing. I put the pans upside down on the cooling rack and banged on the bottom of each pan. Nada. Finally, I scraped the red and orange cakes out of the pans and ended up with piles of cake crumbles, very sticky cake crumbles (which tasted delicious, by the way).
At this point the yellow layer was in the oven. I tried to decide if there was anything I could do to salvage the crumbled layers or if I should just scrap the idea and go buy a cake. After much deliberation it was decided that the cake preparations would continue and we would just go with whatever we ended up with (even if that meant cake crumbs instead of a cake). So, when I prepared the pans for the green and blue layers I greased and floured them to see if that would make them release better.
The yellow layer came out of the oven and Matt was able to (very) delicately work on the cake and get it out of the pan in one piece. One down, two to go.
The green and blue layers finished baking and cooling, and I set to work trying to remove them from the pans. The greasing and flouring of pans did not make a bit of difference; they were just as stuck as the other layers. Matt again worked his cake releasing magic and we had three layers for the cake.
I moved the yellow layer from the cooling rack to the glass plate on which I was going to assemble the cake. The plan was to let the green and blue layers cool and then assemble the cake as green layer on the bottom, yellow layer in the middle, and blue layer on top. When I went to pick up the yellow layer to put the green layer on the plate, the yellow layer was not going to come off easily. Scratch that idea.
We ended up with a yummy cake composed of yellow, green, and blue layers. It wasn’t exactly what I set out to create, but it was a delicious cake (the lemony icing was a perfect complement to the cake) and we ate every bite. Most importantly, Boo really liked it.