I always try and make my own birthday cake for the little Crayons when I can, for a number of reasons. The main one being that if I make it I know what ingredients has gone into it and Miss Crayons elaborate tastes changes year on year, so it’s hard to find a supermarket that can keep up with her. Also, one of my best friends lives down the road and she knocks out some amazing cakes, so it’s a case of ‘keeping up with the Kiwis’.
In the previous years I have made a ‘Spencer Train’ cake, my first foray into the world of sugar paste. I also attempted an ‘Angelina ballerina’ cake which was a butter cream decoration experiment.
This year I set myself the task of creating a rainbow cake. The main reason being that Miss Crayons is obsessed with ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’, so when I saw the lovely Ruth Clemens’ (aka The Pink Whisk) rainbow cake on her blog I was totally inspired and knew I had to try it.
The main thing about this cake is that it’s huge! You also have to be very prepared and have all the cases lined and ready to go. I borrowed some colour paste and we chose a selection of colours, although we should have put more into the red. You also need to clear the fridge to chill the cake, Mr Crayon’s beers got relegated to the bench after a bit of protest.
Here are some photos of the preparation. I needed 2 large trays and a smaller tray. I wanted a rectangle cake, but you can do the same for with circular tins. You basically make a large cake mix and then split them into 5 bowls and add the colouring to each bowl. You then bake it all and then let each layer cool completely. Butter cream is used to bind the layers together and to seal the outside of the cake. It’s then left to cool for a couple of hours before being iced and decorated.
I had a rough idea that I wanted to make a coat of many colours and have the name in a Joseph font (circa. Jason Donovan) on the cake. In the end I used 1KGs of white sugar paste icing to cover it and make a small coat from.
I used the coloured paste to paint the coat, after a couple of attempts using food colouring (too watery) the paste was the best thing to use, just like doing a watercolour painting really. I finished off the detailing with a black food marker and some sparkly balls. There was a fine line between multicoloured coat and dressing gown, so after lots of ‘help and advice’ from my dinner guests I think we pulled it off. The little Crayons helped by adding the silver ball decorations to the sides and the board the following morning.
You were right Ruth, it was worth all the faffing to hear all the delighted ‘wows’ and the big smiles from the little people at the party and we managed to comfortably feed 25+ people with it.
If you would like to try this, please visit Ruth’s excellent blog for the recipe and step by step instructions on how to do it. Ruth was the first finalist of the BBC2’s The Great British Bake Off, so you know you are in excellent hands.