Friday, August 12, 2011

Rainbow Birthday Cake

My baby girl turned 6 yesterday. I had been planning a surprise party for her for months, and when she walked into the party room at the Pizza Factory and all her friends yelled "Surprise!", I cried. It should not come as a shock to anyone who knows me that I am not a normal person-but it was a very exciting moment. Although, not really for her-she was a little too shocked, and hid behind my mom.

We had a great time eating pizza, opening presents, having cake, and playing a few arcade games- but I didn't have a chance to take any spectacular photos of the cake, due to the fact I was constantly fielding such inquiries as:

"Do you know I have the loosest tooth in history?"
"Will you tell Owen to stop?"
"Did you know Belle stuck her hand in the cake?"

Dylan and I saw this cake online (originally created by food blogger, and featured on Martha Stewart). Dylan decided she just had to have it (mainly, because I thought it was the shiznit and I told her she just had to have it), and it turned out amazing (there was shrieking from every guest when I cut into it!), and it is really pretty simple to do when you have a plan. 

Rainbow Birthday Cake

2 boxes vanilla cake mix
2 small boxes vanilla pudding
8 eggs
2 cups sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. each of: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 6 9-inch cake pans (If you don't have six, just bake however many at a time and keep the rest of the batter in the fridge.)
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients but the food coloring. Mix until smooth. Measure out
1 1/3 cups of batter into 6 small bowls. Stir in one color of food coloring into each. 
Pour the batter into the prepared pans, and bake 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

For the frosting I went with a less-rich recipe since there are six cake layers. I didn't want anyone going into a coma. This recipe is adapted from my Magnolia Bakery cookbook, and while the method is a little different, the frosting is super creamy and light. (Not to be confused in any way with "lite".)

Creamy Vanilla Frosting

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
6 (It's true.) sticks butter, softened
3 cups granulated sugar
3 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium sized saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick-like a custard. Cover with plastic wrap directly onto the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. (I made the mistake of putting mine in the freezer, causing the mixture to get too cold-and I ended up with some lumpies. So make sure to bring it just to room temp.)
In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.
Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes (longer if it hasn't come together-it will), until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes, and use immediately. 

For the assembly:
I am going to recommend you go with the scientifical pattern of rainbows, which scientists remember by this simple rhyme: Rabbits (red) Often (orange) Yodel (yellow) in a Great (green) Big (blue) Voice (violet). Apparently I have retained something from the 4th grade.

A frosting tip: since you'll have some dark colored cake crumbs, it's a good idea to do a crumb-coat. First, frost between each layer, then do a thin coat of frosting on the entire outside. Refrigerate until firm. Then, frost the outside with a thicker layer. The crumbs will stay trapped in the cooled frosting, and you'll be able to get a pure white outside. 

My offspring.

6 year olds + arcade games = plenty of yelling

I found these funny rainbow glasses along with rainbow slap bracelets and rings (and the favor boxes) on the website I also ordered some little canvas coin purses from them for the girls to keep their arcade tokens in-that way they didn't lose them, and everybody knew how many they had. Their website has all kinds of great party favors for super cheap. (Oriental Trading has no idea who I am, but they will be receiving a bill for my mention.)


  1. Great work with the cake! Happy Birthday to Dylan.
    Love the picture of Owen! - as the mom of boys who are 20 and 16 1/2, this kind of behavior will only continue in increasing magnitude.

  2. awesome cake! I love it! That picture of Owen is classic! Brad started putting pretzels in his nose and laughing... I only see this picture of Brad in the future... Heaven help us!marianne