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A Rainbow Birthday Cake


I made this cake for Max's birthday and thought I'd share it with you as it is surprisingly simple and it makes you feel super happy when you cut it and it looks like that! And everyone goes..."oh wow!"

I have seen plenty of these rainbow cakes on Pinterest and always wanted an excuse to have a go at making one but my oldest two are very set on their chocolate birthday cakes. But Max is yet to really understand birthdays and the all important cake, so I thought I'd leap at the opportunity to make him one before he joins the chocolate club.

Most of the recipes I came across online were American or involved packet cake mix, so I got the general idea and then went to my fail safe Nigella sponge cake, doubled the mixture and then split it into five bowls. I added food colouring to each bowl and then cooked the cakes two at a time, as I only have two matching cake tins!

Once the cakes were all cooled I began to layer them up with vanilla butter icing between each layer. I actually love to use Betty Crocker icing because we all like it and I know that it's never going to let me down. Homemade icing sometimes lets me down and if I'm building up a 5 layer cake I want the icing to be perfect! As you layer the cake you may want to slice any bumps off the tops of the sponges to help the cake to be more stable. Once it's all together you then spread the whole thing with more icing and decorate it how you want to. If I didn't put Smarties on top of all birthday cakes my children may go into serious panic and for Max I also added a cute rocket and spaceman candle. 

Here's the sponge recipe I used, adapted from Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess. This recipe provides enough for this whole cake (ie 5 layers), so you don't need to double it! 

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and butter your cake tins.

450g unsalted butter
450g caster sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
8 large eggs
450g self-raising flour (or 400g of self-raising flour plus 50g of cornflour)
About 4 tablespoons of milk

Cream the butter and sugar, add the vanilla extract and eggs, followed by the flour and milk. Beat well and then divide between 5 bowls. Add enough food colouring to each bowl to create your desired colour and then bake your cakes for 20-25 minutes. 

Leave to cool and layer as I've described above.

I didn't know until we cut it today whether it had really worked but that was all part of the excitement and joy. Happy baking! x

{ps If I'd known it was going to work so well I would have taken more photographs as I went, so apologies for that!}

My new favourite magazine: Flow

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