Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Ultimate Rainbow Cake


The Ultimate Rainbow Cake. One that would wow the socks off people you gift it to. I've done a couple of Rainbow cakes but this is just about one of my very favourite. I challenged myself to match the layers with the Rainbow Petals on the outside. Well, I guess teaching has taught me one thing: PATIENCE. 

It was also a good time for me to take time off all the marking and lesson preparation to do what I like best: baking. It's already my 7th week into teaching and I am pretty much enjoying myself. It's not just delivering syllabus.. but helping kids. I become like a mother to some of my kids cos' they don't get the right support at home. It opens my eyes to the many sufferings of the world too, and in turn, be more thankful for the many good things I'm blessed with. 

Oh yes, speaking of blessings.. I've FINALLY GRADUATED! 


It's been a long long journey. But I've made it! When people tell you that you'll get no where with a low PSLE score, don't take them for real. 

I completed PSLE with 186. I was a "goner" in many people's eyes. Headed to Normal Academic in Xinmin. "Wasted" a year more than my peers. Thankfully, I did fairly well during my N and O levels to do my Diploma in Early Childhood Education. Then I "wasted" more time to do my second Diploma in Education with NIE. By God's grace, I crossover and did my degree with two years of no pay leave. After going one big round, I graduate today. 

So not doing well for PSLE is not the end. You just need that "waking moment". 

That aside,without my family, friends and the fav boy, I would never have gotten this far. It hasn't been easy by truly, with God's grace, I've made it! Praise The Lord!

Okay, merry stuff aside, I really like The Ultimate Rainbow Cake! (:


I'd rate this a difficulty level 5 out of 5 and it takes about 4 hours in all to complete.



Click on for the recipe..


The Ultimate Rainbow Cake
This recipe yields a 7 layer 8" round cake

The recipe is split into 3 batches to prepare and bake

BATCH 1 (Yields 2 layers)
160g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
110g unsalted butter
150g castor sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs (55 - 60g)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

BATCH 2 (Yields 2 layers)
160g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
110g unsalted butter
150g castor sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs (55 - 60g)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

BATCH 3 (Yields 3 layers)
240g plain flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
165g unsalted butter
225g castor sugar
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs (55 - 60g)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

*NOTE: What I did was to whip up one batch at once and bake one layer before the other. If your oven allows for even baking of 2 layers, by all means go ahead and bake them together (: 

Wilton Gel food colouring, I used 7 colours for 7 layers

Filling
625g cream cheese, thawed
275g unsalted butter, room temperature
412g icing sugar OR 300g icing sugar and 112g snow powder (for a less sweet version)
3 tbsp vanilla bean paste

Rainbow Petals
375g cream cheese
165g unsalted butter
247g icing sugar OR 180g icing sugar and 67g snow powder (for a less sweet version)
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla bean paste
Wilton Gel food colouring, I used 7 colours for 7 layers

Steps

Preheat oven to 170 degree Celsius. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.

Allow butter to 'warm' up to almost room temperature (I usually cube my chilled butter and let it thaw for 10 minutes in room temperature) and add the castor sugar. Whisk together till creamy. This can be done using a machine whisk or even a hand whisk (with some determination of course).

You should get something like this.

Add an egg. Mix well.

Add the other egg and mix well.

Add in the vanilla bean paste. Try using vanilla bean paste rather than vanilla essence/extract as it tastes so much better. The other two are just so artificial. 

Add the milk and flour mixture alternately, 1/3 portion at a time, ensuring that each layer is well mixed before adding another.

Remember to mix it well! Weigh the batter ALONE. Split batter into 2 equal portions. I had each portion at 310g - 320g. 

Colour each portion accordingly with a small portion of food colouring. Pour one portion of batter into a 8" round baking tin lined with baking paper and spread it as evenly as you can with a spatula. It will be good to have 2 baking tins so that you can rotate them. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or till' cooked. 

Remove cake from baking tin and allow cake to cool in a cake caddy/air tight container. 

Bake remaining 6 layers and allow to cool completely. 

Prepare a sugar solution of 1 part hot/boiling water to 1 part castor/fine sugar and mix well to allow sugar to dissolve. Have the sugar solution in a spray mist bottle.

CREAM CHEESE FILLING

Have the cream cheese come close to room temperature in a mixing bowl for about 10 minutes. You may cube it to allow it to 'thaw' faster. Using a spatula/hand whisk (I prefer a spatula), whisk it vigorously by hand to cream it. Alternatively, use a machine whisk. 

Add cubed butter of room temperature (cube and thaw in room temperature for 10 mins) into cream cheese and whisk vigorously. Or if you're lazy, use a mixer!

Add in icing sugar and vanilla bean paste. The specks you see in the cream cheese frosting is the vanilla bean paste. It may look 'unclean' but it sure will taste better! Mix well!

You'll get a mixture like this. 

Have one layer in the middle of the cake board (I used a 13" cake board). Spray with a small amount of sugar solution to keep the cake moist. Apply a layer of cream cheese filling (about 1/8 of the cream cheese). 

Beautifully layered! (:

Add second layer. Do handled with care.  Repeat steps for remaining layers. Use the remaining 2/8 or the cream cheese to coat the entire cake. 

Love the amazing colours!

Prepare rainbow petals cream cheese frosting with the same steps used for the filling. Divide into 8 portions and colour accordingly. Here's a video tutorial for the piping of the petals. For this particular cake, I was mindful of the size of my petals as I wanted them to match each and every layer as precisely as possible. I also made them smaller and more dainty using an angled spatula instead of a teaspoon. 




The petals bit needs patience but the results are well worth the effort. 

Enjoy your cake! 





I'd love to see the bakes or stuff you've cooked using the blog's recipe! Do share photos of stuff you've baked or cooked using the blog's recipe with me either via FB message to http://facebook.com/limcynthia OR http://facebook.com/thebakingbiatch OR via email at cynthia.lim.hl@gmail.com! I look forward to hearing from you! (: 

49 comments:

  1. Hai Cynthia :) may I know where you get the Wilton gel food coloring? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sheena,

      You can get them from baking stores like Phoon Huat or Sun Lik if you are based in Singapore. I've seen the smaller packs of 4 colours sold in Serangoon Garden's NTUC Finest (:

      Delete
    2. awww... :( I'm from sarawak. Been googled for rainbow cake's recipes and mostly using wilton gel food. Love the colors. Pastel colors :D by the way, thanks for sharing your recipes. Gonna make one for my little sister's birthday :D

      Delete
    3. Ah! You may wish to try baking shops. I know that it is not commonly found in Malaysia. I'm glad to be sharing these recipes! Do let me know if it's that tough for you to get the gel food colouring. Maybe I can buy it for you and mail it to you (:

      Delete
    4. Thats so nice of you. It's ok ^^ one of my friend in Singapore will help to get it. She's coming back to Malaysia soon. Will share the picture after I bake it. Hehehe thanks a lot

      Delete
    5. No prob! That's awesome! (: Yes please! Have fun! (:

      Delete
  2. Hi Cynthia, can i know the tip size you use for piping. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! I can't remember the size. But it was a round tip of probably 1cm in diameter.

      Delete
  3. hi Cynthia,

    May i knw where to get the vanilla bean paste? i only have vanilla extract at home..

    Thanks
    Elaine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Elaine!

      You can get them from Phoon Huat! (: extract works as well but it will not taste as good.

      Delete
  4. Hi Cynthia, where did you learn baking from? I'd like a recommendation if you have any, pls. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Rahinah,

      Most of my skills are self taught so sorry, haven't got any particular school to recommend to you.

      I did however attend a series of demo only classes in CCs as well as a hands on creaming class (but I didn't attend all lessons).

      Delete
  5. Hi Cynthia,
    How come my cake texture more towards dense but not fluffy looking like yours.
    What have went wrong? :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      The cake is meant to be slightly dense.. it's a butter cake, not a sponge cake (:

      Delete
  6. May I know which 7 colours of the Wilton gel colours did you use? The cake base was originally yellow colour so I'm confused how did the colours appear out to be the rainbow colours? :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the food colouring colours the batter. the yellow is not coloured yellow so it allows the food colouring to colour it. And wilton gel colouring is perfect for it.

      I used violet, royal blue, teal, leaf green, lemon yellow, orange and maroon (for this cake) though I'd substitute with pink or red at times.

      Delete
  7. Hi Cynthia , may i knw wat is a vanilla bean paste ? where can i buy it ? and also , is it possible to exclude the vanilla bean paste ? will it make any difference ?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello,

    it's a rich form of paste derived from vanilla beans (: i usually get mine from Phoon Huat. It will affect the fragrance and taste of the cake a lot as this paste gives the cake good flavour

    ReplyDelete
  9. WOW YOU'RE GOOD!!! I'M BOOKMARKING YOUR SITE!

    ReplyDelete
  10. hello,

    it's a kind of flavouring. it can be purchased from baking shops like phoon huat. please do not omit it.. it gives the cake very good flavour.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi can I use self raising flour instead of plain flour?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no. they're completely different flours.

      Delete
  12. Hi Cynthia

    Tks for sharing this recipe :)
    Would like to check with you about the stability of the frosting. Will it 'weep' in our hot weather (Singapore) approx after 30mins?

    Crystal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! This is decently stable but being cream cheese frosting, I do not recommend leaving it out for long in our warm climate

      Delete
  13. between the cream cheese version and the swiss meringue butter cream version, which one tastes better?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,

      to each their own preference (: The cream cheese one is easier to work with though

      Delete
    2. for cream cheese frosting, does it goes well with dense cake or light airy ones are also ok?

      Delete
    3. That greatly depends on your personal preference. Works both ways.

      Delete
  14. Hi,
    What is snow powder and how does it look like?
    Serene (singapore)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      it's something similar to icing sugar. You can get it from baking shops.

      Delete
  15. Hi,
    What is snow powder and how does it look like?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Cynthia

    I am planning on doing this cake for my son's first birthday which falls on 10 Oct. How early can I prepare the cake layers and the frosting and when can I assemble the cake? Sorry, im a novice in baking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello,

      assuming you're having it on the 10th, you can bake it on the night of the 8th.. frost and assemble it on the 9th and chill till you're ready to have it.

      Delete
  17. Hi Cythnia
    I got two 9" tins. Possible to use this recipe or you able to provide me another suitable recipe?
    Do I need to store the 1st batch layer in airtight container while doing the remaining layers? Btw, I only got 6 colors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello, you can use the same recipe.. the layers will be thinner.. else, do 1.5 recipe for thicker layers (:

      you can leave them outside to cool which the other layers bake..

      Delete
  18. Hi Cynthia, for this recipe will it be suitable for 6" round tin? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello,

      yes. you can scale it down to about 2/3 recipe

      Delete
  19. Hi Cynthia
    R u referring to this recipe that's easier to work with?
    But i onli hv a 6inch pan. Does it work? I can do 6 layers instead of 7 layers.
    U said cake flour is fine. But will it also turn out slighly soft compared to if use plain flour? Can i also confirm i can reduce sugar by 20%? Tks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes this is the one. 6" is fine, just that your layers will be much thicker. or you can play around with the proportions to get lesser batter.

      Yes it'll be slightly softer but that shouldnt be of any problem. Actually, the sugar in the recipe is just right. But if you need to reduce, yes, maximum 20% is pretty much the lowest you should go. However, it may affect the texture to a certain extent.. just have that in mind when doing the reduction (:

      Delete
  20. Hello Cynthia! I baked my cake layers today, but will only be assembling them tomorrow.. Do I have to keep the cake in the fridge? If so, do I need to "defrost" them before frosting them tomorrow?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello!

      I don't usually refrigerate these layers if I'm assembling it the next day. It'll be good to store them in an air-tight container though!

      Delete
  21. Hi there.. Love your recipe... And like to try... But I like to make no. 1 cake which is abt 3kg, can you advise me how many batter and tray size shld I use

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Edora,

      I don't weigh the cakes I make. You can roughly calculate the quantity you need with the mass of the ingredients used.

      Delete
  22. Hi Cynthia,

    May i know the sugar solution is it spray to each layer before apply the layer cream cheese frosting?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi dear, i tried to find the wilton gel colours but managed to find wilton gel icing colours, are they the same? http://www.b-i-y.com/b-i-y-store/decorating-shop/colours/gel-44-powder/wilton-gel-icing-colours.html

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Cynthia,
    Can I use fondant instead of cream cheese frosting? I whld like to bake on a 9" tin, if the layer is thinner will it collaps easily?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sherry,

      Yes you may do so. I doubt it'll collapse just cos it's thinner (:

      Delete

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