Wanna know something sad? When I am not baking on commission, i.e. ‘experimenting’ on my own time and budget, large portions of cakes and desserts often go uneaten and end up in the trash. It’s sad, but I only have so many neighbors and friends who are willing to sacrifice obscene amounts of calories on the daily for my baking endeavors.
As such, my dream of making a rainbow cake has always been weighed down with a few doubts, most notably regarding how the cake could be enjoyed and who would do the eating. As a result, the rainbow cake remained a fantasy for many years. I wanted the cake to be BIG and BEAUTIFUL and I didn’t want the majority of it to end up in the trash. I wanted the project to bring as much joy to my audience as I’m sure it would bring to me during its creation.
This summer I envisioned a solution: host a party specifically for the creation and consumption of the rainbow cake. So, I invited all of my friends over. Check one.
The next question: how was I to make something so unnatural in appearance a bit more, you know… palatable? I wouldn’t personally be into the idea of eating a slice of white cake hiding under a cup of food coloring, but that’s just me.
The rainbow cake project was thus expanded to include a rainbow of flavors as well as colors I made each layer a different flavor with the aid of my ever-growing collection of extracts. I filled it with a cream cheese icing. Check two!
Lastly, the rainbow cake party was expanded into a rainbow dinner party, and rainbow pasta was born. I’ve been making fresh pasta and ravioli for my friends for as long as I can remember, but this was by far the most fun meal that I’ve put together!
Unlike the cake, the pasta was colored naturally. I went to a farmers market and used a juicer to come up with a handful of fun pigments.
Purple: red cabbage and blueberries
Pink: red beats
Orange: sun dried tomatoes
Green: basil and spinach
The rainbow dinner was rounded out with a plethora of bright vegetables cooked on the grill (red, yellow and green bell peppers, eggplant, red onion, and yellow and green squash) and a fruit salad. Check three!
My original premonition was right: putting together the rainbow cake was the most fun I’ve had e had in a while. At first I had planned to leave the outside of the cake entirely white, but having a blank canvas over a foot tall at my disposal was irresistible.
I put together a second rainbow-ish color palate for the outside inspired by the pearly colors of pastel sixlet candies and topped it with some sprinkle loaded chocolate bark.
Opening up the cake was one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever done. I’ve made ombre cakes before, but was really nervous that the rainbow layers would muddle each other up as the knife ran through them. I was wrong!
To my surprise, everyone really enjoyed the cake! I think the different flavors were what did the trick. They all enjoyed comparing the layers and trying different combinations. The favorite layers were green (lime) and purple (raspberry).
All in all, rainbow cake was everything that I could have hoped for.
As always, a big thanks to my friends and family for trying so many cakes on my behalf and for always supporting me during my projects.