What better way to express your enthusiasm for LGBT+ History month with a staple ‘Rainbow Pride Cake’? It’s one baking masterpiece that I know so many of us are striving to achieve. I suggest this, after seeing 2/8 of my own flatmates attempt this cake. (Needless to say, both flatmates failed miserably.)
This design will be popular throughout the month, and it may seem daunting. Pages upon pages of google image searches would have you believe that the iconic ‘Rainbow cake’ has to be ludicrously difficult and take a number of hours and skilled bakers. If like me, you’re a painful novice in the kitchen, this is probably disheartening. However, fear not! Keep reading for some truly helpful tips to create that tasty cake!
Any fool can google a recipe… It takes a pretty crafty baker to seek out extra tips…
- Make sure your food colouring is bake stable!
Yes, of course I’ve made this mistake. My cat, my dog, my mum, basically my entire household suffered for this for about a week. Check that the food colouring you use for the sponge(s) can be baked. Most can’t, and when you bake them anyway, it’s culinary chemical warfare. Eyes will water, toddlers will cry, and you will NOT be able to eat those cakes! The smell will hang about for days and you’ll be in the dog house, end of. Since it’s only been a recent trend to put colour into cake sponge as well as/instead of icing, it’s very important to check that they clearly say: ‘BAKE STABLE’.
- Leave enough time for the sponges to cool before stacking them.
Once it’s baked- don’t get too carried away constructing your cake. Most layered cakes use buttercream icing to stick the sponges together. If you try and stack these layers of colour while they’re still warm, the icing will melt and your cake will fall. The hard part’s done by this stage- don’t let your lack of patience scupper you here.
- Consider using skewers to prop up your cake.
There are 7 layers in most rainbow cakes, duh! (ROYGBIV anyone?) So it’s unavoidable that you’ll get a pretty tall cake. This begins to act like a Jenga tower- the taller it gets, the more prone it’ll be to topple. Try placing each luscious layer on top of 3-4 skewers to ensure stability. This helps especially when you go to cut the cake. Applying pressure with the knife makes the cake almost cave in on itself, so the extra support is helpful here too when you come to share your creation. (That’s IF you’re sharing!)
- Remember you can mix food colourings!
Struggling with the more niche elements of a rainbow completion? Orange, Indigo and Violet by any chance? There are no rules against mixing different quantities of red and blue to make the purples’- and red and yellow for orange! This seems obvious, but I guarantee some of you will need reminding again when Sainsbury’s baking section only presents you with primary colours.
- Have fun with it!
Even if you take the regular baking precautions into consideration and follow a good recipe – baking can still result in disaster. Whatever your cake turns out like, just enjoy it! (If the cake is toxic and on fire, maybe just enjoy the process…) The cake symbolises Pride and celebration for an excellent month and that’s a very tasteful thing to do, regardless of how tasty the end result. It doesn’t matter how good of a chef you are!