It’s Pride weekend, and as we wholeheartedly embrace celebrating everything, we made a massive rainbow cake for the cafe. Ours is an absolute whopper, so here’s a scaled down version you can make at home:
Ingredients for the sponge: 400g butter, 400g caster sugar, 4 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 400g self-raising flour, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 2 tbsp milk, food colouring gels
For the buttercream filling: 400g butter, 200g icing sugar, 200g caster sugar.
Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Prep the oven trays. Divide two 20x30cm oven trays into equal thirds ( widthways ) using strips of cardboard wrapped in foil. Line each section with baking parchment. This is the fiddliest bit, don’t give up now, and don’t worry if they’re not exactly the same sizes, you can trim the sponges later.
Use an electric whisk or a free-standing mixer to cream the butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl down between each addition. Then add the vanilla extract, the flour & baking powder, and finally the milk.
Divide the cake batter into six different bowls. Add a pea-sized blob of different coloured food gel to each bowl and mix each one thoroughly. Tip each of the batters into the sectioned off baking trays, smooth out to fill the section and bake for approx 20 mins, or until the sponge springs back to the touch. Leave to cool on cooling racks – in the baking trays – until completely cool. The outside of the sponges will look a little dull, don’t be alarmed, the inside of the sponge will still be looking bright & fabulous.
While the sponges are cooling, start on the buttercream. Use your electric mixer to whisk the butter and sugars until almost white. This can take about five – ten minutes depending on your mixer.
When the sponges are absolutely cooled, transfer to a breadboard. Start with the purple sponge. Spread a layer of the buttercream all over the top surface ( sides get done later on ), then lay the blue sponge on top. Repeat this, in order of the rainbow, until you have reached the red layer, but don’t ice the top of this one just yet. Using a large bread knife or pastry knife, trim the edges of the sponges, so you have a nice squared-off, brick-shaped cake. Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of buttercream and refrigerate for 20 mins ( this is called the crumb-coat ). At this point you should have about half of the buttercream left. When the outer layer of the cake has hardened up, apply the remainder of the buttercream to the top and sides, smoothing off the edges with a palette knife. Finally, cover the cake ( and, if you are anything like me, your entire kitchen ) with sprinkles. Pop the cake back in the fridge, allow the buttercream to firm up for another 20 mins before taking that first slice.