Then- out of nowhere- Marisol texted me asking me if I could make a cake for her party. She told me that she does like some cakes, but she really wanted it for her party guests. I decided that I was going to MAKE Marisol like cake, and I was going to achieve this by baking the most epic birthday cake possible. I was going to make her the rainbow cake that I had been saving for the perfect occasion. A rainbow cake is a visually beautiful, yet technically difficult and time-consuming process. It involves baking 6-7 individual different colored layers of cake. Then you stack them on top of each other in a sky-high cake and hope it doesn't fall over. Then you decorate it however you want. This isn't a cake you'd make for any old birthday, no, this is definitely a cake worthy of a 30th birthday for a person that makes your life sunshine and rainbows when you are at your super-difficult internship. This was is a cake for Marisol.
However, I wasn't sure that the rainbow layers were going to be enough. I wanted to make sure she was going to LOVE this cake. So I decided to add something she is obsessed with- FROGS! I'm not great at shaping cakes, so I decided to decorate the cake like a pond and then put frogs on it, instead of making a giant frog. BINGO. Cutest-Most-Epic-Birthday-Cake-Ever! WOOHOO.
Rainbow Layered Frog Pond Cake
Recipe adapted from Plant Food Fabulous
Yield: 1 epic 6-layer birthday cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
5 large egg whites
2 tsps vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole milk
LOTS of gel food coloring (assorted colors)
|Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside|
|Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in vanilla, then egg whites, one at a time, beating after each addition.|
|Add the dry ingredients and the milk alternately, starting and ending with the dry|
|Mix on medium until smooth.|
|Divide batter as evenly as possible between 6 bowls (about 1 cup of batter)|
|Add food coloring to achieve desire colors|
|Grease and flour the sides of your baking pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.|
I used old baking powder, (OOPS), and didn't sift my dry ingredients very well. The baking powder made little warts on the tops of all the cakes, so they were a little unsightly. But that's OK, because they get stacked and covered with frosting anyway. Moral of the story: use fresh ingredients and don't be lazy. Sift those flours! (But let's be real- I'll probably still stick to my whisk method for now...)
Step 1: Make a basic vanilla buttercream for stacking the cakes and a crumb coat. Use this recipe here, and then add 2-3 Tbs whole milk to thin it down. I like a softer frosting for the base.
|Beautiful, fluffy glory|
|Stack the cakes in any order you wish, spreading a thin layer of buttercream between each layer.|
Step 4: Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes to set the crumb coat.
Step 5: While the cake is in the refrigerator, make your decorations. I dyed marzipan green and made a little family of frogs. I am definitely not an artist. Then I made lily pads out of green Air Heads.
|Use gloves unless you like sticky, green hands|
|Marzipan frogs with buttercream eyes, sprinkle pupils, and Air Head lily pads|
Step 7: Add your frogs, lily pads, and swedish fish so that they adhere to the frosting.
Step 8: Finish decorating with extra buttercream. I added more blue food coloring to the blue for the outline accents, and then dyed the reserve buttercream pink for the lily pad flowers.
Step 9: Surprise your friends with the cutest cake ever!
TA DA! ¡Feliz cumple, Marisol! I hope this cake made your 30th a little less traumatizing!
Love and cookies,