Monday, October 28, 2013

5th Birthday Cake

Perhaps you already know this, but last week Smiley turned 5 (no?  click on the link to see some pics).  As a family we celebrated her birthday quietly by driving 4 1/2 hours in the car back to our home from Great Grandma's house after a fun weekend of family time and a bit of pheasant hunting.  She chose where we stopped for lunch ~ Subway ~ and opened presents when we arrived back home.

We tend to not do "friend" birthday parties until the kids are a bit older but since both mine and hubby's families mostly live in different states, large family parties tend to not happen either.  However, this year, my parents were able to come up for a visit and my brother and his family were able to come down.  So, a small party was planned.  And you can't celebrate a birthday without a birthday cake.  However, when you are five, it can be very difficult to decide on what kind of cake you want.  After going through the typical character cake ideas... Dora, Princesses (which I made for her 3rd birthday), Doc McStuffins and Fairies, Smiley determined she wanted a rainbow cake.

Whoo Hooo!  I was excited :)

So, we got baking!

I started with 2 boxes of white cake mix ~ disregarding the box instructions, I doctored them up by mixing them with (use 1/2 of these amounts for only 1 box of cake mix):
1 C Vegetable oil
1 Cup Water
16 oz sour cream
8 eggs
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding mix

Once the batter was throughly mixed, I:

• Split the batter evenly (about 1 3/4 cup of batter per cake) into 6 different bowls.
• Added a different rainbow color of food coloring to each bowl.  I used a small blob of Wilton's  concentrated gel icing color to each bowl (I used no taste - red, orange, yellow, kelly green, blue and purple).
• Mixed the coloring into the batter very well.
• Poured the batter into 6 different, greased (I also line the bottom of my pans with parchment paper cut to size)  8" or 9" round baking pans (lets be honest, I only have 2 pans, so I repeated this step 3 times)

• Baked each cake about 18 minutes at 350°
• Removed from the oven, cooled about 5 minutes in the pan then removed from the pan to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
• Once they were cool, I wrapped them in Saran wrap and stored the in the fridge until the next day when I was ready to frost and assemble the cake.

Fast forward to the next day:

I made up some frosting:

3 sticks softened, unsalted butter
3 8oz packages softened, cream cheese
3 lbs confectioners sugar
* Using my stand mixer, I mix the butter and cream cheese together until smooth, then gradually add the confectioners sugar.

*I left my frosting white (actually off white in color due to the color of the butter) as I wanted the inside of the cake to be the star.

Time to assemble:

• I started by leveling each cake ~ using a serrated knife, I sort of shaved the top of each cake to make sure they were straight across and not rounded/raised in the middle.
•Then I began to stack and layer:  (I wanted this cake to go the "typical" rainbow route)   purple - frosting - blue - frosting - green - frosting - yellow - frosting - orange - frosting - red then frosting across the top and down the sides of the cake.

I had purchased some long, stick like sparkle candles as well as a tall #5 candle, but I thought I needed more decor for the top of the cake.  I headed to my craft room and pulled out some fun paper.  Using the colors of the rainbow, I created a bunting to stick into the top.  I did this by cutting the paper into a diamond shapes, then folded and glued each one over a piece of black string to create a double sided flag.  I attached the ends of the string to 2 bamboo skewers and stuck them into the top of the cake.  Ta dah ~ a super simple cake decoration.

I also added some colorful sprinkles to the top of the cake for a little hint of color as well.

We brought the cake out, sang happy birthday to Smiley, let her blow out the candles, and got ready to enjoy a little cake and ice cream.

Our guests were very surprised to see that the inside of Smiley's plain looking birthday cake was not so plain at all, it was a beautiful rainbow of color.

And me, I had fun telling everyone to  "Taste the Rainbow"


Jennifer Juniper said...

I have seen this cake and always wanted to try it!

Jill said...

Looks great! A friend of mine just started making cakes for Icing Smiles (they give cakes to sick children) and she just made a rainbow cake like this for a 5 year old girl who just completed her last chemo treatment! I guess 5 year olds just love rainbows!!