My sister turned 19 this past week. Much to my relief, she didn’t immediately go out and get drunk (19 is the legal age in BC). I like to think she had a good birthday anyway.
I realized a few days beforehand that a rainbow cake was the perfect type of cake to make for her. If you knew her, this would make sense to you. If you don’t…well, she’s a very special 19 year old. One thing I’ve discovered in the past year, though, is that what they make the food dye out of is nasty business. Not only what it’s made from, but how they test it…pass, thanks. It’s not to say I never buy premade food with food dye in it, because that wouldn’t be true. But I do try and avoid it when possible. Besides, it’s much more exciting to try and colour things naturally.
After a lot of research, I decided to double a 9″ white cake recipe and split the resulting batter into 5 parts.
- Pink / Red – Raspberries
- Orange – Carrot juice
- “Yellow” – Mango (It wasn’t very yellow at all)
- Green – Matcha powder
- Purple / Blue – Blueberries
For the raspberries, blueberries and mango, I put 3/4 of a cup (approximately) worth of frozen fruit into a mug and threw it into the microwave until everything was thawed and mushy. Then, I squished the fruit into a fine-mesh strainer with a spoon, draining all the juice out into the batter.
Because I was putting extra liquid into the batter, I cut out 1/4 cup of milk for each layer. Then add in 1/4 cup of milk to any layer that isn’t getting extra juice put into it (i.e. the Matcha layer).
It was SO much fun, watching the batter turn colours and then seeing how everything turned out in the end!
The best part was that the berry layers actually tasted like blueberry and raspberry!
The worst part was, my measurement skills sucked, so the layers are 3 different sizes. I don’t even know how I did it, I was using a scale.
Also, the icing job went very poorly, since there just wasn’t quite enough. I shaved down the cakes since somehow, despite being baked in the same pans, they were different sizes. Regardless, I think I covered it up nicely.
All I can say is, thank goodness for large coconut shavings. And cake shavings, I guess?
The icing was very very sweet, so in the end, it was a good thing there was only a thin layer on everything. It was delcious though, and you can find it over on instructables. The cake recipe turned out amazingly, even with my tinkering (we ran out of butter so I subbed in some applesauce, and I also used nearly 1/2 c less sugar). It is the Vanilla Cupcakes recipe from The Joy Of Vegan Baking, which is a cookbook I highly recommend. The recipes aren’t “healthy versions”, but they are accurate vegan replicas of the classics, which is really useful to have on hand. And I must confess, the colouring ideas weren’t my own (except for the mango…which didn’t work…), I found a lot of helpful information on Growing A Green Family.
Verdict? I highly recommend making this cake; it’s fun to make and to eat!