Rainbow Cake: No Decorating Talent Required!

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Aleta Meadowlark
Rainbow CakeRainbow Cake

We GeekDads have posted lots of articles about geeky cakes, most of which require more time and more decorating talent than most amateur bakers have. So I thought it’d be fun to, for a change, write about a geeky cake that anyone with at least average baking and decorating skills could recreate in his or her own kitchen. I came across such a cake a few days ago, and, though I haven’t yet made it myself, I’ve come up with a few ideas for how to modify the process to make it geekier.

I present to you, then, the Rainbow Cake! It is, as the name would suggest, a cake with a rainbow design, but instead of the design being applied to the outside, it’s actually baked into the cake itself. This is done by making a thick cake batter, separating it out into six cups, and coloring each with one of the major colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. Then you make two layers, one going from red to violet and the other from violet to red. It’s a fairly uncomplicated process—the only real difficulty being in spooning the batter into the pan without mixing the colors. And the end result is really quite striking.

Aleta Meadowlark
Rainbow CakeRainbow Cake

As a pretty good (if I do say so myself) amateur baker, I have two major problems with the recipe as given: it uses cake mix and other not-so-great-sounding ingredients; and it uses a lot of artificial food coloring. The first problem is easily solved by using your own favorite white cake recipe, so long as it’s thick enough to prevent the colors from mixing on their own. The other problem can be solved by using natural food coloring, I would imagine, though it’s awfully expensive and I have no personal experience with it.

The other thing I want to do with this recipe is make it geekier. I first want to devise a method for making the cake more rainbow-like. I mean, it’s good as it is, but it would be much better if the colors were actually in rings, wouldn’t it? So I’m thinking of using a tube cake pan of some kind to make the cake a ring, and then use some kind of non-stick separator (silicone? wax paper?) while putting the colored batter in so it makes rings instead of layers as in the original recipe. The other ideas I have, which aren’t fully fleshed out yet, are to make the colors a little more interesting (verisimilitude can be soooo boring sometimes), and to put some kind of geeky candy in the cake (eyeballs? aliens?) to make it extra strange.

Anybody have any other ideas? Anybody with more baking experience than I have with suggestions on how to make my ideas work? Please leave a comment.

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