Lemony Rainbow Cake

Everyone and their mother is either baking or ordering a Rainbow Cake these days. It's cute, I admit I gasped the first time I saw that picture on Whisk Kid's blog, and then I'm quite sure I was throwing up rainbows when Sweetapolita posted her Rainbow Doodle cake up. My friends Soraya, Pri and I even went around to an obscure bakery in Bangsar to check out their rainbow cake!

It was delicious... but disappointing. It was more of a tie-dye cake than a rainbow cake.

But when my cousin texted me last week to say that her daughter had especially requested for "Auntie Nabiya" to bake her a rainbow cake for her birthday... I jumped at the chance. I may not ever want a rainbow cake for myself, so this was my first opportunity to try out the colours without having to deal with the excess lying around in my fridge because nobody in my household wants to eat that much colouring on a normal day.
Also, how can I say no when she calls me Auntie Nabiya so sweetly? Darn these little girls and boys, they know exactly how to play their cards with me. It doesn't take much, really, I'm a sucker for big eyes and apple cheeks.

So this particular niece of mine, or second cousin once removed, turns eight today! Eight? I can't quite believe how much she, and the other cousins, have grown up so much. I keep thinking that they're all still five or six, and then they turn around and give me this condescending look, followed by an, "I'm *insert some ridiculously high number here* years old, you know?"

I'm getting old. LOL. Let's just get on with the rainbow cake, shall we?
Rainbow Cake
adapted from Whisk Kid's recipe
  • 250g butter, room temperature
  • 425g caster sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 425g all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • Food colouring gel: Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and butter and line your 9"inch springform baking tins with parchment. Use as many as you have, I only have 2 so had to bake my layers in three batches
  2. In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside
  3. In the large bowl of your mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated
  5. Then add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beat until just combined, add half of the milk, beat again, and keep doing this until you finish off with the last of the flour
  6. Split the batter evenly into six bowls (roughly 1 cup per bowl by my count) and add the colouring until you achieve the shade you want the layers to take on
  7. Bake each layer for 15 minutes, or until a skewer poked through comes out clean. Change the parchment paper after every layer if you're reusing the tins
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before you run a butter knife around the edge of the cake then pop them onto the cooling tray. Once they've cooled completely, wrap them in cling wrap and pop them in the freezer to firm up before you even them out. I left mine in overnight as I baked the layers around 2 am
  9. When ready to assemble, take the layers out of the freezer and allow them to come down to room temp
First slice is the deepest... oh man, you have no idea how relieved I was at this point!

Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 7 egg whites
  • 325g caster sugar
  • 360g butter, softened
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  1. Cook the egg whites and sugar over a bain-marie, whisking gently until the sugar is completely dissolved
  2. Then transfer the mixture into your completely grease-free mixing bowl and whisk for 5-8 minutes, or until the bowl has cooled to room temperature, and soft peaks have formed in the meringue
  3. This hurts, but next you throw in the butter, a tbsp at a time and allow it to mix and curdle into the meringue
  4. Keep whisking until all the butter is added, then switch to a paddle attachment, add the lemon extract and beat until smooth
More cousins!
Here's another one of the birthday girl being all cute and camera shy

The cake was a huge hit with the 8-25 year old crowd gathered at my niece's birthday party, and I absolutely LOVE how the layers turned out so clean! I was terrified I'd end up with crumbly, uneven layers. But that moment of truth when you cut into a rainbow cake is definitely a moment you'll never forget.
Happy birthday, Double Love,
x Aunty Nabiya

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