I pretty much suck at cooking. Case in point, tonight’s dinner: I made pasta, a jar of Patsy’s tomato basil sauce and a package of Stony Brook Farm Turkey Meatballs. Yawn!
So it seems kind of silly for me to give cooking and baking advice. But, there are a few things I can make well. My main criteria for my cooking is that it has to be really easy with very little room for human error. And the bonus for you is that If I Can Make It, You Can Too. Hmmm…sounds like a new feature!
Remember a few weeks back when we celebrated Lily’s birthday with a rainbow themed party? And remember that I promised I’d give you the play-by-play of how I made the rainbow cake? No? Well, good. Cause I forgot too!
Let’s start by staring at my beautiful new Kitchenaid mixer in Aqua Sky. Ahhh…she’s lovely, isn’t she?
To make the 6 layer cake, I used three 8-inch diameter pans and made 2 box mixes of cake. You can use any kind you like. (Or knock yourself out with a homemade one. I just find that the box ones are pretty good so why bother with homemade?) I made one batch first and separated the batter into three bowls. I was very careful to make sure that I separated it evenly so the cakes would be the same size. Bowls from here.
I always use gel food coloring for cakes or frosting because I like the colors to be really bold. (If you want pastels, go ahead and use liquid coloring. It’s much easier to work with.) I kept the “color station” very methodical. Each color got its own knife so I didn’t mix them up and I was sure to put it on top of plenty of paper towels because that stuff can stain your counter tops! (Note, gel coloring is kind of disgusting looking but totally effective. If you’d prefer some more natural colors, well…you’re reading the wrong blog.)
I’ve learned that you need to add a lot of food coloring at first because you can’t add color, then mix, check the color, add more color, mix more, check the color again, add more color, mix more…well, you get the point. The problem with that is you’ll end up overmixing the cake batter and it gets thin. So, go bold the first time and don’t overmix!
Once the red, orange and yellow cakes were done baking, I let them cool while I washed and prepared the pans for the second patch.
After the cakes were baked and cooled, I wrapped them individually and put them in the fridge until I had a chance to frost them the next day.
When it was time for frosting, I whipped up a double batch of buttercream frosting. I’d love to share my top secret recipe but if I did I’d have to kill you. Kidding! I use the recipe on the side of the Domino powdered sugar box. It couldn’t be easier and it’s delicious. One by one, I frosted and kept adding layers. Some of the cakes were slightly angled so I used a serrated knife to slice a little off the top to even them out. An important tip I learned from the LHJ food team about frosting a cake: only use the back of the spatula.
After it was frosted, I let Lily add some sprinkles to the top. I don’t have a cake plate, so I used an upside-down bowl to display it! But there was a tiny lip around the bottom of the bowl and I was totally out of frosting to hide it, so I used a cheap can of ready-to-use frosting to make those little dots around the base. Shhh…don’t tell anyone!
I love that it’s so simple from the outside because when I cut it open, everyone Ohhh’d and Ahhhh’d!
But most importantly, Lily loved it! For all the other details of her rainbow party, like rainbow balloons, rainbow fruit salad, rainbow favors and rainbow manicures, click here.
Sue at Home
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