Family, Food

Rainbow Cake: If I Can Make it, You Can Too

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.

Happy baking!

XO

Sue at Home

Before and After, Decor, Family, Home, My house, Uncategorized

DIY Painting for the Dining Room

Allow me to reintroduce you to my dining room. Dining room, readers. Readers, dining room. You might remember that you met this room back in this post but here’s the recap. This was our dining room before we moved in. Simple. Subtle.

Cream and brown.

Here’s how it was recently.

The only big problems were 1) the too-short curtains that need to be replaced by something that goes all the way to the ceiling and 2) that weird art by yours truly. The curtains are going to take a little time to hunt down but I got to work on the painting yesterday. I was inspired by this picture I had seen on Amber Interiors but I wanted to do it with a gold background instead of silver. (Yes, I know that silver would “go” better with the gray walls but that’s precisely why I want to use gold. You get me, right?)

OK. So we’re all recapped now. Let the painting begin!

I used Craft Smart acrylic paints from Michael’s in Gold and Neon Pink. I actually had to make a run to the store to get more Neon Pink. That’s what happens when you share your paints with 2 little girls. (Who am I kidding?  I used it all myself!)  I made my first coat and I could still see some of the other colors through it. I liked it on the pink part but the gold was just looking greenish. (Also – please note my amazing art studio. It’s called laying-newspaper-down-on-the-living-room-floor-and-leaning-over-the-painting. Really fancy, huh?)

But luckily after a few coats later, it was finally covered – with just a little bit still showing through the pink part.

I actually like that little bit peeking through the pink. Nothing like a happy mistake!

So, it’s good…for now. I’m quite sure I’ll be changing it in a few months, but until then, I’m content.

And I’m not the only one who likes it.

XO

Sue at Home

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