August 12, 2013

First Birthday Rainbow Cake

For the last three summers, the Chung Sistas have taken on a different and massive baking project. Two years ago it was Wedding Macaron Lollipops; last summer it was Decorative Sugar Cookies; this year it was a Rainbow Cake for our niece's first birthday party.

For Baby Sophie's Korean Dol Celebration (the baby's first birthday), Big Sista (aka Sophie's mom) chose a colorful rainbow theme. The party was complete with rainbow rice cake, rainbow sprinkled-pretzels, rainbow themed goody bags, rainbow decorations and RAINBOW CAKE (and also a rainbow smash cake for the birthday girl).
fortune telling ritual: Sophie's destined to be a chef! 
We took a leap of faith by forgoing a test run and made the cake without a backup plan. It had to work!

Big Sista found a recipe that took a bit of a shortcut since it didn't require individually baked layers separated by frosting. We tweaked the cake by using this recipe for White Almond Sour Cream Cake, which was a recipe for 40 servings and it used boxed cake mix (which I would normally dismiss). And we used a 12x18 sheet pan instead of a circular cake pan. And we topped the cake with my favorite white frosting.
This cake was baked 3 layers/colors at a time. The batter was divided into 6 equal portions and dyed the six colors of the rainbow. The first color was baked for five minutes until it set, then the next colored batter was spread into the baking pan and baked for another five minutes, then one last color was put into the pan and baked off for 15 minutes. (repeated for remaining 3 colors).
After the two cakes cooled, the cakes were flipped on top of each other (carefully thought out by Sophie's Dad in order to make sure the colors were in proper order) and the end result was initially a pretty short and not as visually promising as we'd hoped. I tried to hide this fact by topping it with heaps of frosting, which wasn't such a bad idea since there was no frosting inside the cake. The night before the party, I crossed my fingers and hoped it would look and taste ok.
By some miracle, the cake looked and tasted great! It was super moist, the almond extract helped elevate the cake from just another cake mix cake and it wasn't too small after all. Another success for the Chungs and a wonderful way to celebrate Baby Sophie's first birthday. 

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