I learned a few things when I made my daughter's rainbow layer cake a couple of weeks ago. I found that these 5 simple tips made making this cake a breeze and just had to share. The cake was a big hit and I encourage you to give it a try.
MY 5 TIPS FOR LAYER CAKES
1. Liquid food coloring - this mixed in much easier and cleaner than I expected. I found the gel and paste color to difficult to mix in and left specs of intense color. I was afraid the liquid would not produce the bright, intense colors but it worked great and I really did not have to use that much color.
2. Freeze the cake - it is much easier and cleaner to work with frozen cake. You tend to have less crumbs, you don't have to worry that you will crack or break the cake layers when handling them and you can easily cut off the domes with a serrated knife.
3. Freeze layers of frosting - I actually learned this awesome tip from Angry Julie Monday and it is brilliant. Simply trace the bottom of your pan onto a piece of parchment or wax paper, flip it over and frost the interior of the shape. Place in the freezer. As you layer your cake you lay the frosting on top of the cake layer and peel off the paper. Genius. No crumby mess and gloppy goo!
4. Line your plate with parchment strips. Place a small dollop of frosting in the center of the cake and place your first layer of cake. Gently slide 4-6 strips of parchment under the edges of the cake. Make sure that none of the plate is showing. Frost your cake and don't worry if you are a bit sloppy. When done, gently pull the parchment out from under the cake. You should have minimal clean-up on the plate. You may need to go back and fill in a few spots along the bottom of the cake where the frosting pulled away but this makes for a very neat finished cake.
5. Use straws as support stakes. Cakes of this height and number of layers require supports to hold them in place and not allow the layers to slide. Straws work great. They are very easy to trim with a kitchen shears.
Here is my picture tutorial for making a rainbow layer cake.
2 white cake mixes and some food coloring (see tip #1, I ended up and used liquid coloring instead)
Mix up cake mix according to package directions, divide evenly into 6 bowls (1.5 cups each)
Stir in coloring - color of batter will be the color of the final cake.
Bake cakes, let cool. Wrap each cake with plastic wrap and freeze.
Make your frosting. I used this non-dairy whipped cream type frosting that a friend picked up for me at a Mexican store in South Tucson. It was great since it was so light and not too sweet. Normally I would use the Wilton butter cream frosting as it is always good too. I know some people have used canned frosting as well so pick your favorite and mix it up. You will need ALOT. I used this entire quart container which when whipped up filled a huge mixing bowl and it was JUST enough.
Draw circles on some wax paper and frost with a generous layer of frosting and freeze.
Freeze enough frosting layers to go between each layer of cake.
Assemble cake by alternating layers of cake and frozen frosting layers.
If necessary, slice off the dome of each cake to ensure your cake is flat.
Line the edge of your cake plate with strips of parchment or wax paper so that when you complete your frosting, you can remove them and have a clean plate edge.
With a cake of this height, supports are necessary.
Straws are an easy solution as they tap in easily and can simply be trimmed with a kitchen scissors
(much easier than using a wood dowel).
Frost and decorate your cake. It is okay to keep this simple since the
real surprise and beauty is when you cut into the cake.
Cut and enjoy!!!