I've now made 4 rainbow cake layers and 4 rainbow cupcakes with two different boxed mixes hydrated with 4 different carbonated beverages colored with 4 gel colorings mixed into 6 colors, and two different puddings in the frosting.
(see prev entry for link)
- 2 boxes white cake mix
- 24 oz. clear/light soda (reg or diet)
Mix and bake per box/recipe instructions, after coloring.
To color, divide batter into 6 parts, in six bowls. Color mix/soda batter to desired red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple hue with gel colors. Do this before starting to fill the pans.
Line 2 cake pans with parchment, then spray with "Pam for Baking". Dump about 2/3 of the red in one pan, slightly less than 2/3 of the orange, half of the yellow. Dump 2/3 of the purple in the other pan followed by slightly less than 2/3 of the blue and half of the green. Then switch sides and continue to layer with remaining colors in order.
Bake per box directions, check at minimum time and continue baking until cooked but not golden brown, if possible. Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes before handling.
- 8oz tub of non-dairy whipped topping (Cool Whip)
- 3.4 oz package of instant pudding
Mix and spread on cooled cake
Duncan Hines was 4/$5 and Betty Crocker was 2/$4 at Ralphs today so I got two of each. Betty Crocker makes the tubes of gel coloring, look in the frosting section. I started with DH and divided the batter into 4ths (due to 4 liquids) but tried to make 6 colors out of it. That was dumb. I cracked open the second box and took out a quarter of the mix for the last color. For BC, I used both boxes from the start.
I sifted the cake mix into a big bowl I had tared (zeroed with bowl on) on a scale reading in grams, divided by the number of grams by 6, and scooped that many grams into a separate bowl. I poured out my liquid (3oz per quarter, 4oz per third of box) into a measuring cup. I started dumping all the liquid in at once then whisking, but the bubbles burst up the edge of the bowl and had to be scraped down. The best method was to start whisking the dry ingredients to get the motion going and a pit in the center, then slowly pouring the soda in and whisking until incorporated.
I tried mixing the cake with ginger ale (for the record, Shasta brand is nasty), Squirt, Club soda (which has salt and other drink additives) and seltzer water (carbonated water, otherwise known as mineral water, fizzy water, soda water). All of them made cake batter. Squirt and Club soda mixes tasted the best. (I'm sure good ginger ale like Vernors would have been good but I wouldn't waste Vernors on this.) It all looked and felt pretty much the same, even with plain 'ol carbonated water, while mixing and pouring but for one batch of green that was slightly runnier, probably due to slightly more liquid rather than type of liquid. I'll give another update if I can suss out any taste or texture differences by liquid, but so far they're pretty similar.
For the colors, the method that worked well for me was to use my IKEA dessert spoons, dip one in the batter and turn it over. On the back of the battered spoon, I drew lines the length of the spoon bowl. Then I turned the spoon back over, swirled it over the surface to spread the color out a bit and then stirred like mad. Putting the batter on the spoon first meant there were no intense bits of color stuck to it. I used about 9 lines (roughly 1.5") for single colors in the 1/4 box batter and 12-15 for slightly more intense color in the 1/3 box batter.
The first cakes became dark before fully cooking at 350F, so I decreased the oven temp to 325F and tented the cakes with Al foil for the last 3rd of the time. The colors, they were glorious and entertaining. The texture, though. It starts light and gets gummy when you chew it. It's extremely sticky, but fragile. Bottom line? You can make cake with a boxed mix and a can of any lightly colored carbonated beverage, flavored or otherwise. And gel colors are awesome. But I think it needs an egg to give it some structure.
Rainbow Cake, Rev C.O
- 2 boxes white cake mix
- just under 24 oz. clear/light soda (reg or diet) like Squirt, ginger ale, plain soda water.
- 2 eggs
Sift box mix (can make all together or half at a time) into a biggish bowl. Make a bit of a hollow in the middle. Pour some soda into a measuring cup. Add an egg. Fill with more soda to get a known measure up to or less than max amount. (Start with soda so egg doesn't stick as much.) Start pouring it into the mix while whisking, increasingly incorporating cake mix. Add remaining soda. Total liquid should be 24 oz (12/box), including the egg. Reserve remaining soda.
- Preheat oven to 325F.
Divide cake batter into roughly (or exactly) 6 equal parts in other bowls. Color mix/soda batter to desired red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple hue with gel colors. (Betty Crocker makes some, look in the frosting section.) Add 9-15 lines of 1.5" of gel color from the tubes or just eyeball it until it looks good. One method is to draw lines on the back of a batter covered spoon used to blend the color in. Stir until color is uniform. Scrape down with spatula if needed. Do this before starting to fill the pans.
Line 2 cake pans with parchment, then spray with "Pam for Baking". Dump about 2/3 of the red in center one pan, slightly less than 2/3 of the orange in center of red, then half of the yellow in the orange. Similarly, Dump 2/3 of the purple in the other pan followed by slightly less than 2/3 of the blue and half of the green. Then switch sides and continue to layer with remaining colors in order.
Bake per box timing directions, but at 325F. Check cake just before minimum time. When top looks solid, grease a piece of aluminum foil and tent it over the cake (can touch it). Continue baking until cooked but not golden brown, as far as possible. Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes before handling.
- 8oz. tub of non-dairy whipped topping (Cool Whip) at fridge temps or so.
- 3.4 oz package of dry Vanilla instant pudding
- 2-3 oz soda or seltzer (or milk, if it won't be sitting out long)
Mix ingredients in any order. Frosting should be smooth and form stiff peaks. Spread on cooled cake. Carefully stack another layer on and keep frosting. If it's goopy add another T of liquid and keep going. Cut into your fabulous Rainbow cake and show everyone the pretty colors!
This cake, it is not organic. You can also make cupcakes. This might be a good candidate for "ice cream cone" cakes where the batter goes into flat bottomed cones to be baked. Layer it a t or T by a time. It was pretty fun to make. If you let your kids eat food coloring (some people have really bad reactions), it's an extra good project because there are 6 spoons and spatulas that need to be licked clean.
So that was an hour, not 10 minutes. I'll add pictures tomorrow, probably just editing this entry.