Famous Rainbow Cake: An Alternate Take in Half the Time

The rainbow cake has achieved legendary status in the blogosphere. You can’t mention your daughter’s upcoming birthday without someone sending you a link to this one or that one. But what about those of us who just don’t have the time — or the counter space — to bake six individual cakes in different colors?

Allow me to rescue you. Because my take on the rainbow cake came from precisely that problem: no time.

Let me set the stage. It was a dark and ungodly humid night in June. The plan was to make a cupcake cake in the shape of a rainbow — different color icing on each tier. Kiddo has a friend with a red food dye allergy, and this would allow her to eat a white cloud cupcake without feeling like she had been left out.

But you know what happens when you make plans, don’t you?

Yeah, the gods were pissed off at me that weekend. First they’d killed my Internet router, forcing me to take an entire day off from work (that’s what happens when your job is ON the Internet). Then they slated rain for a day when my teeny weeny house would be crowded with 6-year-olds. And then there were the cupcakes. Which stuck.

Yeah. That thought that just went through your mind? Mine exactly.

Here it was 8 o’clock at night, the night before the kid’s birthday party, and the cupcakes were a disastrous mess. And I didn’t really have the wherewithal or the ingredients to risk making them all over again and having it happen again.

So I improvised. And the results are a time-strapped mom’s best bet for their own rainbow cake. All you need?

1. Your favorite cake recipe — I used my mom’s 1, 2, 3, 4 cake recipe (1 cup of butter, 2 cups sugar, etc.).

2. Your favorite frosting recipe — I always make a cream cheese frosting because it’s a fave in my family — in a color you prefer. I did pink because she’s a pink kind of kid, but blue would have made more sense!

3. Multi-colored Twizzlers — I used the regular Twists — to create a rainbow. Use kitchen scissors to cut to the right size, and roll slightly in your hands to warm the twists, making them easier to bend. Don’t be afraid to press them into your frosting so they’ll stay bent. I also used these to make a pot of “gold” under the rainbow.

4. Giant marshmallows — cut in half to make clouds.

5. Star sprinkles (like these from Wilton). Fill your little pot of gold!

And here you go:

And with My Little Ponies added:

 Any other ideas for a rainbow cake? I’d love to hear them … 7 is coming ’round the corner!

More Birthday Party Talk:

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