“Finally!”, I hear you shout. This is the cake I made for the crystallised violets. It was my niece’s 22nd birthday and she had asked for a cake reminiscent of childhood birthday cakes. This, then, had to be a rainbow cake. Then I added my own childhood memories – a topping of melted Dairy Milk and chocolate rose leaves. I hope she has similar memories to mine. She was pleased with the cake and I think it soaked up some of the alcohol consumed that day.
However, because it was destined for my niece I couldn’t slice into it to show you how beautiful a rainbow cake is. Also, the girls had helped me make this cake and were very excited about the rainbowness of it all, and then disappointed to see that it came out of the oven looking very much like a normal cake. So I made one for them the very next day and they decorated it with icing. The second one rose a lot in the middle. Mixing the colours into the batter can mean you overmix the cake, losing a lot of the air, and I think this is what happened. It still tasted good though and both girls have requested rainbow cakes for their next birthday.
225g softened butter
225g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
225g plain (all purpose) flour
2 tsp baking powder
50 ml milk
food colourings of your choice ( we used pink, red, purple and green)
Grease and line a 20cm cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180°c, gas mark 4.
Beat the butter until soft and then add the sugar and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat again.
Sift the flour and the baking powder over the batter and gently fold in. Add the milk and fold again. Divide the mixture between four bowls (or however many colours you are using) and using the food colouring make each bowl of mixture a different colour. Try not to overmix the mixture when adding the colours.
Spoon alternate colours into the tin, trying to make a level top without swirling them together too much.
Place into a preheated oven at 180°c, or the baking oven of the four-oven Aga and bake for 45-50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then take out of the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.