Thursday, July 4, 2013

In The Name of Love : My Pride Rainbow Cake

Last weekend was the Dublin Pride 2013 festival where men and women from across Ireland came together to celebrate LGBT life.  It's actually the largest Pride festival in the country and has grown from a one-day event in 1983 to a ten-day festival with a huge arts, social and cultural content.  It's loud, it's proud and it's colourful.  Speaking of which, my work friend Ms. Katona (not her real name but we  know who she is) collared me back in January to make her a cake for a Pride party.  It had to be big, brash, bright and most of all, delicious.

I based it on the birthday cake I made for my niece Alicia last year but ramped up the flavours to suit an adult palate.  The actual cake mixture and method was identical, but I changed the icing to a white chocolate sour cream because it's more adult friendly.  Katona was ever so slightly happy with the cake and it was cut long in advance of the actual party.  Some people have no self-control!

Each 9-inch layer was both coloured and flavoured and I used a variety of brands to get the effect I wanted. From the bottom up, we have

Purple : Purple gel colouring and Chocolate flavouring
Blue : Blue gel colouring and Ginger flavouring
Green : Green gel colouring and Lime flavouring
Pink : Pink gel colouring and Strawberry flavouring
Yellow : Yellow gel colouring and Lemon flavouring
Orange : Orange gel colouring and Orange flavouring
Red : Red gel colouring and Cinnamon flavouring

Pride Rainbow Cake

350g Butter, very soft
350g Caster Sugar
6 Eggs, at room temperature
350g Self-Raising Flour
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
2-3 tbsp Milk

Preheat your oven to 170c/Gas Mark 4 and spray your 9-inch cake tins (use two, four if you can beg, borrow or steal them) with some Cake Release.

In a very large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, with a tablespoon of flour, one at a time (this stops the mixture from curdling) and the vanilla extract

Add the rest of the flour and then thin down the batter with the milk, a tablespoon at a time until it's a loose dropping consistency.

Time to split the mixture into 7 bowls and start the colouring and flavouring process.  About a teaspoon each of colouring and flavouring will work per bowl containing 200g cake mixture to get a decent depth of colour and flavour.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins - this is where you realise that having four cake tins makes a lot of sense - and bake for 10 minutes.  Cool for 2-3 minutes in the tin and turn out onto a wire baking rack*.  Keep going until all seven layers have been baked.

*Get a roll of baking paper, cut it into 8 squares about 2 inches larger than the cake and crumple each square thoroughly.  As the sponges are ready to turn out onto the wire cooling racks, place them on a square of baking paper, then onto the rack.  It stops the cake getting wire rack marks and helps you to transfer them easily into a stack once they're cold.  Trust me.  I make mistakes so you don't have to!

White Chocolate Sour Cream Icing

130g Butter
300g White Chocolate
500g Icing Sugar
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
250ml Sour Cream
Melt the butter and chocolate, either over a bain marie or in the microwave (gently... you don't want to burn the chocolate) and let it cool for 20 minutes.

Add the golden syrup, vanilla and sour cream to the melted chocolate and whisk well.  Sieve in the icing sugar and mix until it's all beautifully combined.

Sandwich each of the layers with a thin coating of icing.  When they're all stacked, see if it needs to be trimmed (mine did) and then give the whole cake a "crumb coat" which is a thin coating designed to catch all the pesky crumbs.  Stick the cake into the fridge for at least an hour before covering it in the rest of the icing.  I used some neon colour sugar crystals on top for a bitta bling. 

And in case you're wondering what happened to the trimmings, don't worry, they went to a good home...


  1. What no trimmings for your work buddys

  2. Looks amazing...would like to say how good it tasted but did not have the privilege. Maybe next time you will make an extra 1 for your colleagues

  3. Ah you poor little pets. You never get any cake, do you...

  4. No we only get to see pictures of cake

  5. That's all you'll be seeing from now on. Dawn is back tomorrow!