Originally I wasn’t going to bother to post about the cake I made for Cayra’s sixteenth birthday. However, I have had so many people ask how I did it…here it is! True confession time, I am chuckling as I write this because I don’t even like cake, and we only ever have it as a very special treat, rarely! Yet this is the second “cake post” I have done. I was inspired by various pictures of rainbow cakes that I have seen online, both from friends and Pinterest. For this one I wanted to do something a little more subtle and Cayra loves the colour orange, so that’s where I started! Usually, I don’t take the time to actually read the directions, I just wing it. My apologies to those ‘Type A’ folks who want more specific instructions. Sign up for Pinterest …hee hee. I’ll share how I made this cake & what I used, please play around and personalize from there!
Disclaimer: I am NOT a professional cake decorator, I design cakes for my own kids…anything I have learned over the years is through trial and error, so if you know of a better way or some fabulous tips…please share! I am always open to learn.
Cayra’s Flower Explosion cake
- Enough vanilla cake batter to fill four 8″ round cake pans (double most recipes or two boxes of cake mix)
- Golden yellow, pink & leaf green Wilton food colouring (use the good stuff)
- Approximately 6 cups of buttercream icing (loved the texture of this recipe, held up well)
- 1.5 cups of orange, yellow & green Smarties (yes, we sorted out the other colours!)
- piping tubes and tips
- orange and gold sprinkles
1. Make the batter according to instructions or mix. Divide into four equal parts, place in separate bowls. Using a 1/8 teaspoon add equal parts pink/yellow dye to the first bowl, until it is just slightly tinted peach.
2. Move on to the other bowls of batter, adding more dye to each subsequent bowl until you get four different shades, with the last one being a lovely dark peach. I apologize that I can’t give more specific instructions as to how much dye I added to each batch…I really just played with them until they looked right to me!
3. Bake cakes according to instructions in recipe or mix. Cool for several hours or overnight.
4. Place the lightest coloured layer onto your cake stand or plate. Thinly ice the top with the buttercream icing. Place the next darker layer on top and layer with the icing, repeat with the third layer…but do not add icing to top.
5. Using a medium sized straight edged drinking glass, open end down, center the glass on the cake and gently press through the third layer, twist gently and pull out, remove the excess cake from the glass and repeat, pressing down and removing the center of the second layer. Do not cut through the first layer. Using a teaspoon carefully reach down and gently scrape any excess icing that may be sitting on top of the first layer.
6. You now have three layers of cake, with a “well” centered in the two middle layers, fill your well with the Smarties!
7. Carefully ice the top of the third layer, avoid getting icing on the Smarties. Top the cake with the fourth and darkest layer.
8. Ice the sides with the natural cream colour buttercream icing. Pull aside & colour approximately 1 cup of icing with the leaf green dye, using a flat tip, pipe stems of green at various heights , starting at the bottom of cake working up the sides.
9. Add a few drops of pink and yellow to the remaining icing, mix well and using a ‘petal’ tip , start at the outside edge of the cake and make little tear drop shaped loops, continue around the entire outside edge. Continue adding more drops of dye to darken each circle of petals, working from the outside in. I realize that people who actually do this for a living would have several tubes at their disposal, I had one…that Theo borrowed from the High school foods program, so yes… I squeezed out the extra and added the darker colour for each circle…I was a mess, but it worked!
10. For the center, I went quite a bit darker in colour and switched to a rosette tip and made a cute little center for the flower.
11. Sprinkle a few gold flakes around the base and some orange ones on top!
12. Store in a cool place until ready to serve.
13. Watch excitedly as the birthday kid cuts into the cake & wonders what the heck is in there! Have your camera ready for the Smartie volcano !