My recipe for PRIDE Rainbow cake is an update on the version you may be used to. Instead of the typical 6 layers, I've added a 7th which is cocoa flavoured. I've then sandwiched the layers together and coated them in a black buttercream. Inspired by the City of Philadelphia Pride Flag which includes the colours black and brown on the top of the Rainbow Flag to highlight the importance of race within the LGBTQ+ community and the ever need for inclusivity of all.
The cake layers are thin which means they bake pretty quickly. This is useful considering the time you may spend with the food colouring. You can break the making of the cake down into stages, for example baking the sponges on day 1, assembling and icing the cake on day 2, and decorating it on day 3. It will keep in the fridge until it's ready to serve.
Not to tell you how you should decorate your cake although I would recommend you use Swiss Meringue Buttercream as I have developed this recipe so you have spare egg whites (hint hint). Either way make sure you go to town on the decorating so you do indeed serve PRIDE RAINBOW REALNESS!
Hands-on Time 2 1/2 hours (plus cooling)
Baking Time 48 minutes
550g (plus extra for greasing) Unsalted butter (softened)
350g Caster sugar
2 egg yolks, medium
5 eggs, medium
3 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
420g Plain flour
1/4 tsp plus a pinch Fine salt
3 tbsp Baking powder
4 tbsp Full-fat milk
Food colouring (liquid gel is recommended) in at least the colours: Red, Blue, Yellow, Black
2 tbsp Cocoa powder
400g Icing sugar
1 portion of Swiss Meringue Buttercream (optional)
2 x 20cm Square fixed or push bottom cake tins
Large mixing bowl
Electric whisk or wooden spoon
7 Small bowls
1/8 Teaspoon measure
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C (Fan)/350°F/Gas mark 4 and then get on with making the cake!
Using scissors, cut out 7 squares of baking parchment to line the cake tins.
Grease both the bottoms and sides of the tins with butter before lining each with a square of parchment
In a large bowl beat together the caster sugar and 350g of butter until a light creamy pale yellow.
Continue beating, adding the two eggs yolks, followed by one egg at a time along with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract until fully combined.
Sieve the flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and baking powder together over a mixing bowl.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batter and fold in using the spatula.
Repeating with the remaining 2/3s until it has all been incorporated.
Finally, add 3 tablespoons of milk and gently stir until combined.
Evenly divide the batter between the 7 small bowls.
This is where you need to add the colouring to 6 of the 7 bowls. It’s best to start with your primary colours first (Yellow, Red, Blue).
Add 1/8 teaspoon of each colouring to each bowl ensuring you wash the measure each time so you don’t cross contaminate.
If you have ready-mixed Green, Purple, and Orange, add these to the other 3 bowls. If you don’t and are unsure how to get the desired colours, here is what you need to combine:
Red + Yellow = Orange
Blue + Yellow = Green
Red + Blue = Purple
I appreciate if you’re mixing these 3 it can be quite a faff.
For the final bowl, sieve 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder with a pinch of salt over the remaining bowl.
Stir each of these to combine, cleaning your spatula between bowls.
Now it’s time to bake! Pick a colour, any colour, and scrape the contents into the tin.
Gentle smooth the batter to the outsides of the tin. Spread from the middle outwards, being careful with the corners of the tin. Try and ensure you smooth it out as much as possible. I promise it will fill the tin. Repeat with another colour.
Pop the tins into the oven onto a middle shelf and bake for 12 minutes.
Once the time is up, remove from the oven.
If you don’t like the idea of handling hot tins, then leave them to cool a bit. Otherwise, and using oven gloves, carefully remove the sponges from the tins and place them onto wire racks, parchment-side down.
Wipe the tins clean, grease with more butter, and line with another square of parchment.
Repeat the above steps until you’ve baked all of the sponges.
You’ll find they will cool quickly once they’re out of the tin, so you can move them around and put them on worktops in order to free up your wire rack.
If you’re making the sponges a day in advance, leave the parchment on the bottoms of the sponges and stack them, one on top of the other, before popping them into the fridge.
When you are ready to assemble, take the clean large mixing bowl and add the icing sugar, 1 tablespoon of cocoa, and remaining 200g of butter.
Carefully combine using the electric whisk or spoon.
Add 1 tablespoon of milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and 2 teaspoons of black food colouring.
Stir until combined.
If you are serving your cake on a cake board, smear a little bit of the butter cream across the middle before placing your first sponge down. It will help keep the cake in place.
Starting with the purple sponge, removing the parchment if you haven’t already, lay it down. Spread a thin layer of butter cream over the top before you take your next sponge which will be blue, followed by green, yellow, orange, red, and then brown.
Sandwich each of them together with a thin layer of the butter cream.
Spread the remaining butter cream around the sides and over the top sponge.
It’s best to fill in all of the gaps around the sides first before you start neatening it up. If you have a dough scraper you might find this is easer to use as it will help give you crisp sides. If not, a palette knife will still do the job.
Once you’re happy with the cake, pop it into the fridge to set.
It’s now up to you as to how you decorate the cake further.
With my PRIDE cake I made up a batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream which I then divided between 6 small bowls and added food colouring to each.
Taking one colour at a time, I took a dollop on the end of my palette knife before smearing it across the top of the cake in order to make the Rainbow flag. With the remaining icing I smeared it up the sides of the cake.
Finally, I finished off the cake with 100s and 1000s. They will ping everywhere. I have warned you so you can’t blame me when you’re finding them 2 weeks after the cake has been eaten.
It’s really up to you how you express your PRIDE!
My advice is to be bold!