Adored by children and adults – this seven tier cake is a delight when cut into. Many celebration cakes are covered with fondant then decorated with sweets and I believe it is all too much. I am moving away from sugar fondant and prefer instead to cover a cake in buttercream (not too sweet) that can then be finished with simple decoration. This finished cake is tall and slim – the cakes are only 6 inch (16cm) diameter so I like to use a spirit level as the cake is being built – a tall cake leaning over is not a pretty sight.
To make the cakes:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c (fan)
Cream together the soft margarine or butter with the sugar and vanilla until the mixture is light, pale and fluffy. Add then the eggs which have been beaten together, little by little, until the mixture is thick and mousse like. Fold in the flour and when the mixture is well combined divide between 7 separate bowls. I weighed the mixture and you should find that approximately 230g cake batter per bowl will be an even distribution. It is then necessary to colour each batch. I prefer colour gels and make sure you colour the mix quite strongly so that you achieve an effective rainbow cake. Make sure the colour is well stirred through and there are no white streaks in the mix.
Bake the cakes – I did mine two at a time – for 17-19 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Turn out onto cooling racks and leave to go completely cold.
To make the buttercream whisk up the butter so that it is light and fluffy then add the sifted icing sugar a little at a time whisking well between each addition. I add double cream or crème fraiche, a little at a time – I think it takes the edge off the sweetness. Finally stir through the flavouring.
Take about a quarter of the buttercream and put into a clean bowl – that will be used later for the final coat.
Use the rest of the cream to sandwich the cakes. Start with the violet cake, spread over a layer of cream then add the indigo cake. Spread the cream around the sides as you go and check the cakes are level with the spirit level before covering with cream and adding the next (blue) cake. Continue in the same fashion, regularly checking they are level, smoothing the sides and working upwards until finishing with the red cake. Spread cream over the top of the cake and finish smoothing the sides. When you are happy that all the cakes are covered, the icing is smooth and the cake is level and straight, pop into the fridge to firm up for at least two hours.
Take the cake from the fridge and use the final quarter of the cream to spread over a second and final coat. Use a bench scraper to smooth the top and sides then fridge for an hour or two before decorating.
I think a collection of coloured sprinkles give an excellent effect.
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