Rainbow Birthday Cake | Hummingbird Bakery

Last week I had the challenge of baking a rainbow cake. Not a task that I had set myself, but my daughter Verity, who was just a tiny bit excited about her forthcoming birthday!

I was given strict instructions: it had to be rainbow, sweets, silver balls, candles and sparklers. Not much then!! And so, eager to please my ever demanding 3 year old daughter, I began my research.

I found a recipe for a cake on the goodfood website, which ticked the rainbow box, however the reviews of “rubbery sponge” and “my son wouldn’t eat it” didn’t exactly convince me that it delivered in the taste department, no matter how glorious it looked.

I decided to make the cake using my old faithful Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. I took their recipe for vanilla cupcakes, and made each sponge with the recipe needed for 12 cupcakes. Yes, this cake was going to be HUGE.  6 sponges x 12 cupcakes = a cake fit to feed 72 people.

I chose to cover it in cream cheese icing in the hope that the tanginess of it would somehow compensate for the sheer amount of sugar going into this cake!  Again, a recipe from Hummingbird, I quadrupled the amount in the recipe. That’s right, 1.2kg of icing sugar.


I coloured each sponge using a small amount of Wilton Gel Food Colourings, choosing which ones by dying water in some clear glasses, and rearranging them until I had just the right combination of colours.

As I constructed the tower of cake the night before her birthday, I was convinced I was going to come down into the kitchen in the morning to find it in a heap – it was TALL and I was sure the sponges were going to slide right off their layers of cream cheese icing.  But hooray! It made it through the night, I was thrilled!

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It took me the best part of the day to make this cake, but oh my, did it taste good! And hearing the excited cry of ‘it’s a rainbow cake!!’ from Verity as I sliced into it, made it worth all the effort!


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