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My middle child, Sophie, turned 6 yesterday. She has her birthday party with her friends on Saturday, but it’s always nice to make the actual day a little special. She’s a little girlie and, as such, she loves hearts, flowers, butterflies, and rainbows. When Beth and I attended the Mixed Conference in November, some people from McCormick were there along with cupcake gurus, Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, authors of a great series of books on cupcakes. I was inspired by this beautiful rainbow cake and I thought that it’d be pretty easy to recreate.
Let me just tell you…I was wrong! I spent several hours on this seemingly simple cake. The steps are pretty straightforward:
- Bake the cake (I used 2-9 inch cake pans)
- Them them cool
- Cut off the tops and cut in half
- “Glue” the halves together and apply crumb coat
- Apply “pretty” coat
- Make rainbow colors (using McCormick food coloring, of course)
- Apply rainbow colors
No one step is particularly difficult. It is just very time consuming. I baked the cake the night before and let it cool overnight. I dropped off my son at preschool and did the cutting and crumb coat before picking him up. After I got back from preschool pick-up and bringing cupcakes to the school for Sophie’s class, I finally had time to put on the pretty coat, covering up all (ok, most) of the crumbs. That’s when I ran into trouble. It is so hard to get the right colors for the rainbow.
McCormick has a great color guide for colors that you might not normally think of, but it can be tough to get a really true red. I’m still not sure how Karen and Alan got such vibrant colors. Still, I worked my tail off and even pulled out a purple, because that’s one of Sophie’s favorite colors.
Not perfect and not the vibrant colors of the original, but I was pretty darned proud of my recreation! And just in time! About 15 minutes later, Sophie comes running off of the bus and I’m so excited to show her the cake! She takes one look at it and says, “Daddy, it’s supposed to be green then blue, not blue then green.” I was so devastated! Parenting fail! I had said ROY G. BIV in my head a hundred times and still got mixed up. Still, she loved her rainbow cake! More than that, I think she loved that her daddy made the effort! In the end, an imperfect effort is much better that perfect apathy.
Did you notice that the colors were switched? What was your biggest birthday cake fail? Leave me a comment and maybe I’ll feel better about my own goof.