When James and I got married last summer I knew I wanted to make my own cake. We had a smallish backyard wedding, and I love to bake, so I knew I could handle it! I’m not sure what made me decide to have a rainbow cake, other than that it’s so pretty! I thought it would be helpful to write down the details in case anyone else wants to do something similar.
I first saw Martha Stewart’s Rainbow Layer Cake Recipe, but knew I would have to modify it to make a large enough cake. I did a lot of research, including poring over Smitten Kitchen’s wedding cake posts, and ultimately decided to use the Butter Cake recipe from the Wilton Cake website. (Their website and forums are a treasure trove of great cake information!) I used their Wedding Cake Data Chart to figure out what size pan to use and how much cake batter to make so I would end up with a 50-serving, 6-layer cake. It was a lot of math! I used two 10″ square cake pans (Wilton brand, bought at Joann’s), and used 3 cups of batter per layer.
I didn’t have my stand mixer in California so I did two batches of 1.2 times the recipe. I told you it was a lot of math! And a lot of butter and eggs.
This batter was beautiful! And delicious too. I love that the recipe uses almond extract. It makes a very moist, dense cake that was perfect for making sturdy layers. It was almost as rich and dense as a pound cake.
I used Wilton brand gel food coloring, which I also bought at Joann’s. I hoarded coupons for weeks to save money! It is described as icing color, but it worked beautifully in the cake batter. For each layer I measured 3 cups of batter into a smaller bowl and then colored it.
The first batch is cooked!
My mom was there for moral support. Thanks, Mom!
All baked and ready. I made the cake layers about a week before the wedding.
For frosting I decided to use Smitten Kitchen’s Swiss Buttercream recipe. This is a beautiful frosting with a lovely shimmer, and it tastes delicious too. It has all the buttery flavor of a buttercream without the heaviness. It apparently also holds up better in the heat, which was important for an outdoor wedding in July in central California! This is definitely my new go-to frosting recipe. It is a little tricky, like the recipe describes. I made it with a hand mixer and it would be much easier with a stand mixer. There is a point where it looks like a soupy mess, but you just keep adding butter and it finally comes together.
I made the frosting the day before. It got hard in the fridge so I just let it sit out for a bit.I can’t find my notes for it, but I think I made twice the recipe for a 9″ cake. I do know I ran out when frosting the cake the morning of the wedding, and had to frantically make more. The layers weren’t completely flat, which became obvious once I stacked the layers. Oh, well. (Here is my sister-in-law, Paige!)
It’s finally time to cut the cake! Here is James’ mom, Sally, and her friend Carol looking on. Plus my Dad/videographer’s hand.
Not bad! (I made my wedding dress too.)
Beautiful! This was really one of the most delicious cakes I have ever eaten, though I say it myself.