Sunday, 24 July 2011

An attempt at a Rainbow Layer Cake

Following on from last week's practise session of a layered coffee cake when I saw food colouring on offer in ASDA I knew I had to give it a go!  I've never used food colouring actually in cakes before, but I have used it to colour icing.

I used my box standard cake recipe and doubled the contents, so:

200g Self Raising flour
200g Caster sugar
4 eggs
200g butter

Then used the usual method, creaming the butter and sugar, then sifting in the flour with each of the eggs.

I then divided the mixture (fairly) equally between five bowls.

 I then added some food colouring to each of the bowls, and attempted to mix the red and the blue to get purple.  I ended up with an off mauve.  I transferred the coloured mixture into lined cake tins and cooked them in the oven for 18 minutes.

I wasn't very impressed with the results though - they came out in differing shades of brown!

I sandwiched them together anyway, using buttercream icing and strawberry jam.

You can see some variations on colour when the cake was sliced through - but it wasn't the effect I was going for!

 I'm told I need some food colouring paste, and that will do the trick with it, but unfortunately I won't be able to get my hands on any until Saturday morning, and I need to make my cake on Friday night.  I have a wild idea I might do the layers of icing in different colours rather than the actual cake itself, maybe doing a chocolate cake?

Have you used food colouring in baking before?


  1. Have you seen the photos I posted of my citrus battenburg (@The_Greedy_Pig)? On my first attempt I used liquid colours and it was rubbish. I used paste on my next attempt and the colours were amazing. Look for "bake stable" on the label.

    Jo (The Greedy Pig)

  2. Hi Rach,
    Colour pastes are better as they also don't water down your cake mix, however if you do use the liquid stuff then the key is that you don't use the natural stuff. Artificial colours are what you need, and you'll have to use the whole bottle too. this is what I've done before when making red velvet cupcakes and I don't want to waste my expensive pastes!
    See you at cake club!

  3. The cake still looks very, very yummy though!


  4. I'll definitely look out for colour pastes - I'd used natural food colouring - I thought it would be better for me than the artificial!

  5. Hi Rach,

    Did you manage to get hold of the food colour pastes? I've been on the search all day but apparently Leeds doesn't know what they are.

    I need to bake my cake today! I started yesterday with liquids and got the same pale outcome as yourself.

  6. The reason your colours didn't work is because Asda have opted for the natural food colour approach. if you want vibrant colours you need to get artificial colouring as it's more stable under hot conditions (I had the same outcome as you using Asda colourings:/).


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