Hey there! Is it just me, or is June f-l-y-i-n-g by? It’s kinda sad that our daughter has only been out of school for a week, and I already sense summer slipping through my fingers. I think it’s because we have so many weekends already spoken for. But the feeling of “not enough hours in the day” is so typical of my Type A personality…I always feel the need to be productive in some way. That being said, we spent the morning after our youngest’s 4th birthday relaxing and I did relish the idea that we had nowhere to be and nothing pressing to do. During the school year, it’s always go-go-go. Today was the first day that I released the reins a little, and it felt good. We played on the swing, went to the park, read books, took naps, drew with sidewalk chalk…it was a nice day.
Anyway, I mentioned that we celebrated our baby’s 4th birthday yesterday, so that’s what I’m here to tell you about. She requested rainbows this year, so I ran with that. I hesitated titling this post “Recipe of the Week” because it’s really more about method than ingredients. But for lack of a better word…it is about food after all.
We usually celebrate birthdays simply in our house. Dinner followed by a cake of the birthday girl’s choosing, a few gifts, and balloons at breakfast. For some reason, this was one of my favorite birthdays so far. Maybe because she was so thrilled by the old-fashioned swing tied in our front-yard tree with a big red bow, or maybe because the colors were just happy, but I was reminded once again of how the simple things are what really make kids feel loved. So anyway, here are the deets on the cake:
Nap Rating = 3+ naps (My recipes don’t normally require nap ratings like my crafts do, but in this case, I felt the need to be completely honest…this sucker took awhile to make! But it was totally worth the look on her face when we cut into it.)
I really wish we had remembered to take a picture of the top of this cake before we cut into it, but we were so excited to see how it looked inside, we forgot. So the pic above will have to suffice. You can find lots of recipes for rainbow cake on Pinterest, but I just used a vanilla box cake. You will need:
- 2 boxes of white cake mix
- 3 cans of frosting (yep.)
- gel food coloring
- 2 or more cake pans
- parchment paper
- about 1/4 lb. of each color M&Ms (I bought mine in bulk and they were already separated by color)
- Trace your cake pans onto parchment paper and cut 6 rounds.
- Mix up the 2 cake mixes according to the package instructions. Just make sure to double the eggs, water, and oil.
- Separate the batter into 6 bowls. To make the amounts in each bowl relatively equal, I would suggest using a large ladle to scoop one ladle-full into each bowl, then repeat until the batter is gone.
- Color each bowl of batter a different color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Follow the directions on the back of the gel and it should come out pretty well. I found violet to be the hardest.
- Lightly spray your cake pans with Pam and line with parchment paper.
- Bake at the temperature indicated on the box, but you’ll probably need to reduce the bake time because the layers won’t be quite as thick. I have only 2 cake pans, so I baked the red and orange, then the yellow and green, then the blue and violet. The parchment paper made it easier to get the cakes out and immediately re-use the pans without having to wash them.
- Let the layers cool completely, then stack them with frosting between each layer. Make sure to put the violet on the bottom.
- Because of the precariousness of this assembly, I gave the cake a quick crumb coat at this stage (i.e. a thin layer of frosting), put three bamboo skewers through the whole thing, and put it in the fridge. In my opinion, this made the whole thing more stable to frost later.
- Frost the rest of the cake, then put the M&Ms on the top in a rainbow pattern.
Now the kabobs were much easier…they hardly require an explanation. I used strawberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple, kiwi, and blueberries; but, you could also add purple grapes at the end. Here they are:
So there you have it. One rainbow birthday = one happy girl. What traditions do you have for your kids’ birthdays?