I must start off by saying that decorating a cake with a 20-month-old must be a lot
like decorating a cake with a pack of monkeys. Drunk monkeys. They reach, they fall,
they laugh, they stuff things into their mouths and most of all, they try to help.
Except they don't really want to help, they want to do it all "self"!
And now that I've shared and put that out there, I can show you what I made.
This morning, baby and I made a rainbow cake in honor of this week's
parsha, or Torah portion, the story of Noah. Last year we made
animal sugar cookies, marching onto Noah's teiva or ark.
We started off simply enough, with a 9x13 Duncan Hines yellow cake, cooled
and turned over so the flat bottom was on top; much easier to decorate a flat
cake than one with a mound, baked that way because your oven is off kilter and
you have no idea what to do about it.
To make an extra fancy cake tray like the one you see in the picture,
just flatten an extra large cereal box or grab a piece of cardboard and wrap it
many times in foil. Tape the ends of the foil together on the bottom, turn over
and yahoo, a tray!
Center the cake on the tray as best as you can and set it aside.
Next, gather together all the tools that will make this go as smoothly and as
quickly as possible. You will need the larger container of vanilla Duncan Hines
frosting*, food coloring in the colors of the rainbow (either liquid drops or
gel colors, I used gel because that's what I have around), toothpicks, 6 plastic
cups, 6 spoons, and a small offset spatula. And something for the baby to do. In
this case, she played with the small and tightly closed - I repeat closed, tightly,
my friends, tightly - gel food coloring pots. Because getting that stuff off your hands
will seem like a walk in the bakery compared to getting it off a squirmy toddler's hands
and neck and ears and feet.
Do what you will, I'm just giving fair warning.
Divide the frosting between the six cups and stick a spoon in each cup. Tint
each cup a different color (Let's sing, all together now : Red, orange,
yellow, green, shiny blue, purple too, all the colors that we know, shine up the
rainbow! One more time, with feeling now!) I used the toothpicks to put
some of the gel coloring into each cup. Be sure to never stick a toothpick that
has been in the frosting back into the gel coloring, you'll ruin the whole pot.
Instead, if you feel you need more color in your frosting, use a new toothpick.
Don't be stingy, it's a toothpick. Just get up and get another one. If you are
using liquid food coloring drops, just squeeze a few drops into your frosting,
mix and see what the story is before adding more.
Use a knife to kind of sketch out your rainbow on the cake. Don't drop the
knife into the cake, taking a chunk of cake off with it, like I did. But if you
do, don't cry. It'll be okay, just kind of smoosh the piece back in, it'll be
fine and covered in frosting and no one will know but you. I promise.
I frosted the top section of my cake, on the sides with blue for the sky. I
was planning on frosting the bottom with green to make grass but I ran out of
room, but by all means, do so. It sounded really cute in my head. It also sounded really
cute to parade animal crackers across the bottom of the cake, but I didn't have any. But
if you do, go for it, I would if I were you.
Then I used each color and filled in the rainbow, all the while having the
baby sit on the counter next to me, trying to eat the cake and the purple
frosting. Looovved the purple frosting. And learned a new word today,
poople. Perhaps I should call this the "one-handed-frosted-cake".
Once the rainbow was done, I realized the sides of the cake were still
naked. I didn't have enough frosting of any one color to finish it off so I just
used all the colors. Looks like a kindergartner did it, kind of in keeping with
this whole experiment.
And then we were done, almost. Because store bought frosting just doesn't have
enough added sugars and poisonous dyes, I added some kind of store brand
fruit loop cereal. I matched up the colors of the cereal with the frosting and there ya go,
a rainbow cake.
I had a thought to use sprinkles, but my sprinkles are rainbow colored, all mixed
together and the thought of separating the sprinkles into colored piles made my
knees go weak and not in a good way, so fruit loops it was. Although, I must take a minute
to share here and tell you that I do have a good friend, mentioned on this blog
more than once, that once did just that. I won't tell you who, but I will tell you that
she spent a considerable amount of time searching for the white sprinkles in a box
of assorted ones, in order to decorate a sushi cake. No, really.
Anyhow, I'm not sure what the protocol here is, but I am going to cover it
very loosely with foil and store it in the fridge.
*did you know that this stuff is now non-dairy? I learned that this
past summer when I sent Josh to Shoprite for chocolate chips and he came home with chocolate chips AND frosting. So fun and so much easier for the kosher baker!
If you like what you've read, leave a comment please!
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)