Somewhere over the Rainbow
By Jill Pryor
You don’t have to search high and low for these gloriously cheerful multi-coloured marvels – you can make them yourself! Perfect for birthdays, celebrations and parties, these impressive show-stoppers are made of six colourful sponge layers with buttercream icing. The butterflies and buttons can be made in advance and in fact are better left to dry for at least three days. The sponge can be made the day before so all you need to do on the big day is assemble!
To make the rainbow cakes:
- Make a quantity of plain sponge cake mixture, divide it evenly between bowls and colour each using your desired choice of concentrated food colour. Bake thin layers, one at a time in a 1O x 3″ greased and lined square tin.
To make the butterflies:
- Roll out pink modelling paste to approximately 3mm thick. Using firm pressure, roll the top using a fanciful flourish impression pin.
- Place a butterfly die over the icing and gently press down. Cut around the outside using a craft knife and neaten the edges with a flower leaf shaper tool. Remove the die, lift the butterfly with a palette knife and position over the corner spine of a cereal box, lined with a plastic stationery sleeve, to maintain the angle of the wings when drying.
- Brush a little water along the central line of the butterfly and add a small ball for a head and a rounded cone for a body. Use the pointed end of the flower leaf shaper tool to add indents. Repeat using a smaller butterfly die. Make as many butterflies as necessary and leave to dry until hard, for at least three days.
To make the buttons:
- Roll out blue modelling paste to approximately 4mm thick and re-roll using the fanciful flourish impression pin. Use the larger end of a #1A nozzle to cut the large buttons and the smaller end to cut the small buttons.
- Indent the centre of the large buttons using the smaller end of the same nozzle. Press gently into the modelling paste, ensuring you do not cut through. Use the flower leaf shaper tool to create four holes in each large button. For the smaller buttons, only make two holes. Make a selection of green and blue buttons and leave to dry until hard.
To cut the layers:
- Use the 7cm circle cutter from the deep circle cutters set to cut nine discs out of each sponge. Top tip: Cut and level one sponge at a time to prevent the crumbs contaminating the other sponges.
- Place a disc on a turntable and trim the top and bottom to remove any dark cake. Place two cocktail sticks into the side of the cake, 1.5cm up from the base as a marker. Using a large serrated knife, with your arm pressed firmly into your body for stability, cut the disc in two using a gentle rocking motion, rotating the turntable at the same time. Repeat for each disc to give 18 layers of each colour.
To fill the cakes:
- Make a batch of buttercream and beat really well to make it light and fluffy. Using a #5 nozzle, pipe around the edge of a purple sponge disc then generously fill in the middle with more icing.
- Align a blue disc centrally over the top of the purple disc and gently press down. Repeat, adding the green, then yellow and lastly the orange sponge discs. Check your cakes from all angles to make sure the discs are aligned and even.
To decorate the top:
- Using a #822 nozzle, pipe a swirl on each orange disc, starting from the outside and working in. Scatter rainbow sprinkles on the icing, then add either the butterflies or buttons made previously.
You Will Need
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