There are rainbows everywhere at the moment – and rightly so, as we all show our appreciation for the courage and dedication of our NHS workers. And now that you’ve made the rainbow posters for your windows and chalked rainbows on your pavements, #BakeARainbow has been launched by baking brand Dr Oetker to encourage families to show their support for the NHS by baking.
To give you some suitably colourful inspiration, we’ve picked out these 3 amazing rainbow cake ideas from Dr Oetker, which makes ready-made fondant icing, coloured gel icing and flavourings. All 3 recipes are simple to make and offer the kind of colourful decorating or squidgy-mixing fun that children love to get involved with.
We’d love to see your finished rainbow cake creations! Do share pics with us on Instagram or Twitter – and don’t forget to use the #BakeARainbow hashtag and tag any NHS workers you know to show your support for them and enter them into a prize draw to win their own rainbow cakes.
1. Rainbow biscuits
Pic: Dr Oetker
These cute butter biscuits are decorated with coloured fondant icing that needs rolling into a sausage shape before laying in a rainbow shape on top: the perfect task for any little playdough-rolling pros…
Makes 16 biscuits; takes 40 minutes
- 115g unsalted butter
- 65g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- about 1 to 2 tsp milk
For the decoration:
- 1kg ready-to-roll white fondant icing
- a little icing sugar, for dusting
- gel or liquid food colourings in pink, orange, yellow, green and blue
- Line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment and set aside.
- Mix together the butter, vanilla extract and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth. Add the flour and mix to form a soft dough. If the dough is too crumbly, add 1 to 2 tsp of milk to help bring the dough together.
- Once the dough is formed, roll out to a thickness of about ½ cm on a surface lightly dusted with flour.
- Cut out circles about 9cm in diameter and then cut each circle in half to create semi circles. Place the semi circles onto your prepared baking tray, spaced slightly apart ,and leave in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
- While your biscuits are chilling, you can colour the fondant. Divide the fondant into 6 pieces and place 5 of them in some cling film to prevent them from drying out. Take the remaining piece of fondant and, on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, knead it until soft and pliable. Flatten it, then place a few drops of pink colouring into the centre of the fondant. Fold the fondant into itself to knead in the colour, adding a few more drops until your desired shade of colour is achieved. Wrap your coloured fondant in clingfilm. Repeat this for 4 of the others pieces of fondant, colouring each piece a different colour. Leave the 6th piece of fondant white.
- Place your biscuits in the oven to bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden brown in colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the biscuits are cool, break a small piece off each ball of fondant and roll into a thin sausage shape. Brush a biscuit with honey.
- Starting at the top of the biscuit, lay the pink fondant sausage around the top of the biscuit, then layer the orange below, then the yellow, green and, finally, finish with a small ball of blue fondant to fill the middle of the rainbow. Gently push down on the fondant rainbow to ensure it is stuck to the biscuit. Repeat this step with the other biscuits until each one is covered in fondant.
- To finish, roll the remaining white fondant into small ‘cloud’ balls and stick onto the base of each rainbow.
2. Rainbow Smartie cake
Pic: Dr Oetker
This easy-peasy sponge cake is cut in half to make a semicircle and then decorated with arches of Smarties: just the thing for a toddler mastering the art of colour-matching…
Makes 8 slices; takes 40 minutes
- 165g magarine or butter
- 165g caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 170g self-raising flour
- buttercream icing (either a 400g ready-bought tub or 600g icing sugar, beaten into 300g soft butter)
- 118g Smarties
- Pre-heat the oven the 180°C/160°C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
- Place the margarine or butter and sugar into a large bowl and mix together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat together to form a smooth mixture.. Sift the flour on top and fold into the mixture until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes until it looks lightly golden and a skewer, inserted into the centre of cake, comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove, and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Cut the cake half to create the rainbow shape. Spread a layer of buttercream onto one half of the sponge and then sandwich together with the other half.
- Stand the cake on a cake board or serving plate with round edge up, so the cake looks like a rainbow. Cover the top and sides of the rainbow in a thin layer of buttercream.
- Stick the Smarties onto the front of the cake in a rainbow pattern.
(Optional) Place the remaining buttercream in a piping bag and cut off the end to create a 1cm hole. Pipe blobs of buttercream around the base of the rainbow to resemble clouds.
3. Rainbow Rocky Road
Pic: Dr Oetker
These sweet and sticky squares of yum just need a (little) someone who’d love to get their hands all sticky pressing the mixture into the tin. There’s no flour needed, so a great baking choice if the shop shelves are light on the old self-raising again…
Makes 16 pieces; take 15 minutes
- 450g white chocolate, broken into pieces
- 40g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 150g shortbread biscuits, broken into pieces
- 100g dried apricots, chopped
- 100g glace cherries, halved
- 100g dried cranberries
- 100g pistachios, shelled
- 75g pink mini marshmallows
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin. Place the white chocolate in a saucepan, add the butter and put over a very low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Remove from the heat, transfer the melted mixture to a heatproof bowl and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
2. Stir in the biscuits, dried fruit, nuts, marshmallows and vanilla extract. Mix well to make sure all the pieces are coated in chocolate and spoon into the prepared tin. Press the top down to pack the mixture into the tin.
3. Cool, then chill for at least 2 hours until set.
4. To serve, allow to stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes, then remove from the tin and peel away the lining paper. Using a large sharp knife, cut into 16 squares.