a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rainbow 4-layer cake---elegant and deceptively cheap and simple

When I first started this blog, I told you that, except on very rare occasions, all the recipes would be simple and cheap.

This elegant cake's look is deceptive! It is, in
keeping with the blog title and author, really
cheap, quick and simple! And looks even
better in "real life" than in the photo.
      At this very moment I am baking this rainbow cake for a party tonight. Looking at the photo you will think this is one of those rare occasions----and when I decided on posting this cake----that is how I remembered it.
     Actually it is cheap and simple and just fits in the elegant category---deceptively.  I have been making this cake for special occasions for 33 years and it always gets oohs and aahs!

The recipe and the photo comes from my well-worn and taped together 1978's Make-a-Mix Cookery book as "Mom's Spumoni Cake." I simply call it Rainbow Cake.

The cake can be made from your favorite chocolate cake recipe or from a boxed mix, baked in two 8" cake pans.  The elegance is in the frostings.

After baking layers according to recipe directions. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then cool on wire racks. Cut each cake with a serrated knife (I use a long piece of thread) to make two layers from each. Frost each layer with a different color of Rainbow Frosting. Stack layers. Do not frost sides.

Rainbow Frosting
1 cup milk
2 T flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 cube) butter or margarine, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar

2-3 drops each green, yellow and red food coloring
1/4 tsp each almond, lemon, peppermint and vanilla flavorings
3 T cocoa powder

In a small saucepan, combine milk, flour and salt. Cook over medium heat about 5 to 7 minutes, until thickened. Set aside and allow to cool.

Combine butter or margarine, shortening and sugar in a medium bowl. Beat well. Add to cooled milk mixture, beating constantly for about 7 minutes, until smooth.

Divide mixture among 4 bowls and flavor each as follows:

  1. Add the green coloring and the almond flavoring
  2. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla flavoring
  3. Add the red coloring and peppermint flavoring
  4. Add the yellow coloring and lemon flavoring.
When I first came across this recipe it was one I had to try because it sounded so intriguing (weird!). I have done that with a few other recipes that struck me the same way. Maybe I'll have to hunt them up and share them.

In the meantime, enjoy this one.

'til we eat again,
          Simply, Gail

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