It started one day when my friend pulled me aside at brunch and told me of her small obsession with rainbow cake. I’d seen stories about various rainbow cakes floating about on the different blogs I read, but truth be told, they looked a little gross. But after she sent me the link for the cake (I think that one looks amazing), I started thinking about it more and more. And finally, it possessed me entirely and I had to make it for Otis’s birthday. Does that ever happen to you?
Otis was pretty excited about the prospect of rainbow cake, and I decided to go one step further by baking them in ice cream cones. I ended up doubling this cupcake recipe here (without the lemon), which made 36 cupcakes. I divided the batter into 5 and tinted them with food coloring gel. As my friend pointed out, it is a real commitment to food coloring. I made them at the very last minute so that the cones wouldn’t get soft, which, in my opinion, made them more trouble than they were worth. Particularly because I believe that many kids were disappointed to realize that there was no actual ice cream involved.
However, we had cookies to save the day! I wanted to continue the rainbow theme, so we made rainbow cookies for the kids to take home as a thank you goody.
Apologies in advance for the awful pictures to come, but it was late and dark. I used a double batch of this sugar cookie recipe. I weighed the dough, divided it into fifths and colored it with gel food coloring. With both the cake and cookies, you need to use the gel, which is more concentrated.
I spread the first layer of dough inside a long, rectangular tart pan, using an offset spatula. You can also use a loaf pan, but line it with plastic wrap first so you can remove the dough easily later. I tried to make the layer as flat and even as possible.
Once the dough came to room temperature, it was pliable enough to bend into the shape of a rainbow without cracking. The rainbows went back into the refrigerator and then Otis and I brushed on an egg white wash and then sprinkled them with rainbow colored sanding sugar before baking them.
Poor Otis was so excited about the test batch that we baked that he burned his chin peeking at his cookies and blowing on them to cool. I was surprised at how tender they stayed, despite all the handling. And the cookies were a huge hit with the party-goers and the party boy.