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THE CLASSIC ITALIAN RAINBOW CAKE

by ArKa

You will never forget this incredible cake that will leave your family and friends wanting more! There are three layers of fluffy almond cake filled with fresh raspberries, a silky chocolate ganache coating, and lots of chocolate sprinkles on top.

Taking inspiration from The Original Cakebites, here is a Classic Italian Rainbow Cake.

The Italian-American immigrants who created these indulgent treats in the late 1800s used them as a staple in celebrations with friends and family.  Local bakeries specialized in these treats and became synonymous with “local craftsmanship”. In addition to being commonly known as seven-layer cookies, Italian wedding cookies, and Venetians, these luscious treats are now available in convenient packaging for everyday consumption.  The holiday season or a party invitation is not necessary!

Now I understand why homemade cakes might be frightening to some people. There is no need for all of the usual fuss and fuss around baking a cake with this recipe. There is nothing you need more than a simple cake base with a perfectly smooth chocolate ganache.

In the recipe card below you can find the full recipe, as well as the video tutorial. I would love it if you tried this recipe (you totally should), tagged me on Instagram @imancake and used the hashtag #BakingWithMANCAKE.

https://youtu.be/aZI7rBe93Oc

Check out the full tutorial video here!

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT BAKE

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE A SIMPLE WHITE CAKE?

  1. Dry ingredients should be sifted and whisked together.
  2. The wet ingredients should be mixed in a separate bowl.
  3. Then, add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and combine.
  4. The centers should be springy when touched when prepared in the pans.

THE ROOM TEMPERATURE IS AN INGREDIENT

Ingredients that are cold do not mix well with those that are at room temperature.

Always make sure you bring ingredients to room temperature before starting any recipe that calls for dairy products in order to achieve a lighter, fluffier baked good.

PROPER MEASUREMENTS

Making homemade cakes and cupcakes requires proper weighing of ingredients, especially if you are making them from scratch.

Measure liquids at eye level with a standard liquid measuring cup by kneeling down and getting in close contact with your measuring cup.

Dry ingredients should be measured by spooning them into a measuring cup or spoon, and then leveling them off with a straight edge knife or spatula.

AVOID OVER MIXING YOUR BATTER

Over-mixing the batter will result in the gluten being overdeveloped, and your cake or cupcakes will be heavy and dense as a result.

START BAKING IMMEDIATELY

After mixing your batter, bake the desserts right away.

The air you’ve beaten into the batter can escape if you leave it standing too long, resulting in a denser cake.

PEEKING IS NOT ALLOWED!

If you’re tempted to peek inside your oven to see how your dessert is doing, resist the urge. It is possible for fragile air bubbles in the batter to burst if the oven door is opened or closed before the baking time has concluded.

The presence of cold air in the oven during baking can result in a dense, deflated bake, even if you are gentle with the door. Don’t peek at your baked goods until you’re about two-thirds of the way through their baking time.

A GUIDE TO CHECKING IF YOUR BAKED TREATS ARE DONE

Baked goods can be checked for doneness by inserting a cake tester or wooden toothpick into the center while still in the oven.

Whenever a tester or toothpick is inserted, it should come out with only a few moist crumbs sticking to it; there should be no wet batter visible.

The bake should bounce back if you lightly press down on it and there are no dents afterward. If the baked goods are removed too soon, they will sink in the center as they cool, and if overbaked, they will be dry.

A FEW TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT CAKE

  • You should double the recipe for 8-inch pans or triple it for 9-inch pans if you don’t have 6-inch pans.
  • Sour cream can be substituted with whole milk or yogurt if desired; I do it all the time and can’t tell the difference.
  • Whenever using a Meringue-base, be sure to whip the buttercream just before using. Frostings made from meringue will lose their consistency if left too long, making them impossible to smooth.

THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS

THE TASTE OF WHITE CAKE IS WHAT?

You can add other flavors to this cake as well, such as orange blossom water for a delicious floral note or rose water for a slightly sweet note.

The “almond” extract used in white cakes is often artificial; I don’t enjoy it.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO DECORATE A LAYER CAKE?

My decoration scheme for this cake was simple and charming. Whenever you use whipped buttercream, just make sure you whip it for 5 seconds right before you use it. Leaving it alone for too long causes it to bubble.

I used a bench scraper to smooth out the side of the cylinder and an offset spatula to smooth out the top.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SMOOTH A CAKE?

Frosting Has Bubbles: Before applying frosting to a cake, whip it JUST before using it.

When buttercream is based on meringue like Swiss and Italian frostings, it loses its lovely consistency rather quickly.

CAN THIS CAKE BE STACKED AND DECORATED?

Definitely! This recipe can be scaled up to make a triple layer cake by doubling or tripling the recipe and stacked, as well as covered in fondant.

TIPS FOR PERFECTING A WHITE CAKE

  1. The butter and sugar need to be creamed together properly for good rise. Although we have the crutch of baking powder and soda, the first and most crucial step in any recipe is to mix butter and sugar until creamy.
  2. Using egg whites: I recommend using only egg whites. Do not use yolks. It will not only give us a pristine white cake, but it will ensure that the crumb of the cake isn’t weighed down by the fat in the egg yolks. Just think about it: in order to make lighter confections, such as marshmallows and angel food cakes, egg whites are only needed. Exactly the same.
  3. A little sour cream: It keeps everything moist, making it the cake’s security blanket.
  4. Keep your ingredients at room temperature: Be sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before you begin. In a mixture of equal parts cold and warm ingredients, they bind together more readily than if the ingredients are of different temperatures.A cold batter will produce thicker ingredients, particularly egg whites, and, since it is cold, it will take longer to bake. Hence, the batter is different.

Basically, make sure you’re properly creaming the butter, sugar, and sour cream together, as well as using cake flour, egg whites, and sour cream. This cake includes a delicious buttery vanilla flavor that you won’t regret – ever. Definitely. Once.

A GUIDE TO STORING CAKES

In the first two days following baking, cakes are at their best. If they are stored in an airtight container, they can remain at room temperature for up to five days, but after three to four days, they will begin to dry out.

The cakes should be allowed to cool completely. Putting un-iced cakes into a box while they are still warm may cause the tops to become sticky, which may hinder your ability to frost them properly.

The container lid should not touch the icing, so choose an airtight container that is tall enough. Leave the container at room temperature if possible.

In cases of hot and humid weather that causes the icing to melt or when the cake is filled or decorated with something that needs refrigeration (like lemon curd or meringue buttercream), you should store the cakes in the refrigerator.

Bringing your cakes back to room temperature before serving is important if you must store them in the refrigerator.

CAKES READY TO BE FREEZED

It is possible to freeze uniced cakes for up to 3 months. To prevent soggy cakes when defrosting, ensure that the cakes are completely cooled to room temperature before freezing. This will prevent condensation from forming, which could cause condensation when the cakes are defrosted.

It is not necessary to completely enclose the cakes in an airtight container to preserve freshness, but individually wrapping each cake before enclosing it will be better for preserving their freshness and taste.

Allow them to defrost uncovered after having been taken out of the freezer to avoid sticky tops.

I USE THE FOLLOWING TO MAKE CAKES:

TIPS FOR PERFECT GANACHE

https://youtu.be/qa1zyX0lO48

A tip for making ahead: You can make the Ganache ahead of time, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

If you want to make a drip with this, you should microwave it in increments of 10 seconds, stirring after each interval, until your Ganache is room temperature and uniform in consistency.

The most popular ratio when using white chocolate is 3:1, meaning three parts white chocolate to one part heavy whipping cream. Use the same steps as for the 3:1 ratio and you’re good to go! 

In case you are using dark chocolate: To the recipe ratio above, add two tablespoons more heavy whipping cream. If you don’t add cream to dark chocolate, it’s prone to cracking because of the higher cocoa solid content.

COOLING IS A PROCESS THAT REQUIRES PATIENCE

I recommend letting the Ganache cool on top of your counter for at least 20-30 minutes, depending on how cold your environment is.

Putting Ganache in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process doesn’t often work out well – it tends to cool unevenly, resulting in thick, globby drips.

The urge to stir cooled food excessively also occurs when it cools in the fridge. Especially with white chocolate, ganache doesn’t like to be stirred too often, which can result in the separation of your whipping cream from your chocolate.

This can be seen by looking for what is called grainy and dull Ganache, or even separating like oil and water. Whenever the Ganache separates like this, you’ll need to reheat it to 92°F to melt the fat crystals, then whisk to bring it back together.  

IF I DO A DRIP CAKE, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

CHECK THAT YOUR BUTTERCREAM IS CHILLED

This tip is based on science. When the buttercream is chilled, the chocolate ganache drips more easily because molecules move more slowly (and more rapidly when they reach higher temperatures).

The cake should be chilled for at least 30 minutes after the final buttercream coat is done.

ALWAYS DO A TEST DRIP

Try letting some of the Ganache run down your cake’s side once the buttercream is chilled. Whenever the Ganache moves rapidly, it pools at the bottom; this indicates that it is too warm.

Try your test drip again after another 5-10 minutes of cooling the Ganache. You can tell if it’s too cold if the frosting is globby or doesn’t travel very far down the side of the cake.

In the microwave, reheat the Ganache for about 10 seconds, stir, and try again. Warm the Ganache continuously until it reaches the desired consistency.

Test drips can be beneficial in that you can see how the Ganache behaves before you make it. Thus, you won’t be forced to commit until you are comfortable with the results.

BEFORE FILMING UP THE TOP, DRIP THE SIDES

The first time I made a cake, I thought I should just pour the ganache on the top and let it drain down the sides of the cake.

You know that when you’ve tried that before, it doesn’t look good.

Start by dripping the sides of the cake until they are appealing before filling in the top. This will give you more control over the look of the cake.

When you are filling in the top, don’t add too much Ganache because, if you add more to the drips you have created, it will cause them to travel farther than you would like.

Consider using just a small amount of Ganache and spreading it so that it touches the drips. Getting the ganache super smooth isn’t that important, since it will level out a bit.

AVOID TOUCHING THOSE DRIPS

You probably know that Ganache is a little sticky when it’s room temperature if you’ve made a drip cake before.

During the decorating or packaging process, avoid touching the drips at all if the drips have been refrigerated.

Do you have any other questions about drip cakes? In summary, I am certainly not an expert in the field, but if you have more questions, let me know below and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Do let me know how you got on in the comments below if you’ve tried this tasty treat. Please rate the recipe and let me know what you thought.

THE CLASSIC ITALIAN RAINBOW CAKE PREPARATION PROCESS

prep time: 10 MINUTES cook time: 40 MINUTES additional time: 10 MINUTES total time: 1 HOUR

Useful Links: Convert Grams into US Cups & Convert Grams into Metric Cups

4.5 Stars (31 Reviews)

INGREDIENTS

  • Flour: 2 & 1/4 cups
  • Baking powder, 2 & 1/4 teaspoons
  • Salt, 3/4 teaspoon
  • At room temperature, 1 stick butter
  • Sugar, 1 & 1/2 cups
  • Vegetable oil, 1/4 cup
  • At room temperature, 5 egg whites
  • Extract of almonds, 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Room temperature whole milk, 1 cup
  • Food gel color is pink
  • Gel color for food yellow
  • Gel color for food that is green
  • Heavy cream, 1/4 cup
  • Chocolate chips, 3/4 cup
  • Raspberry berries, 1 pound
  • White sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Lemon juice – 1 – 2 tablespoons
  • Chocolate sprinkles, 2 cups

INSTRUCTIONS

  • The oven should be preheated to 325 degrees.

FOR THE WHITE CAKE

For my personal preference, I double this recipe to make 3 thick layers of almond cake.

  • Stir together the dry ingredients.
  • Combine butter and sugar in another bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Incorporate oil into the mixture.
  • Egg whites should be added and fully incorporated.
  • **Regular vanilla will work just as well**
  • Add flour mixture and milk alternately while whisking between each addition.
  • Then divide your batter between 3 bowls, coloring each batch pink, yellow, and green. For example: 1 bowl of pink batter, 1 bowl of yellow batter, and 1 bowl of green batter. The amounts of food gel color to add depend on the vibrant color, but I recommend adding 6 drops pink, 8 drops yellow, and 5 drops green.
  • You will need one pan for each color. Place your batters in your prepared pans.
  • A cake tester should come out clean after baking it for 30 – 35 minutes.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  • In a heatproof bowl, place chocolate chips.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of heavy cream into a glass measuring cup and microwave for 60 seconds.
  • Over chocolate chips, pour hot heavy cream and allow to sit for 1 – 2 minutes.
  • You will have a silky smooth chocolate ganache mixture once you have combined the chocolate chips and heavy cream.

FOR THE RASPBERRY COMPOTE

  • Raspberry berries should be added to a small saucepan.
  • Juice of lemon and sugar to taste.
  • 20 – 25 minutes on medium low heat.
  • Reduce by about half by stirring often.
  • Let cool completely after being removed from heat.

DECORATING

  • Bake your cakes and let them cool before leveling each one.
  • Add a thin layer of raspberry compote to your pink almond cake and place it on your cake decorating table.
  • Layer more raspberry compote on top of your yellow almond cake.
  • Your green almond cake should be the last layer in your cake stack.
  • Spread the chocolate ganache over the entire cake.
  • Your chocolate ganache should be smoothed over using a cake frosting scraper, straight spatula, or offset spatula. When smoothing your cake, hold the smoothing tool upright while gently pressing the tool against your cake as your cake turntable rotates. This process needs to be repeated until your cake has a smooth coating.
  • Put an offset spatula on top of the chocolate ganache to smooth it out.
  • After 5 minutes, put the jar in the fridge.
  • Add a second layer of ganache after the first has set. The cake should be smoothed after the ganache has been applied.
  • Then, you can decorate with chocolate sprinkles after your ganache has been smoothed out. Half a cup is placed on top of the cake and the remaining half is sprinkled around the sides.

NOTES

  • Ensure that your dairy ingredients reach room temperature before adding it to your recipe. As well as combining more easily (no over-mixing is needed), room temperature ingredients can also trap more air. The trapped air will expand during the baking process and result in a fluffy texture.
  • Taking care of your pan: There will always be “the next best way to take care of your pan” articles. Simply stated, however, I find in my kitchen that rubbing shortening along the sides, putting parchment paper on the bottom, and giving my baked goods a light dusting of flour (cocoa powder for chocolate baked goods) is the most effective method.

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