number two has been on a mission. it’s a mission of reading. (woohoo, hallelujah, right?) this school year, he joined his school’s battle of the books team…which is led by our local library with schools in the area. each school can have a team of 3rd – 5th graders and there is a list of 20 books that the team must read throughout the season. every couple of weeks there’s a “battle” between two teams, where questions on the books are asked and students answer “jeopardy” style. so, number two has been working his way through this list of 20 books, and he wrapped up one of the biggest ones last week: “pie in the sky” by remy lai.
this book was 380+ pages of goodness (and, a little bit of teeth pulling). he loved the story, but it was a long book for him…but, i’m so proud of him for pushing through and finishing it! and, one of the coolest things at the end was a recipe. a recipe for a rainbow cake, which number two spotted well before he was finished with the book. once he showed me the discovered recipe, i decided a little bribery wouldn’t hurt: that as soon as he finished the book, we’d make the seven-layer rainbow cake. because when it comes to parenting, i’m never above bribery.
friends, i kept my promise! (well, we made a six-layer cake, but whatevs.) this weekend, we spent a lot of quality time in the kitchen with all the betty crocker baking goodies, the kitchen aid mixers, a lot of eggs and a whole lotta frosting. (and, special shoutout to our friend paula for loaning us an extra couple of 8″ round cake pans…when you’re staring down six layers, it helps to have more than two rounds going at a time!)
so, this cake called for: a layer in each color of the rainbow, with each in-between layer filled with vanilla whipped frosting and pieces of fruit that coordinate with the layer’s color. to embark on this project, i hit up our local meijer, and thankfully they had the massive amount of cake mixes and pre-made frosting i needed. (note: the book’s recipe calls for making the cake from scratch. hahaha, yeah that wasn’t happening.) we got to work, and managed to have three layers baking at a time in the oven, in all their bright + bold glory!
for anyone who’s wondering just what’s needed to try and create this cake, here’s what i used…i’m going to warn you upfront: this cake was incredibly moist (i hate even using that word) + heavy. add on the water from the fruit, and let’s just say that i was woken up this morning with number two barging in saying, “the cake fell over!” the cake toppled over and we lost about 50% of it (but dang if it isn’t so super moist – ick – and tastes so good!)
rainbow cake from “pie in the sky” (the shortcut version)
three boxes of betty crocker vanilla cake mix (plus the oil, water + eggs you’ll need)
seven cans of betty crocker whipped vanilla frosting (yes, 7)
gel food coloring (red, yellow, green, blue)
skewer sticks (to brace this beast of a cake!)
to make the layer colors, we did have to do a little color creation that worked out wonderfully. another pro tip: don’t place the fruit all the way to the edges of the layer. i did this on the red layer, and by the time we got two more layers on top of it, all of the strawberries on the edge were squeezing out the sides!
the cake was absolutely delicious. it’s huge. it’s a lot for one person. the boys shared a piece and didn’t even finish it. but, dang if it wasn’t fun to make and even more fun to see my little guy get so excited about finishing this book and getting this rainbow cake as the prize!