I had a craving for cake, so I decided to try my hand at a rainbow shamrock cake!
For the cake:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 cups sifted all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
5 eggs (separated)
For the frosting:
1/3 cup softened butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or whatever)
1 pound (about 3 1/2 cups) sifted confectioners sugar
2 egg whites (unbeaten)
1 Tablespoon milk (about)
Step 1: Mixing the Batter
Preheat oven to 350 degees.
Grease and lightly flour two 8 inch pans.
Cream butter and sugar well. Add dry ingredients, sifted together, alternating with milk and egg yolks, beginning with dry and ending with dry.
Beat the egg white until they hold stiff peaks and fold them into batter. (This step isn't completely necessary as when I added the food coloring I flattened all that fluffy goodness. I suppose you could separate the batter, then color it and add an equal amount of egg whites, but I went another way as you shall see)
Step 2: Coloring the Batter
I wanted to have as few dishes as possible, so used this method to color and distribute the batter. Alternatively you could just use various bowls.
Find a glass or container that will fit a ziplock sandwich bag. Flip the rim outward. Separate the batter equally, about 1/2 to 1 cup should work. Add food coloring, close, and knead to mix.
Again, this takes away from the lightness of the cake, but doesn't bother the flavor one bit.
Do this however many times and colors you desire. I fudged on the purple so had only 5 instead of six. For yellow, I just left the batter alone, using only 4 bags for the color.
Step 3: Filling the Pans
Squeegee the batter to the bottom of the bag and get out as much air as possible. Make sure the bags are closed securely , roll down the extra and nip one corner of the bag. Small nips control the batter better, and you can always make them larger if your having a flow problem.
Using about a tablespoons worth of batter, start with your darkest color and work through the rainbow, over and over again. The batter will spread out on its own.
Step 4: Baking
Place in the middle of the rack and bake for 25-30 minutes. I have a wonky oven so it took about 40 minutes.
Bake until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.
Step 5: Shaping
Allow the cakes to cool.
Using your pan as a guide, place a piece of wax paper down, trace the pan, then cut it out.
Fold the resulting circle into quarters, nip a dip in the middle then round the edges . It will look a little like a heart. Unfold and place the template on top of the cakes.
I stacked mine, thinking of doing just one two layered cake, but wound up making two single layers. (The natives were restless so I did a quicky topping.)
Using a steak knife cut the rough shape. You can fine tune it afterward.
Step 6: Icing
You can choose either topping choice, or choose your own.
The first is simply powdered sugar sprinkled on top along with some green sugar sprinkles.
The second is a butter cream frosting recipe my grandmother used.
You cream the butter, salt and flavoring until light and fluffy. Then add the sugar and egg alternately, beating after each addition. Add milk until smooth. It makes about 2 1/4 cups.
Add green food coloring of course.
I piped mine but it's not necessary. I was just attempting my grandmothers technique. I think if I had chilled the frosting longer that it would have come out a bit sharper.
Cut in and enjoy the good luck rainbow inside the shamrock!!