BBC Good Food Magazine

WEEKEND BAKE

Show support for the LGBTQ+ community by making this beautiful rainbow layer cake, ideal for sharing at Pride festivitie­s

- recipe LIBERTY MENDEZ photograph HAYLEY BENOIT

Bake for Pride with our layered rainbow cake

SERVES 12-14 PREP 1 hr 45 mins plus at least 1 hr 30 mins chilling COOK 20 mins MORE EFFORT V

340g unsalted butter, softened,

plus extra for the tins

340g caster sugar

6 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

340g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp milk

400g caramel or lemon curd

For the Swiss meringue buttercrea­m 5 egg whites

375g caster sugar

500g unsalted butter, cubed

and softened

3 tsp vanilla extract food colouring gels (for Pride, the colours are red, orange, yellow, green, dark blue, purple, light pink, baby blue, brown and black)

1 Butter three 20cm round cake tins and line their bases with baking parchment. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and smooth. Gradually beat in the eggs until combined, then mix in the vanilla. Fold in the flour and baking powder until fully combined. Stir in the milk to loosen.

2 Divide the mixture between the three tins and bake the sponges for 20 mins until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3 Meanwhile, make the Swiss meringue buttercrea­m. Put the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a small pan of gently simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk for 3-4 mins until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and tip the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer (or use an electric whisk) and whisk for 10 mins on a medium-high speed until you have a thick meringue. Gradually whisk in the softened butter, 1 tbsp at a time, until fully incorporat­ed and the buttercrea­m is fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract.

4 Put one of the sponges on a plate or cake stand, top with 3-4 tbsp of the buttercrea­m and spread out so that it’s thicker at the edge. Add half of either the caramel or lemon curd and spread this over the icing on the middle part of the cake, but don’t spread to the edges. Top with the next sponge and repeat, then top with the final sponge. Smooth a thin layer of the buttercrea­m around the cake – this is called a crumb coat. Chill in the fridge for at least 45 mins, then smooth another layer of buttercrea­m around the cake using a palette knife to fully cover the sponge, reserving half for decoration. Put the cake and reserved buttercrea­m back in the fridge for another 45 mins-1 hr.

5 Divide the remaining buttercrea­m between 11 small bowls and mix a different gel colouring (see tip, right) into 10 of them, leaving the last bowl white. Use a different piping bag for each colour, either cutting a 1cm hole in the end or applying a round nozzle.

6 Pipe one row of buttercrea­m blobs in alternatin­g colours from the top to the bottom of the cake, then use a teaspoon or small palette knife to lightly smear each blob of frosting away from you. For the second row, choose the colour that’s next in sequence to start, piping over the thinnest part of that smeared blob. As you continue to pipe around the cake following this pattern, you will create a swirl effect.

7 Continue the previous piping method in a circle on top of the cake, but this time smearing the icing in towards the middle of the cake until the top is covered. It’s now ready to slice and serve. The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to three days.

PER SERVING (14) 866 kcals • fat 54g • saturates 33g •

carbs 85g • sugars 67g • fibre 1g • protein 9g •

salt 0.5g

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