This past St. Patrick’s Day I made a Leprechaun Trap Cake, shown above, which revealed a nice rainbow shape inside each slice. I created the rainbow by pouring colored cake batter into an angel food cake pan one color on top of the other and it came out surprisingly well. (More details on the amounts of colored batter I used are in the original post.) At the time I wondered if doubling the recipe or using different cake pans would result in the same effect and I’ve made a half dozen cakes over the past month to find out. The results are below and it turns out the answer is “nope”.
For each of the following cakes I used the same boxed white cake mix, the same gel food colorings and the same technique to layer the batter.
Two boxes of cake mix in an angel food cake pan. For my original cake I used one box of cake mix in this same angel food cake pan. Doubling the amount makes a big difference and the cake almost spilled over the top of the pan while baking. If I’d leveled this one I would have had a swoopy and uneven rainbow, but it would have been there.
Half a box of cake mix in a 6 inch round cake pan. This was my most successful test variation. The cake shown has been leveled and turned out onto a plate, each slice had half a rainbow.
One box of cake mix in a 6 inch round cake pan. I was hoping that the flat bottom of the cake pan with lots of batter would result in a tall rainbow, but instead I got something that looks more like a volcano. I didn’t level this cake.
Half a box of cake mix in a 4.5 x 8.5 inch loaf pan. I hoped the flat bottom of a loaf pan would give me similar results to the bundt pan but the batter didn’t quite behave the same way. I leveled this cake before cutting into it and didn’t realize that the leveled top held all the blue and purple colors, so I put it back on for the sake of the picture.
One box of cake mix in a 4.5 x 8.5 inch loaf pan. Another loaf pan experiment this time with twice the batter, and another volcano like result.
Two boxes of cake mix in a round mixing bowl. Here again I was hoping a tall cake would result in a nice tall rainbow. I didn’t get that but I did get some very impressive swirling down the center of the cake and back up around the sides of the bowl. The center of this cake never quite baked. A failure all around but it’s pretty cool to see how the batter moves while it’s baking.
My conclusion is that using less batter in a flat bottomed pan will more likely result in the rainbow arch I was hoping for. And that I got very, very lucky for the first version of this cake that I made to come out so nicely. Call it the luck of the Irish?