Thursday, July 25, 2013

Crayon Rainbow Cake

A few weeks ago I celebrated the end of my first year of studying early childhood education (preschool teaching). Can you believe it has been one year already?!

My parents always told me I should be a teacher, which is why I didn't want to do just that (funny how us kids do that!) But after 24 years I decided to try it out, despite previous apprehensions.

Well, it turns out, although early childhood seems like a weird choice for someone who has worked in office jobs, banking and retail all her life, teaching kind of suits me. Just like my parents said it would. *rolls eyes*

At times it can be a creative outlet too with fun things like baking with the kids (my area of expertise at my centre). Plus it makes for cool cake ideas, like this one!

Crayon Cake

I'm one of the lucky few students who actually 'works' in my centre (I get paid!) and have been in this centre since late last year when they asked me to stay on after I completed a practicum placement there.

My centre is amazing, the teachers are lovely and so caring. I feel like I've learned so much over the past few months so I really wanted to give something back to the team to say thank you.

I thought about waiting until the end of the calendar year to make them a cake but realised it wouldn't seem quite so special because teachers get bombarded with presents, chocolates, wines and cakes at the end of the year (perks of the job!)

When I brain stormed ideas for the cake I couldn't get crayons out of my head (not literally, don't worry...although I end up with them on my clothing all the time!) so I decided to model my cake design on a packet of Crayola crayons.

Crayon CakeCrayon Cake

The best thing about this cake is that when you cut into the packet of crayons the inside looks like a whole lot of melted crayons! That's right, I made a rainbow cake for the insides.

I've done my best to photograph each step of the process but unfortunately the photos just aren't up to my usual standard. That's what happens when you think a cake will take all day (when the lighting is good) but it actually takes all day and all night.

How to Make a Splotchy Rainbow Cake

You will need:
Vanilla cake mixture (I used 1 1/2 times this recipe)
Food colouring (red, yellow, blue - more info below)
Large spoon
Six bowls
Two cake tins
  • Preheat oven to temperature stated on your recipe (nearly always 180 degrees C isn't it?)
  • Prepare two 8" square cake tins and line with paper paper.
  • Using the large spoon scoop out mixture one scoop at a time into the six separate bowls making sure the mixture amounts are reasonably equal.
  • I used gel food colouring to get a nice bright colour out of the mixture but you can use liquid, you'll just need to add more to get it nice and bright. To use gel colourings just dip a toothpick in the gel and add to mixture, you'll need to mix it thoroughly until it forms one colour.
  • Red: mix Rose gel to get a nice dark pink then add Red Red gel. Orange: mix Red Red gel with Golden Yellow gel. Yellow: mix Golden Yellow gel. Green: mix Kelly Green gel. Blue: mix Royal Blue gel. Purple: I used a mixture of  Regal Purple gel and then some Rose gel to brighten it up a little.
  • When colours are complete, drop spoonfuls of different coloured mixture in each of the tins, making sure that you use equal amounts in both. 
  • When you have run out of cake mixture (or tins are about 1/3 to 1/2 full) lightly tap them on the bench to get rid of air bubbles.
  • Place cakes in the oven and bake for appropriate cooking time (mine took about 25 minutes).
  • When cakes are cooked leave in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.

Crayon CakeCrayon Cake

Vanilla Buttercream

200g Butter, softened
1 t Vanilla Essence
2 1/2 C Icing Sugar
1-2 T Milk
  • Beat butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  • Sift icing sugar into a large bowl and add to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time.
  • When the icing becomes lumpy add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until it reaches a nice spreadable consistency.
  • Cut the tops off the cakes so they are flat. 
  • Place approximately 1 cup of buttercream on one of the cakes and spread to the edges.
  • Place the other cake on top upside down (so the top of the cake will be nice and smooth).
  • Cut approximately 2cm off the side of the cake and place at the top. I "glued" this in place with some buttercream.
  • Cut a tiny amount off the sides of the cake so you have nice sharp corners on your rectangle cake.
  • Ice the entire cake with the rest of the buttercream.

Crayon CakeCrayon Cake

How to Decorate a Crayon Cake

You will need:
Rainbow cake
Vanilla buttercream
Large sharp knife
Cake board
Yellow, green, red & black fondant
Mini alphabet cookie/fondant cutters
Black edible marker
  • Cover the cake with yellow fondant and place on a large rectangle cake board.
  • Roll out green fondant and cut two large triangles to go on the bottom corners of the cake. Glue these on using a small amount of vodka and a clean paint brush.
  • Cut four small strips of green fondant and place these just above the corners.
  • Roll out green fondant a little thicker and cut out a rectangle to be placed on the cake board. Use a small circle cutter and a knife to make the hole in the top (where you hang the packet of crayons).
  • Add a little black fondant to the green to make the dark green colour.
  • Roll out dark green fondant and cut two triangles to be placed on top of the green ones.
  • Cut three rectangles to be placed around the sides of the cake.
  • Roll out black fondant and cut a half circle with rounded edges. Place this near the top of the cake.
  • Roll out green fondant and cut out letters to be placed underneath the black fondant.
  • Roll out red fondant and cut out letters, place these on a thin piece of white fondant and cut around the edges, leaving a thin border.
  • To make crayons, roll out different coloured fondant and cut into 1 cm wide strips. 
  • Place these on the black fondant and carefully trim the edges at the top to angle inwards. Cut the bottoms to the right size.
  • Using the edible marker, draw black squiggle marks (like the ones on the packet).

Crayon CakeCrayon Cake
Crayon Cake
Crayon CakeCrayon Cake
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Crayon Cake


  1. Wow, it looks awesome Lydia! I love how the colours look before baking.

    Congrats on 1 year of study, that's awesome :) Is it a 3 year degree?

  2. Wow! Beeea-utiful! One day I'll attempt something like this.

  3. oooh that's soo cool! Totally wanna bake one now :) Thanks for putting this up!