skylanders rainbow cake
For A.’s 13th birthday, I made her a Skylanders cake. A. and her brother S. got into Skylanders after S. got it for Christmas from Jake and I. She thought Skylanders was lame until she actually played it, and then they both ended up totally adoring the game. Skylanders though – it ain’t cheap. Buying the little figures new is about $10 bucks apiece, but luckily Jake found someone selling them on craigslist for a better deal. You really can find just about everything you could ever want or need on craiglist… I’ve found jobs, concert tickets, and the bestest thing I ever found on craigslist… Jake!
Anyway… I disgress. I got the idea for doing a rainbow cake on the inside since A.’s favorite thing lately is Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony… and we put dragon skylanders on her cake, so it kind of melded together. The sky, clouds, rainbows. You get the picture.
This is the finished product! The very tops have “clouds” that the dragon figures are sitting on. The dragons double as a cake topper and present since they can be used for the Skylanders game. Let’s see how this sucker came together…
I took a shortcut with this cake and used two boxes of white cake mix to do the layers. I divided the batter into six bowls – each with about 1 and 1/2 cups of batter. I added food coloring to each bowl to get it to about the shade I wanted for each layer. The red layer needs a little extra red coloring since red is difficult to make bright. But, since this was a small amount of batter I only needed about 1/4 of the bottle. Not too bad!
The orange layer had me worried for a bit since it looked pretty pink/coral colored in the bowl – but happily it turned out to be orange enough!
I only have 2 round baking pans, so it took a little bit of time and patience to bake each layer. I baked them for about 13-14 minutes, two at a time, until complete. I wrapped up the layers in plastic wrap since Jake wanted to help me assemble the cake over the weekend.
The layers didn’t turn out very even, so I lobbed off the tops a bit to even them out. I loved how the cake scraps looked so colorful! I’m sure there was something I could have done with these, but I was too lazy to do anything. But I’m sure they’d be good for a few cake pops … or just stuffing into your mouth.
I made a simple vanilla buttercream for the layers and outside of the cake.
I might use a store bought mix, but I always make my own buttercream! I usually add less sugar to it so it’s not cloyingly sweet – it tastes so much better.
For two of the layers, I added crushed Oreo mint cookies to the cake. This little addition to just two layers made the whole cake taste minty, without being overbearing.
The layers, ready for frosting!
Once I finished the inner layers, I added blue food coloring to the rest of the frosting and added my crumb coat.
While I was doing the cake layers, Jake did the “cloud” toppers. Here he is with a serious Joker-like smile on his face. It creeped me out a little.
He made the rice krispies treats and while they were still warm, we molded them into cloud-like shapes. Then he melted some white chocolate and dipped all of the treats in so they would be covered in white. Then we tore apart some mini marshmallows and placed them all over the treats for a fluffy-cloud effect. Three of the clouds were stands for the Skylanders characters so they didn’t marshmallows on top, just on the sides.
If the chocolate hardens before you have time to put all of the marshmallows on, you can just dip the marshmallows back in the white chocolate and then adhere them to the treat. Easy peasy!
I had just enough frosting to cover the rest of the cake, and did a simple pattern on the side by just pushing the frosting upward with my palette knife.
Birthday girl had no idea that the cake had rainbow layers – she thought it was red velvet at first since the very top layer was a deep red. She was so surprised and excited to see the inside!
Gosh, we were so full after eating a slice of this six-layer cake. Almost as big as Claim Jumper’s!
This was a super fun project and Jake and I had so much fun putting it together. It was great to see A.’s face when she finally cut into the cake!