Last week was my 28th birthday. (Okay, fine. It was my 33rd birthday.) Some pretty amazing things happened on my birthday, and shortly afterwards, and I will talk about that later…
THIS happens to have been my birthday cake. My mother made me her famous rainbow cake for my birthday cake. I know it has a real name like “Poke Cake” or something, but my mother has made these cakes forever and we’ve always called it Rainbow Cake because of the colors inside the cake. My birthday cake was a mixture of cherry and strawberry and it was so freaking awesome that even my husband – who never, ever, ever eats sweets – ate an entire piece. A whole piece, people!!
I wanted to share our family recipe with you good people. Summer is literally banging on the door here in Miami and we tend to serve Rainbow cake a lot during the summer because…it’s a chilled cake!
1 Yellow Cake Mix (I prefer Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker when using a box cake mix) or ingredients for your standard yellow cake from scratch. I love to bake, and normally, I will make a cake from scratch. But if you are making something like this, a box cake mix will do just fine. And let’s be honest, people – Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines are top sellers for a reason: they are absolutely wonderful and taste delicious!
1 tub of Cool Whip non-dairy topping
1 (4 oz ) packages Jell-O or Royal Gelatin Mix *the flavor is up to you! I prefer cherry or orange, but whatever floats your boat. I will tell you that we have never tried the sugar free varieties of Jell-O so try them at your own risk!
1) Bake the cake as directed. We normally use two 8 inch cake rounds because we like a round cake! But you can also use a13 x 9 inch pan and the result is just lovely.
2) Dissolve package of gelatin into one cup boiling water. Make sure you mix it so that it dissolved completely.
3) Once you remove from the oven, let the cake cool. Then pierce the cake with a fork at 1/2 inch intervals.
4) You have two options for inserting the gelatin. The easy way is to pour the gelatin evenly over the top of the entire surface of the cake, ensuring that it seeps down into the crevices that you just made with the fork. Or you can do what my mother does and use a turkey baster and fill each individual hole with the gelatin! She is totally old school like that. This is personally my favorite way, because it distributes the gelatin evenly and the top layer of the cake maintains its fluffiness. Yes, I said fluffiness. Put the cake in the refrigerator for about two hours so that the jello has time to set completely.
5) Use a large spoon to ladle out the Cool Whip topping and using the back of the spoon, spread it out evenly over the cake. My mother topped my birthday cake with maraschino cherries a) because it was a cherry rainbow cake and b) because I love maraschino cherries.
6) Refrigerate for at least 4 hours for a really firm cake. Enjoy!