Baking with Betty

By Betty Heald | Apr 01, 2017

This week's column is dedicated to Edna — a gifted artist for sure.

Double Rainbow Swirl Cake

1-1/2 cups softened butter

2 cups white granulated sugar

4 large eggs

8 ounce package cream cheese

8 ounce white chocolate chips

1/2 cup unflavored yogurt

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups cake flour (DO NOT SIFT)

1 small package raspberry Jell-O powder

1 small package orange Jell-O powder

1 small package lemon Jell-O powder

1 small package lime Jell-O powder

1 small package blueberry Jell-O powder

1 small package grape Jell-O powder

Generously butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Beat the softened butter and granulated sugar in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until light and fluffy and well mixed. Soften the cream cheese in a microwave-safe container on high for 1 minute. Let it sit for 1 minute longer without heating. Add white chocolate chips, unflavored yogurt and salt. Heat the mixture on high for 1 minute more. Again, let it sit in the microwave for 1 minute, then try to stir it smooth with a heat-resistant rubber spatula. If you can't, heat it in 30-second increments with 30 seconds of standing time until you can. Add this to the contents of mixing bowl and beat until everything is thoroughly combined. Add the baking powder and vanilla extract, mix until incorporated. Add the cake flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition. Mix until the resulting batter has no lumps.

Divide the cake batter into six smaller bowls. (This is easier if you first divide the batter evenly into two larger bowls and then divide each of these bowls into three smaller bowls. Just do it as best you can.) Open the first Jell-O package and add 2 tablespoons of the raspberry Jell-O powder to the batter in the bowl. Mix it until it is thoroughly combined and the red color is deep and even. Repeat with the next five Jell-O flavors in the remaining five bowls, adding 2 tablespoons of each powder to its own bowl of batter (save powders that are left for the next time.) To prepare your cake for baking, begin with the raspberry (red) Jell-O bowl. Use a soup spoon to transfer the batter into one of your cake pans in a puddle, leaving room for the other two colors. Rinse out the bowl. Move onto the second bowl flavored with the lemon Jell-O. Use a soup spoon to put the lemon mix in a puddle next to the raspberry puddle. Rinse out the bowl. Move on to the third bowl, (orange) and spoon out the batter in a puddle that remains in your cake pan. Pick up the cake pan, holding the pan up about 4 inches from the surface, and drop it on the counter. This will settle the batter.

Leave the cake pan on the counter and insert the tip of a knife about 1 inch from the inside edge of the pan. Run the knife around in a circle, dragging it against the bottom of the cake pan to make a spiral. Don't make too many circles. You don't want the cake batter to mix into the other colors too much. Three spirals is just about right for this size cake pan.

Move on to the empty layer pan. Using the same technique, make puddles from the green, blue and purple bowls. When you have your 3 colored puddles in the second pan, drop it to settle the same way you did with the first layer pan. Use the rinsed table knife to repeat the swirling process with your second layer pan.

Bake your layers at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted 1 inch from the center of the pan comes out clean and the top is a light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool in the pans on a wire rack about 20 minutes. Run a knife around the outside of the cakes and then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.

White Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

(May be doubled)

1/2 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 teaspoon salt

*4 tablespoons white creme de cacao

3-1/2 to 5 cups confectioners sugar (don't pack down)

*Can substitute 1/4 cup heavy cream for the white chocolate creme de cacao. Then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla to your frosting.

Use an electric mixer to make this frosting.

Place the softened butter and salt in mixer bowl. Beat at HIGH speed until the butter is smooth and creamy. Add 2 cups of the confectioners sugar. Beat until smooth with no lumps. Gradually add the white creme de cacao, beating until thoroughly combined. Add another cup of confectioners' sugar. Beat until thoroughly incorporated.  Add another 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar and beat until everything is smooth and creamy.

If your frosting has reached a good spreading consistency, stop beating and proceed to frost the two-layer cake. If it has not, you may add up to another cup and a half of powdered sugar.

Set one layer, bottom up, on a cake plate. Put dabs of frosting on top and spread out evenly. Place second layer, top side up on first layer. Frost sides. Put a generous dab of frosting in the center of the top. Put dabs of frosting around it. Spread them together to cover the whole top. Let frosting dry for 10 minutes or so before decorating any way you want, colored frosting, sprinkles, etc. Yield: 12 to 24 slices.

Our thought for the week: "A hug is like a boomerang — you get it back right away." — Bill Keane

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