I hope you’re ready for one fantastic cake that will leave your friends & family wanting more! The way to describe this cake: 3 layers of fluffy almond cake, fresh raspberry compote filling, a silky chocolate ganache coating, and lots of chocolate sprinkles.

This Classic Italian Rainbow Cake takes inspiration from The Original Cakebites.

These unique indulgent treats date back to the late 1800s when Italian-American immigrants made them a staple in special celebrations with family and friends.  The rainbow cookies quickly became synonymous with “local bakery craftsmanship”. Widely known as seven-layer cookies, Italian wedding cookies or Venetians, these luscious treats are now available in convenient packaging for everyday consumption on-the-go.  No need to wait until the holidays or to be invited to a party!

Now I know homemade cakes can be a scary thing for many people. This recipe ideally skips all of the typical fuss and stress around baking a cake. A simplified cake base with a perfectly smooth chocolate ganache is all you need.

Be sure to grab the full recipe & check out the full video tutorial in the recipe card below. And if you try this recipe (I mean you totally should be), tag me on Instagram @imancake and use the hashtag #BakingWithMANCAKE.

Check out the full tutorial video here!

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT BAKE

HOW DO YOU MAKE A SIMPLE WHITE CAKE?

  1. Sift and whisk dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Add wet to dry mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Bake in prepared pans until centers are springy to the touch.

Use Room Temperature Ingredients

Cold ingredients do not mix well with room temperature ingredients.

As with any recipe that calls for dairy products, always be sure to take the time to bring ingredients to room temperature because it will result in a lighter, fluffier bake. 

Proper Measurements

Proper measuring of ingredients is key to perfectly baked cakes & cupcakes, especially when you are making them from scratch.

Take a moment to kneel down, get face to face with your measuring cup, and measure liquids at eye level in standard liquid measuring cups.

When it comes to dry ingredients, measure by spooning the ingredient into a measuring cup or spoon, then leveling off the top with a knife or straight edge spatula.

Don’t Overmix the Batter

No matter what you will be placing into your oven, over-mixing the batter can lead to over-developing the gluten, which means your cake or cupcakes will come out dense and heavy.

Bake Immediately

Bake your desserts immediately after mixing the batter.

Letting batter stand for too long can cause some of the air you’ve beaten in to escape, making for a denser bake.

No Peeking!

While it can be tempting, resist the urge to peek in the oven on your dessert’s progress. Opening or closing the oven door before the baking time is complete can cause fragile air bubbles in the batter to burst, preventing the bakes from rising.

Even if you are gentle with the oven door, a rush of cold air can affect the bake while it is trying to set up, resulting in dense, deflated bake. Try to resist the urge to peek until your bakes are at least 2/3 through their baking time.

How to Test if Your Baked Treats are Done

Test your bakes for doneness while they’re still in the oven by inserting a cake tester or wooden toothpick into the center.

Your bakes are done when the tester or toothpick comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs clinging to it; you should see no wet batter.

You can also gently press down on the bake and, if it bounces back leaving no dent, then it is done. If removed too early, the bake will sink in the center as it cools and, if over baked, it will be dry.

SOME TIPS TO MAKE THE PERFECT CAKE

  • If you’re not using 6-inch pans, double the recipe for 8-inch pans or triple the recipe for 9-inch pans.
  • You can substitute whole milk or yogurt for sour cream if desired, I do it all the time and can’t really tell the difference.
  • Make sure to WHIP your buttercream just before using, especially if using a Meringue-base. Meringue-based frostings will loose consistency quickly and become impossible to smooth if you leave them too long.

Be sure to enter the MANCAKE KitchenAid giveaway.

I have 20 KitchenAid Stand Mixers to giveaway & one of them could be yours!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS THE FLAVOR OF WHITE CAKE?

I used vanilla for this cake but you can have fun with other extracts like orange blossom water and rose water for a delicious floral note.

Oftentimes white cakes are made with artificial “almond” extract, I however am not partial to that particular flavor.

HOW DO YOU DECORATE A LAYER CAKE?

I went for a simple but charming of decoration scheme for this cake. Whipped buttercream smooths out really well as long as you remember to give it a quick whip just before using. It becomes bubbly if left on it’s own too long.

The side was smoothed with a bench scraper and I used an offset spatula for the top.

HOW CAN I SMOOTH A CAKE?

Frosting Has Bubbles: Before you pipe buttercream onto a cake try giving is a final whip JUST before you use it.

Buttercream looses it’s beautiful consistency pretty quickly, especially if it’s meringue-based like Swiss and Italian frostings.

IS THIS CAKE STURDY ENOUGH FOR STACKING AND DECORATING?

Yes! You can stack it, wrap it in fondant if desired and scale it up to an 8 or 9 inch triple layer cake by doubling of tripling the recipe respectively.

WHITE CAKE PERFECTION TIPS

  1. Cream the Butter: To achieve a good rise, properly cream the butter and sugar together. We have a crutch of baking powder and soda, but the recipe begins with that very first and imperative step: beating the butter and sugar together until creamy.
  2. Egg Whites: Use ONLY egg whites. No yolks. Not only will using only egg whites give us a pristine white cake, it will ensure that the crumb is not weighed down by the fat in egg yolks. Think about it: lighter confections such as marshmallows and angel food cakes only require egg whites. Same story here.
  3. Sour Cream: Sour cream is the cake’s security blanket; it keeps everything moist.
  4. Room Temperature: Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature. When ingredients are the same temperature, they bind together more readily than if you had some cold and some warmer ingredients. Colder ingredients, especially egg whites, will produce a thicker batter and, since it’s cold, will take longer to bake. This changes everything.

To put it lightly, make sure you’re creaming the butter and sugar together properly, all your ingredients are the same temperature, and you use egg whites, sour cream, and cake flour. The result is an ultra-light cake with buttery vanilla flavor you won’t regret – Every. Single. Time.

How to Store Cakes

Cakes are at their best within the first 2 days of baking. While they can last up to 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container, they will start to dry out after 3-4 days.

Be sure to let the cakes cool completely. Packing un-iced cakes while still warm can create sticky tops, making it more difficult to get the icing to stick when you are ready to frost them.

Choose an airtight container that is tall enough, so the container lid doesn’t touch the icing. Typically, the container can be left out at room temperature.

However, if you are experiencing hot and humid weather that is causing the icing to melt or if the cakes are filled or decorated with something that requires refrigeration (like lemon curd or a meringue buttercream), you can store them in the refrigerator.

If you must refrigerate your cakes, bring them back to room temperature before serving.

Freezing Baked Cakes

Un-iced cakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure the cakes are completely cooled to room temperature before freezing to avoid condensation forming, which can result in soggy cakes when it’s time to defrost them.

While simply placing the cakes in an airtight container is enough, individually wrapping each cake before placing them in the airtight container will better help preserve the freshness and taste.

After removing them from the freezer, let them defrost uncovered to prevent the tops from getting sticky.

What I Use To Make Cakes

Tips for Perfect Ganache

Make ahead tip: this Ganache can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

When you’re ready to use it as a drip, microwave it in 10 second increments, stirring after every interval until your Ganache is room temperature and uniform in consistency.

If you’re using white chocolate: my favorite ratio is 3:1, meaning three parts white chocolate to one part heavy whipping cream. Follow the same steps with this ratio and you’re good to go! 

If you’re using dark chocolate: add 2 extra Tbsp of heavy whipping cream to the recipe ratio above. Since dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids, it tends to set harder and is prone to cracking if not balanced with more cream. 

Be Patient With The Cooling Process

Once you’ve whisked the Ganache together, it’s crucial to let it cool on your countertop until it’s room temperature, about 20-30 minutes depending on how cold your environment is.

Trying to speed up this process by placing Ganache in the refrigerator doesn’t usually end well – I’ve found that it cools unevenly, leading to thick, globby drips.

Cooling in the fridge also leads to the urge to stir it too often. Ganache (especially white chocolate!) does not like to be stirred too often, and the end result can mean that your whipping cream starts to separate from the chocolate.

You’ll know that this has happened because the Ganache will look grainy and dull, or even separated like oil and water. To fix situations like these, you’ll need to reheat the Ganache to 92ºF to melt the fat crystals and re-whisk to bring it back together.  

What if I’m doing a drip cake?

Make Sure Your Buttercream Is Chilled

There’s a science to this tip. Since molecules move more slowly at cooler temperatures (and warp speed at higher temperatures), it makes a lot of sense that you can better control how far the chocolate ganache drips when the buttercream is chilled.

Make sure that after you do your final coat of buttercream, you chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Always Do A Test Drip

When your buttercream is nice and chilled, do a test drip by letting the Ganache run down the side of your cake. If it travels rapidly and pools at the bottom, your Ganache is too warm.

Continue to cool the Ganache for another 5-10 minutes and try your test drip again. If it’s globby or doesn’t travel very far down the side of the cake, it’s too cold.

Reheat the Ganache in the microwave for about 10 seconds, stir, and try again. Repeat the reheating process as needed until you get the perfect consistency.

The good thing about a test drip is you’re able to see how the Ganache will behave. That way you don’t have to commit until you like what you’re seeing.

Drip The Sides Before Filling In The Top

When I first started caking, my initial thought was to just dump ganache over the top of the cake and let it run down the sides naturally.

If you’ve ever tried that before, you’ll know it doesn’t end up looking good.

You’ll have a lot more control over the appearance if you start by dripping the sides until they’re aesthetically pleasing before filling in the top of the cake.

Try not to add too much Ganache to the top when filling it in, because if you add any more to the drips you’ve created, it will make them travel farther than you’d like.

Instead, try to use just a little Ganache and spread it so that it just touches where your drips begin. The ganache on the top should self-level a bit, so don’t worry too much about getting it super smooth.

Don’t Touch Those Drips

If you’ve ever made a drip cake with Ganache before, you’ll know that it’s a little sticky to the touch when it’s room temperature.

When the drips have been refrigerated, they’re a little less fragile, but try not to touch the drips at all during the decorating or boxing-up process.

Is there anything else you’d like to know about drip cakes? I’m certainly not an expert per se, but if you have more questions, let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer!

If you’ve tried this tasty treat then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

Classic Italian Rainbow Cake

Classic Italian Rainbow Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 & 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 & 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 cup whole milk at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 pound of raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups of chocolate sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

For the White Cake

  1. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  2. In another bowl, beat butter & sugar together until light & fluffy.
  3. Add oil & incorporate.
  4. Add egg whites & fullY incorporate.
  5. Add clear vanilla **regular vanilla will work just as well**
  6. Starting & ending with flour mixture, alternate between flour mixture & milk while being sure to whisk after each addition.
  7. Pour your batter into your prepared pans. Do not worry about using all the cake batter in your pans since we'll be using what's left for our donuts. If you run out, though you shouldn't, you can reuse this recipe for white cake donuts.
  8. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

For the Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl.
  2. In a glass measuring cup, pour 1/4 cup of heavy cream and heat for 60 seconds in microwave.
  3. Pour hot heavy cream over chocolate chips and allow to sit for 1 - 2 minutes.
  4. Mix chocolate chips & heavy cream until fully combined and you are left with a silky smooth chocolate ganache mixture.

For the Raspberry Compote

  1. Add raspberries to small saucepan.
  2. Add sugar & lemon juice.
  3. Reduce over medium low heat for 20 - 25 minutes.
  4. Stir often until reduced by about half.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Decorating

  1. Once your cakes have baked and cooled, level each cake.
  2. Place your pink almond cake on your cake decorating table and add a thin layer of raspberry compote.
  3. Add on your yellow almond cake layer followed by more raspberry compote.
  4. Top your cake stack off with your green almond cake.
  5. Begin to fully cover your cake with chocolate ganache.
  6. Using a cake frosting scraper, straight spatula, or offset spatula you will want to smooth over your chocolate ganache. The best way is to hold your smoothing tool upright and gently pressed against your cake while rotating your cake turntable. You'll want to continue this until you have a smooth coating.
  7. Smooth the chocolate ganache on top of your cake with an offset spatula.
  8. Set in the fridge and allow to chill for 5 minutes.
  9. Once your ganache has set around cake, add a second coating. Making to to smooth once your cake is coated in ganache.
  10. After you have a smooth coating of ganache, all you have to do is being decorating with your chocolate sprinkles. I like to add a 1/2 cup on top and sprinkle the rest around the sides of the cake.

Notes

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Be sure to allow your dairy ingredients to reach room temperature. Room temperature ingredients not only combine more effortlessly (no over-mixing needed) but they also trap air so much better. This trap air will expand and produce a fluffy texture during your baking process.
  • Prepared Pan: There will always be the "next best way to prepare your pan" article. Simply put however, the most effective way i find in my kitchen is a light rub of shortening around the sides, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, & a very light dusting of flour (cocoa powder for chocolate baked goods) all throughout.

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More Recipes You Might Enjoy:

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More Cake Theme Tutorials👉 https://bit.ly/2NN3s39Let’s have a Llama Party! I had so much fun working with fondant though more practice will definitely be needed😅 Also been enjoying learning new techniques to share with everyone here so keep sending those comments over on the MANCAKE channel with what you'd like to see make next. I'll see you all very soon with another yummy tutorial so be sure to ring the bell when you subscribe 👉 https://bit.ly/30otZW3

Posted by Man Cake on Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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