I have always loved these little Italian Rainbow Cakes. I looked forward to them each Christmas as they were brought to us by friends. Although I had been given the recipe, it seemed complicated and of course, it wasn’t vegan. Surprisingly easy steps, this one is surely worth the effort!
Originally posted Christmas of 2013, this is my most visited recipe each December so I thought I would reformat it for Yummly (yay for printable recipes) and share it with you again this year.
Before we start baking, it is very important to use parchment paper in this recipe. Without it, it would be nearly impossible to lift and move the layers without breaking them. I cut them to the width of the interior of my 8″x8″ pan and left enough overhang to use as handles for removing. If the papers move around too much, you can give a super quick mist of cooking spray and then the paper will adhere to it. This becomes more of an issue when you start to fill with batter.
Divide the cake batter evenly among three bowls. I used a kitchen scale to be sure they were all pretty much the same. Using a vegan-friendly color, tint one red and one green. Leave the other plain. Keep in mind the baked cake will be slightly darker than your batter.
I get asked a lot about vegan food colors. I use Americolor (available at Walmart and of course, Amazon). I recently touched based with them and they assure me all of their colors (including red) are vegan. I used ‘Red Red’ and ‘Leaf Green’ for this recipe.
Spread each color evenly with a small offset spatula into their respective pans. It’s also necessary to have 3 pans for this recipe of the same size, from the same manufacturer that stack tightly. You’ll see why in a later step. They are very reasonably priced (I think I paid about $5 each at Walmart) and this size pan is always useful.
Here’s what they look like straight from the oven. Allow to cool in their pans COMPLETELY.
Meanwhile, prepare the apricot jam filling. I just warm it in a small saucepan. The jam gives the cake both flavor and keeps it moist.
Spread half of the apricot jam onto the green layer.
Remove the parchment from the vanilla layer and place it on top of the jam covered green layer. See the green layer underneath there? Now spread the remaining jam onto the vanilla layer.
Remove the parchment from the red layer and place it on top of the jam covered vanilla layer. Reserve this piece of parchment for use in the next step.
This is where the 3 pans of the same size come into play. Using the reserved parchment strip, place it on top of the red layer. Take one of the pans and place it on top of that parchment. Give it a light but firm press. I actually get a couple of soup cans and place them in there. This will stay in the refrigerator overnight allowing the layers to bond together.
The next day, I remove the cake from the pan and using a serrated knife, cut off a small (maybe 1/8″) amount around the border. This just cleans it up and squares things off a bit.
Next melt vegan chocolate chips.
Spread the chocolate over the top of the cake and using a fork, create a swirled effect using a snake-like motion.
I like to place this back into the fridge to harden. I don’t let it get too hard though, because you’ll want to cut it into squares or rectangles.
I keep these covered and refrigerated. They freeze really well too! They are so moist and delicious. Your guests will absolutely love them. This is my very favorite Christmas dessert and I am thrilled to be able to share this vegan version with you 🙂
If you try this recipe, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @theveglife1 I love seeing what you come up with 🙂