Yesterday, this country took a HUGE step towards marriage equality. The Supreme Court overturned DOMA and Prop 8, redefining marriage as a “union between two U.S. citizens” (not, as it previously said, between a man and a woman) and granting full federal marriage rights to all legally married same-sex couples. New Jersey is still slacking with its “civil union” garbage that’s blocking over a thousand rights for its recognized but not technically married same-sex couples. But we’re confident that our state politicians will come around soon now that they don’t have a federal policy to hide behind.
In honor of this landmark ruling and the end of Pride month, we’re celebrating with these adorable (and healthy!) rainbow cake stacks.
In almost every baking recipe we try, we substitute half of the butter for applesauce and replace whole eggs with two egg whites each. The result is a super-fluffy, moist finished product that honestly tastes just as good as the real thing. The reason I don’t eliminate all of the butter is because some fat is necessary for “normal” textured/flavored baked goods. Don’t get me wrong—virtually fat-free AND delicious baking is possible. But it often requires a lot of complicated substitutions and calculations that we’re just too impatient to work out. Since avocados don’t always work as a fat source in every recipe (stick with chocolate-flavored treats if you want to use avocado), that little bit of butter helps retain the taste and texture the average palette is used to. As for the rainbow colors, we used regular store-bought food dyes for brightness, but you’re welcome to use natural food dyes like beets, carrots, spinach and blueberries to make it even healthier.
This is just a simple vanilla cake recipe, so you can use it for plain ol’ cupcakes if you want. We say that because you’ll get 9 standard-size cupcakes out of this recipe and we only ended up using 7 of them in the stacks. You’re welcome to add extra colors and layers, make two 4-layer half stacks, or just eat the remaining two cupcakes as they are.
-Nicole & Christine
Rainbow Cake Stacks
Ingredients (4 cake stacks [9 cupcakes])
- 3 tbsp. butter, softened
- 3 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/4 cup agave
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup cake flour (can substitute all purpose)
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup fat free milk
- 1 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 drops food coloring per cupcake
- 1/4 cup of your favorite frosting, room temperature
For the cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a hand mixer or fork, cream together butter, applesauce, sugar and agave. Beat in egg whites one at a time.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and stir until combined. Then stir in milk and vanilla until smooth.
Pour batter into greased muffin tins (do not use baking cups). Add food coloring to each cup and stir well.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
For the stacks
Once cooled, cut around the outside of each cupcake and cut the tops off using a serrated knife to create a flat surface and even shape all the way around. Discard trimmings (or eat them. We won’t tell!).
Carefully slice each cupcake into four circular layers. The easiest way to do this is to cut each cake in half, then slice those halves.
Place the purple circles on a plate and spread a very thin layer of frosting. Stack the next color and repeat until you get to the red layer. You can frost the top of the stack if you wish.