The highlight of our Silver Wedding Anniversary party was Caiti’s cake. (I’ve written a book with that title – OK, it’s spelt Katie’s Cake but only because the editor wouldn’t let me name the heroine after my daughter!) Caiti, the Chef in Wellies, spent most of Tuesday cooking. So did Chris. I got my quiches and flapjacks out of the way early on to make way for the superior chefs! We were all toing and froing in and out of the kitchen all day so I have no idea how Caiti managed to keep the cake secret, but she did. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I cut the first slice. This is what I found:

Isn’t it completely awesome? It’s delicious on its own, or served with vanilla ice-cream or sour cream.

Here’s the recipe which Caiti took from this web page and adapted slightly and then introduced her rainbow colouring.


Caiti’s Rainbow Cake, based on Best Birthday Cake

4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (500 g) plain flour

2 teaspoons (10 g) baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 sticks (1 cup, 1/2 pound or 225 g) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups (400 g) sugar

2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups buttermilk (475 ml) (you can make this by adding vinegar to ordinary milk)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of baking paper, then butter the parchment.

  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda into a medium bowl.

  3. In a larger bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well.

  4. Beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, beating in well.

  5. Divide the mixture into 6, as evenly as you can, for the six layers. Colour each one in turn. Then pour into a cake tin and bake for approx 15 mins until it had risen and a knife poked in came out clean. Using the two tins means you can cook two layers at once.

  6. Let the layer cool slightly, then remove from the cake tin to cool properly. Meanwhile, wash and reline the cake tin so you can reuse it for the next layer.

  7. Assemble all the layers, with a thin layer of butter icing between each one to help them stick. Butter icing consisting of twice as much icing sugar as butter is a good one to use. Make plenty!

  8. Coat the cake with icing, nice and thickly, so you can’t see the different colour layers through it.

Caiti’s top tip: put the layers briefly into the freezer. It makes them easier to handle while assembling the cake.