Almost every Saturday morning, my wife or I make pancakes with our daughter. And a few months ago, my wife improved upon our little family tradition by making rainbow pancakes. How did it go? Well . . . we now have to limit rainbow pancakes to once a month.
Almost every kid I know loves pancakes. And those who do not, indeed, love rainbows. Luckily for those few kids in the world who don’t love pancakes, there are many other foods parents of a magical and whimsical nature can whip up into the colors of the rainbow, with little to no additional energy or training.
Take a little walk with me among some of the dishes we’ve transformed into rainbows in our home. I’ve also included other colorful delights we’ve discovered at the odd birthday party or play date. And last, other multicolored mysteries, we’ve only read about in blogs or seen on treasure maps, hidden near pots of gold.
For us, integrating the colors of the rainbow into a few of our favorite foods started with pancakes. Whatever your preferred method of making pancakes is, there isn’t a lot of additional work to make any breakfast magical. For every color you are making, you will simply need an extra bowl. Evenly divide the amount of pancake batter you would typically use between the bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring or dye, it doesn’t take a lot. Then mix, cook, and serve. Your kids will love it.
My daughter would add, please serve the pancakes in the same order as the colors of the rainbow—red, orange, green, blue, indigo, and violet. If you find that difficult to remember, use this mnemonic device or make up your own, Read Only Good Book In Varanasi.
Rainbow Jell-o (aka Jelly)
Rainbow jello, like rainbow pancakes, is simple and straightforward, though it will take more
time. When you usually make jello (or jelly), you dissolve the jello (or jelly) crystals in boiling water, pour into your mold, set in the refrigerator, wait until the jello is set, and serve.
When making rainbow jello, it is essential to pour your first color, pop into the refrigerator, usually wait 30 minutes or so until the color is set, then pour the next color. If you don’t wait long enough, the two colors will mix, creating a cloudy look.
There are so many creative ways you can present rainbow jello. You can set the jello in a baking pan, for example, and when you are finished, cut out the pieces into bite-size squares. Or, as you mix each color, divide into dissolved gel into several glasses. Again, let each layer in the glass set before adding another. And last, top with whipped cream and/or toppings. My kid would recommend both.
Rainbow Layered Cake
The rainbow layered cake is made similarly to the rainbow pancake. For each layer and color, you will need to mix its own bowl. Once each layer is baked, combine the layers. Again, my daughter would suggest in the ROY G. BIV red, orange, green, blue, indigo, and violet order, frost, decorate, and serve.
A few options include, of course, frosting between the layers in addition to the top and side of the cake. One last six-year-old recommendation is to decorate the top of the cake with rainbow sprinkles too.
Rainbow Bundt Cake
This cake looks fantastic once it is cut. What looks like an ordinary Bundt cake ends up being a swirling kaleidoscope of colors once cut.
As before, mix the batter into separate bowls and add your food colors. Then, pour into the Bundt mold. What’s great about this method is you don’t have to wait for anything to set or be put together later. The baking process will create the trippy swirls on its own, while the consistency of the batter will keep the colors separated.
Whichever baked item you are making, the process is basically the same. For rainbow bread, make your dough as you normally would.
Let the dough rise, divide it evenly into separate bowls for each color you are making. Add a few drops of color to each bowl and mix by hand or bread machine.
Roll out each color into a rectangle about 1.5 centimeters or ½ an inch thick. With a pizza cutter or dough scraper, cut each rectangle into equal sizes. Place the layers one on top of the other. Ensure the length of your rectangles isn’t longer than the loaf pan you will be using to bake the bread.
Now roll your layers of colored dough into a “log.” Grease your loaf pan, place your log into the pan, and bake.
Your kid and their lunch sandwich will be the talk of the school.
Like most of our jazzy treats, prepare your brownies as you normally would.
Once your brownie batter is ready, before adding the batter to your bake pan, divide the batter into equal parts based on the number of colors you are using.
The consistency of the brownie batter allows you to pour the colors on top of each other. It is critical, though, to pour slowly and gently. If you pour too quickly, you are more likely to mix colors, which usually comes out as some shade of brown.
Rainbow cupcakes are, maybe, our daughter’s favorite.
Like the other rainbow baked items, prepare your cupcake as you usually would. Once your cupcake batter is ready, divide it equally by the number of colors you want to use. Now add the food color a few drops at a time until you are happy with the color.
One tip, add a spoonful of batter into each cup, one at a time, so all the cupcakes are equal in size with the same order of colors.
Another tip, when you add your first layer, take your finger and smooth out the top. The batter’s consistency is thick enough to keep the colors divided, but if you smooth each layer before adding the next, the lines will be straighter and more definite. The water helps the batter not stick to your finger.
To add a rainbow top to your rainbow cupcake checking out the next tip below, rainbow icing.
Not enough time to bake, but you promised a rainbow?
Well, we all over promise from time to time, but it hurts more when we can’t deliver a rainbow.
No problem, take your basic cream icing, divide into the number of colors you need, and add a few drops of food dye or coloring until you are happy with the color.
Now add your rainbow to whichever baked item you have. When you have rainbow icing, chances are, the kids won’t care if the inside is a rainbow or not.
Rainbow Sprinkles and Other Accoutrements
Our daughter loves to cook and help in the kitchen. She is extra motivated, for example, when we’re making rainbow pancakes on a Saturday.
If you can include your child in baking a rainbow or not, most kids can add rainbow sprinkles and decorations. But multicolored sprinkles, or the individual colors of the rainbow, both will work great.
Any time we give our kids choices, they’re more often than not, in.
Healthy Rainbow Options
Rainbow baked goods are the perfect theme for a kid’s birthday party– birthday cake, brownies, jello, and cupcakes. Add the candles, you’re ready to celebrate.
Birthday breakfast? Got you covered, serve rainbow pancakes.
But what about lunch? At this point, the kids will be bouncing off the wall. No problem. There’s no reason why we can’t incorporate the rainbow into other types of food—healthy food included.
Create a table with a dazzling kaleidoscope of colors. Start with preparing a variety of sandwiches using the rainbow bread. Another tip is to create a veggie and fruit display in various colors and the shape of the rainbow. Another twist when it comes to healthier foods is to make fruit skewers with the same colors and order of the rainbow. Chips may not be the healthiest option, though “healthy” chips are out there, find a variety of chips in the colors of the rainbow and mix them together in a large serving bowl.
For a rainbow inspired drink, just do a search online. There are several mocktail recipes, smoothies, and science-inspired bright and flashy choices to choose from.
One final tip, although it only takes a few drops of store-bought food coloring to make these rainbow-colored treats, you can also make your own natural food dyes out by steeping fruits and vegetables in a small amount of boiling water: spinach for green, beets purple, onion skins for yellow, etc. Let the water boil off to make the remaining liquid as concentrated as possible.
If you have any tips, learned wisdom, or other resources about baking rainbows, please share in the comment section below.