pride & joy – rainbow cubes

by hungryrabbit on June 22, 2012

Rainbow Squares

If you’ve lived in Manhattan for years, you might overlook the festivities of any particular weekend. For many, however, the NYC Gay Pride March is an annual event to remember the struggles of years past and a symbol of how far the gay community has come since the 1969 Stonewall Riot. Yes, there are many parties and eye candy all weekend long, but the true beauty lies in the honesty of those who dared to express their difference individuality.

In NYC around the last week of June, just before you are bombarded with red, white, and blue for Independence Day, there are sightings of rainbows—rainbow flags to be specific. The flags are signs of diversity and the embracing of different cultures, but they have become the worldwide symbol of gay pride.

Last year, I made Rainbow Cookies in anticipation for New York to pass the same-sex marriage law, and it happened. There was much celebration and I even went to City Hall to witness my friend’s nuptials on the very first day of legal marriage. While I was in line, a friend rode by on her bike and thought I was secretly getting married. (Alas, no ring on my finger, yet)

While I continue the quest for my own marriage, (come on M, what’s wrong with Harry Winston?), I made another rainbow dessert to celebrate this year’s Gay Pride– Rainbow Cubes to exemplify the strength of the gay community. The different color layers are baked together as opposed to assembled one-by-one. The unique method is based on a Dutch-Indonesia cake – Spekkoek. The outcome is a stronger bond–a unit. I cut them into cubes to symbolize equality. Happy Pride!

Rainbow Cubes

recipe by hungry rabbit
yield: 36 mini cubes


1 cup (4 ounces),plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
3 tablespoons malted milk powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (8 ounces) condensed milk
5 large eggs, room temperature
12 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
Food gel coloring: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple


1. Adjust oven racks to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line one 8-inch square baking pan with parchment sling (allowing a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides). Set aside.

2. Add flour, milk powder, baking powder and salt to a small bowl, whisk to combine; set aside.

3. Place butter in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat at medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add condensed milk and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Remove butter mixture into a medium bowl with a rubber spatula as clean as possible.

4. Replace paddle attachment with whisk attachment, Place eggs and egg yolks into bowl of stand mixer and whisk on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Slowly add sugar and continue to whisk until ribbon stage, about 6 minutes.

5. Reduce speed to medium and add butter mixture in three batches, until combined. Add extracts and increase speed to medium-high and whisk until fully combined, about 2 minutes. (Mixture might look curdled). Remove bowl from mixer and whisk in flour mixture with the whisk attachment of the mixer until just combined.

6. Divide batter into 6 equal portions; add food coloring to each portion to achieve desire color. Set aside.

7. Heat the prepared cake pan in the oven for 4 minutes. Remove pan from oven and spread half of purple color batter in the pan (about 5 tablespoons). Spread batter to coat the entire pan by tilting cake pan;  bake for 3-4 minutes or until slightly brown.

9. Remove pan from oven, press cake layer with the bottom of a 1/2-cup measuring cup to remove excess air. Spread half of blue batter into pan over the purple layer, spread the batter to coat the entire pan by tilting cake pan;  bake for 3-4 minutes or until slightly brown.

10. Continue step 9 with green, yellow, orange and red layer, then repeat the color again to achieve a total of twelve layers.

11. Remove cake pan from oven and set on cooling rack, cool cake in pan to room temperature, about 60 minutes. Lift cake out of pan with parchment sling. Cut into cubes, approximately 1-inch.

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef June 22, 2012 at 11:37 am

FAB PRIDE COOKIES!!!! Come on M!!!! Ring the Fing!!!


foodwanderings June 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Plea to M: Common’ M Ken is a gem! Ken, Sagie was in Tel Aviv the Friday they had the gay parade there this year, just couple days before the US. His UMASS group went to the beach and strolled and took it all in. What intrigues me most about this dessert is not only the symbolism behind it but also the fact that it’s baked together. That is quite a feat & undertaking. I will check out the link and read the recipe closely later along with tea. I wonder when you bite into the rainbow, how is the texture? Cake like, custard, springy? I wish i could have a bite!

Gina June 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Looks yummy!!!! What a great thing to learn… I will definetely have to try these.

Jen @JuanitasCocina June 22, 2012 at 11:17 pm

These are beautiful!!! Just beautiful!!!

Brian June 22, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Happy pride!!! Much love to you and M!

lynn @ the actor's diet June 23, 2012 at 12:35 am

i’ve always loved rainbow foods!

Rachel (teacher-chef) June 23, 2012 at 6:08 am

I love the fact that these are all baked together without layer later. The one thing that I am wondering though is if they have as much awesome flavor as the traditional layered Italian cookie? I love these and layered squares like this have so much party-theme possibility.

BEAUTIFUL shots :-)

hungryrabbit June 23, 2012 at 6:27 am

Hi Rachel, thanks for visiting my blog. I take that you are talking about the Tri-color cookies. These cakes are creamy and custardy while the try-colors are more cakey. You can certainly make this with almond flavor to simulate the tricolor cookies. -Ken

Theresa June 23, 2012 at 10:46 am

Oooh, how pretty! I bet my wife would like them too. :)

Randi June 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm

These look yummy! I do have a question though. You mention adding condensed milk in your recipe but your ingredient listing doesn’t include condensed milk. Am I missing something?

hungryrabbit June 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Hi Randi, thanks for visiting my blog and point out the missing ingredient. I owe you big time. I’ve revised the recipe and it’s 1 cup of condensed milk. Thanks, Ken.

Lisa June 23, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I can’t even put into words how much I love these and what they stand for :)

Robyn June 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Beautiful photos of delicious looking cakes:) Love the reason behind baking them:):)

kitchen memories June 24, 2012 at 2:28 am

really gorgeous!

Liz June 24, 2012 at 7:02 am

Gorgeous rainbow dessert!!!

Sandra June 24, 2012 at 9:32 am

These are beautiful. Congrats on Today’s Top 9 and hope you’ll be celebrating soon!

DB-The Foodie Stuntman June 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Neat idea! Congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

Ann Allchin June 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm

These are amazing!!! I might have to join pinterest (did I even spell that right?) just to showcase them!! Thanks, and happy Pride!

Barbara | Creative Culinary June 25, 2012 at 4:46 pm

First. I’m no longer getting your posts. That has been corrected. Second and more important? These are GORGEOUS; what a labor of love. Third? Pinned. Yes, worked for me!

Kerry @ Yum and Yummer June 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm

These look so moist and delicious!

Chez Us June 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Ken, you entice me with all your baking. I need to dust off the apron and pull out the flour. Love these.

Gerry June 27, 2012 at 2:48 am

These look great! Just wondering though… Do you use sweetened condensed milk or unsweetened?

hungryrabbit June 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Hi Gerry, your question peaked my curiosity and after a bit of research, evaporated milk is referred to as unsweetened condensed milk in Canada. Condensed milk or low-fat condensed milk are sweetened. Thanks for visiting my blog and hope that clarifies your question. – Ken

Samantha June 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm

These are awesome!

kimi July 23, 2012 at 12:54 am

before i make this, which i am super excited about making for my niece’s birthday.. how would you describe the texture? spongy, moist, etc..

hungryrabbit July 23, 2012 at 7:06 am

It’s some what spongy and chewy at the same time. -Ken

Sweetsugarbelle August 8, 2012 at 4:10 am


Ruth February 4, 2013 at 10:23 am

I’m super glad I found this recipe, especially as the cakes were first made on such a happy occasion!
I’m planning to make these to bring into my office tomorrow, to (fingers crossed) celebrate the first vote in parliament of the English Gay Marriage act.
Hopefully these super fun cakes have some good luck attached to them as well as being so cute!
Thanks for sharing!!

hungryrabbit February 4, 2013 at 10:56 am

Yay, make sure you give yourself enough time to bake each layer. -Ken

Jessy February 22, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Hello! I was wondering.. can I make this without a stand mixer? If so, what do you recommend for mixing? I’d love to make it! Thanks for your time!

hungryrabbit February 22, 2013 at 9:44 pm

You can make this with a hand mixer, but I don’t recommend you the whip the butter by hand. -Ken

Limefish Studio February 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Yum! This has been featured in my Recipe Roundup for St. Patty’s Day!

Cindy deRosier March 5, 2013 at 10:13 am

I’m the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your Rainbow Cubes! You can see them here:

We know these were intended for Gay Pride, but they work so well for St. Patrick’s Day and rainbow-themed kids’ parties too. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

hungryrabbit March 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Hi Cindy,thank you so much for the mention. -Ken

hungryrabbit March 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Hi Cindy, thank you so much for the mention. -Ken

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