Ayarel makes her living baking delicious treats for her customers and just like any other baker, she’s come up with an eye-catching trick to draw in business. Ayarel’s “spectrum cake” features a rainbow of colors that shift through the light spectrum as the cake rotates or customers look at it from different angles. While some people believed that such a feat was purely out of the realm of digital touch-ups, Ayarel proved that not only was it a legitimate technique, said technique was something she learned to perform back when she was still picking up her career skills over a decade ago.
Ayarel’s process begins with a sheet cake and an airbrush. After covering the sheet cake with icing, Ayarel proceeds to put her tools to work. While the technique can be accomplished through any pair of colors, she suggests applying a bit of color sense and sticking to colors that complement each other; examples of ideal color pairings include blue and orange, red and green or yellow and violet. As the tutorial video continues, Ayarel uses an icing comb to make uniform creases through the cake’s layer of icing in order to create a pattern and follows this up by airbrushing each quarter area of the cake in a different color of edible food dye.
Ayarel applies the dye from a shallow angle so that she only colors the portions she wants to be that color; over-spraying is the one thing you can do to ruin the color-shifting effect. While a turntable makes for an excellent way to showcase the end result, it can also come in handy for quickly changing sides during the painting portion which precedes that. The variety of colors means that the cake’s icing appears to cycle through the entire range of visible colors along the visible spectrum as either the cake moves via turntable or on-lookers change their viewing angle. Ayarel comments that while you can be satisfied with your spectrum cake after applying the color dyes, a cake always looks better when its given a border of piped icing, sprinkles or even chocolate chips.
The earliest recorded usage of food coloring can be found all the way back in the Egypt of 1500 BCE. Modern food coloring, or food dyes, come in two varieties: certified colors, which are made within a chemical laboratory and natural pigments, which come from plants, animals and minerals. While there are only nine of them certified colors available for purchase within the United States of America, two of which are disallowed from being used for such an eye-catching confection as Ayarel’s spectrum cake; natural pigments are unregulated and originate from such sources as beet extract, caramel and turmeric.