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April 8, 2010

Rainbow Cake baker to Birds fans: Stick a fork in it!

Rainbow CakeThere's been more rain than rainbows for the Orioles for 12 straight seasons. Not this year. Not with Roy G. Biv in the lineup.

Rainbow Cake is coming to Camden Yards.

No matter what happens on the field, Attman's Deli will serve the multi-colored confection out of the restaurant it opens tomorrow in Oriole Park.

Seedless raspberry jam is sandwiched between layers of yellow cake and covered with a dark chocolate icing. (Another version swaps out the jam for more icing.) It looks like an oversized petit four.

It is not for the feint of food coloring. Each layer of cake is a different hue -- nearly, but not quite, one for every color of the rainbow. Red, orange, yellow, green and blue. No indigo, no violet, and the red looks more like pink.

Close enough, perhaps, to bring a little sunshine to the Birds.

Attman's buys the cake from Baltimore wholesaler Gourmet Bakery Inc. Bakery owner Allan Taylor said the cake is a Charm City specialty associated with the city's kosher bakeries. He thinks it was created about 40 years ago, but he didn't know whom to credit with the invention.

Rainbow Cake is one of the bakery's most popular items, said Taylor, who supplies delis, bagel shops, hospitals and hotels.

"It appeals to everybody," he said.

Including baseball fans? It's not exactly finger food. 

Even Taylor wonders how it will fly with fans who, instead of sitting down in Attman's, opt to eat in their stadium seats.

"It certainly is an extremely popular item in Baltimore," he said. "Whether people are going to want to eat a piece of Rainbow Cake versus peanuts or Cracker Jack or cotton candy, we'll see."

His suggestion: "I would think you should definitely use a fork."


Photo courtesy of Gourmet Bakery

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 3:56 PM | | Comments (18)


I've never seen this type of cake but it sure is pretty.


Rainbow cake has been around forever just like me. I think it was the late Silbers Bakery that introduced it. There is no flavor difference in the layers but as a child I would eat one layer at a time.

Silber's chocolate top cookies and blueberry muffins were awesome.

The idea of that much dye is repulsive

OMG, i concur.. looks like a technicolor yawn in the making.

I've been eating rainbow cake since I was a kid. It's my kid's favorite and will probably be his kids favorite one day. It's a thing of beauty to us!

It's the unearthly colors that freak me out. There is no food on Earth that is that weird blue color. As George Carlin taught us, THERE IS NO BLUE FOOD


Technicolor yawn indeed. Especially after one of those bologna dogs and a couple of beers.

The popularity of red velvet cake astounds me. It is nothing more than regular old cake with tons of red dye in it. Ick.

Years ago a friend gave me The White Trash Cookbook. The recipes were contributions--much like a church cookbook. One of them was a Grand Canyon Cake

It was many-layered and multi-colored. One was instructed to take two forks and pry the cake apart before serving (get it? the Grand Canyon?). The contributor commented at the end: "Delicious AND educational!"

White Trash Cookbook and flaquita seems like a terrible match.

Yes, I ate red velvet cake once and I felt like I was eating cancer cake. Quintuply so for that monstrosity above. What really flips my wig is that color has no flavor. What's the fun in that?

Reminds me of the sand art in a jar projects we made in elementary school.

or a pousse cafe

I want to amend and correct the Grand Canyon Cake information now that I've found the cookbook. My memory took license with the quoted comment. It was actually, in full, "This is a wonderful treat for someone that's going to or just got back from vacationing at the Grand Canyon. It's also very educational for children." A bit dry perhaps but I like the image of the children gathered around learning from this cake.

Also, there's a whiskey sauce that is poured into the canyon. It calls for one cup of Jack Daniels Black Label. I'm not sure how this advances the Grand Canyon theme or why the Green Label is not good enough here with a cake made from a box and canned icing, but I reckon it does contribute to the edification of the children.

Whiskey river take me home ...

Is this cake that will be at Camden Yards actually kosher?

Not really baseball food.

If you grew up in Pikesville, trading different color layers at lunch was normal, with each color worth its own number of points.

Food kitsch

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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