Queer Romance Month Rainbow Cake

Thanks to a new reader, I found out that October is Queer Romance Month. The kick-off was yesterday so you can go over to Joyfully Jay and read all about why queer romance is better than cats. Yes, those cats. The furry kind. It’s very funny.

As a very new reader of queer romance myself, I don’t have a ton of impressive insights and recommendations like the folks writing over at the Queer Romance Month blog do. But yesterday I saw KJ Charles post some chocolate chip cookies that spell out QRM on Twitter. So then I was like, oh we BAKE for QRM? Well, that I can do!

As it turns out, Queer Romance Month is a pretty good excuse for cake. It’s a celebration of queer-identified authors and queer-writing and queer-supporting folks. Celebrations require cake. As Julia Child said, “A party without cake is really just a meeting.” No one likes meetings, but everyone likes cake.

I’d been wanting to try making one of these rainbow cakes forever, but I’d never had an appropriate occasion. It’s actually pretty easy. I started with this white cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen (remember the rule folks: if you’re going to screw around with a recipe, make sure you start with a good one). The reason was that it makes exactly 9 cups of batter so I was able to make 6 equal layers using 1 1/2 cups of batter for each cake pan.

Then I added food coloring to each portion of batter to turn them all the colors of the rainbow. I felt like a mad scientist (complete with Coke bottle glasses and lab coat–okay, not really) as I mixed colors to get just the right shades. For the record, I use Americolor gel paste food coloring from the baking supply store (or online). They have dozens of colors and they’re more concentrated than the ones you buy in the grocery store. I was just too lazy to drive all the way to the baking store to buy orange and purple.

The layers only take about 15 minutes to bake since they’re so thin, but I did have to bake them in two batches because I only have 3 cake pans. Then I made a metric ton of Swiss Meringue Buttercream and frosted it all up. Voila! Queer Romance Month Rainbow Cake!

Now for the really important stuff. The first few posts up on the QRM site are excellent: intelligent, informative, entertaining. I’m sure the rest of the month will follow suit since the line-up looks stellar. I’d highly recommend subscribing, even if you think you might not have any interest in queer romance. If you’d asked me before a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have been quite so excited about this. I didn’t know any better. I thought heterosexual romance was for heterosexual people and queer romance was for queer people. But I feel pretty stupid about that now. Since I read Glitterland (my review is here), I’ve read a steampunk and an historical short story and they’ve all been terrific reads. So don’t be like me. Don’t wait until someone literally puts a book in your hands to try out some of these great recommendations. Really, if you’re not reading queer romance in whatever subgenre you like best, you’re missing out on a lot of wonderful love stories.


Plus, we have cake.


  1. The cake looks so good I would really like a piece!! I have read so many different M/M genres I must admit that Contemporary, Sci Fi and Paranormals are my favourites.

  2. That is gorgeous! The colors are so vibrant. I wish I knew about those gel pastes back when I was making my kids' birthday cakes.

  3. Omg – I want this cake! Right now! *ahem* Anyway, thanks for the post supporting QRM & the beautiful cake, even if we only get to look at it!


  4. Hi Pam! Thanks for introducing me to QRM! I'm loving the posts and all the great looking new books I'm being introduced to. Bad for the TBR pile, excellent for me! So glad you liked the cake 🙂

  5. This cake is WOW! You are so talented. I actually bought a cake today because of this post–I got so hungry for one.

    Yay QRM! Your kind of support is lovely and yummy.

    And I hope this comment posts. 🙂

  6. Thanks so much, Audra! I hope you enjoyed your cake!

  7. Gel paste food coloring is amazing. I ran out of blue so I had to use a grocery store one I had laying around for that layer and it took probably quadruple the amount to get the same color intensity. I don't know if they're a new thing or what, but I discovered them while doing cookie decorating with Royal Icing. So if you ever do decorated holiday cookies, it's good for that too.

  8. Thanks so much! I've seen a lot written about m/m and all my limited personal reading has been m/m, but I'm really enjoying the diversity of the authors on the Queer Romance Month site. I'm particularly looking forward to the one I bought today by Radclyffe, Taking Fire. Looks so action-packed! I read nothing but m/f historicals for so long. There's so much great stuff I hadn't even heard of. I feel like I'm playing catch-up.

  9. Christine Maria Rose

    I hope you saved me a piece of that cake – it looks awesome! Now I totally want to make one! And I'm glad that we are discovering m/m books together 🙂

  10. Christine Maria Rose

    When I took a cake decorating course they had us buy gel food colorings so I have a set of 8 different colours. They told us not to use liquid food colourings for icings because it dilutes the icing. Plus as you said, the gel is much more concentrated, it hardly takes any to make the colour you want.

  11. This cake is gorgeous! And now I need dessert. 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the story! And if you're looking for a brilliant m/m historical, KJ Charles' Edwardian romance/mystery, Think of England, is so witty I had to force myself to stop highlighting lines as I was reading. It doesn't count as highlighting if you've underlined most of the book, I think.

    1. That KJ Charles book has popped up in nearly every list of recommendations I've seen. Probably time to check it out, huh? And I've done the same thing with all Alexis Hall's books. Highlighting half the book probably doesn't count as highlighting any more 😀

  12. Elizabeth, I just saw this on Audra and KJ's round up! Gorgeous! i made rainbow cupcakes once for my kiddos, and they are still requesting them!

  13. Thanks! This was the first time I'd tried anything like this so I've never made cupcakes. It was really fun though. And my husband's coworkers, who end up on the receiving end of the vast majority of my baking experiments, were immensely appreciative.

  14. […] Cake photo above from this post about Queer Romance Month. […]

  15. […] some new blogs, read several books by new-to-me authors and put probably 50 more on my TBR list. I baked a cake, which was greeted crazy warmly and generously and made me feel all blushy. I feel like I’ve […]

  16. […] back to QRM. I made a cake last year (because what’s a celebration without cake?) and this year my friend Alexis Hall asked me to […]

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