I’m the baker in our family so I’m usually asked or I offer to make the cakes for special birthdays. I’ve made novelty cakes in the past, kids cakes, cakes in the shape of cars, shoes etc to suit the person. For my sister in law’s 40th birthday I was determined to make something classy, tasty and most importantly – visually amazing!
I must stress that I am more of a cake decorator than actual baker. My recipe is by no means a fail safe perfect sponge – my cakes always come out a bit dense and never rise, but it’s all about the decor baby!
I decided to make a pink ‘ombré’ cake that I had seen on Pinterest. Here is the link to the picture and method I was working to. WARNING this article makes it sounds extremely easy. It was not. Baking 5 sponges with varying amounts of food colouring in to range from lightest to darkest is a lot easier said than done and it basically took me 2 days and a fair few tantrums! But overall I am really happy with how it turned out.
It ended up absolutely huge and I needed A TON of butter icing to pipe it all which took hours but lookkkk how pretty it is! Totally worth it. And the birthday girl loved it.
So, if you fancy taking on this marathon of a cake; here’s what I did.
CAKE MIX (BBC FOOD RECIPE)
125g/4oz butter or margarine, softened
125g/4oz caster sugar
2 medium eggs
125g/4oz self raising flour
- Pre heat oven to 180 degrees.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
- Beat the eggs in with a whisk.
- Gradually add the flour and fold it in trying to get it all nice and air bubbly!
- Mix in food colouring (more on that later).
- Mix well and divide between 2 cake tins WELL GREASED (I lost one sponge to a sticky tin haha).
- Bake for 20-25 mins.
Right now for the tricky part: getting the ombré layers:
You will need to repeat the above method for 5/6 sponges. I made 6 but lost one as mentioned above and it was still huge with 5. You need to seperate the cake mix add varying amounts of food colouring to each mix before baking. I started with zero in the top layer and about 4 teaspoons in the bottoms layer. You can sort of guess it but REMEMBER THE ORDER before you bake because once done it’s difficult to tell the subtle differences between the levels of pink. Don’t worry though, when you cut into it you’ll get the full effect 🙂
Once all this is done, simply stack the cakes in order with some butter icing in between each layer and then decorate once cooled. I don’t follow a recipe for butter icing but I knew I needed a whole ton so I used a whole 250g pack of butter and about 500g of icing sugar plus a few drops of milk.
I decided to decorate by hand piping the entire thing – this is a BIG JOB and it look hours, but I think the effect is worth it. It was a last minute decision to add hundreds and thousands too much I love how they turned out. Everyone was so impressed with the look of the cake – and no one was expecting the colours when they cut into it! Overall it’s an amazing cake to bake for a special occasion but you need to be aware it is quite time consuming! But the birthday girl loved it and it was enough to feed a large family party so perfect for what I wanted to make.
Let me know if you give the ombré cake a go! Good luck!