Ombré Cake Recipe

An Ombre cake is a cake that plays with the color gradient and there are many ways to do it. The colors can be in the frosting, in the sponge cake, in each cake of a multi-tiered cake. We are going to see what an Ombre cake is, a name given to cakes and cakes with certain characteristics in color. It should be known that there are many ways to make an ombre cake, that is, it is not only about decorating with a frosting.

It can be a Rainbow cake or a cake with a smooth icing. It can be a frosting forming roses or tears (among other decorative forms) with the relevant color transition. It can also be a multi-tier cake and each one has one color, forming the 'shading' together, even multi-layered cakes (layer cakes) in which each cake has a color, like a rainbow cake but using a gradient of the same color, are even known as ombre cake.

Although in reality you can make gradients of two or more colors, and endless decorations, everything is in the hands of the creativity of each pastry chef or pastry chef. In any case, keeping the principle or what gives name to this type of cakes, the cakes gradients have a very elegant and striking presentation.

You know that I'm not very given to making cakes. Although they seem beautiful to me, preparing them takes so long that it is almost impossible to make them. Also, when I prepare something a little more elaborate, I get a little autistic.

In general, when I prepare my desserts, I like to be alone in the kitchen. No noise or interruptions, at my own pace. For this reason, many times I do it at night or on Sunday morning, which is when I have a little time to myself!

A couple of weekends ago, my sister commissioned me. She wanted to bring a cake to a baby shower and she asked me to make something for her. My sister wanted something like the Easter cake, but I wanted to try a new technique so I remembered some photos I had seen on Pinterest and I decided on this Ombre Cake.

There's a ton of fantastic information in professional cookbooks and on the internet about the traditional two-stage method of making cakes, but to summarize quickly: the two-stage method involves mixing the dry ingredients first and then adding the fat (butter) and liquid ingredients - hence the nickname reverse creams.

This method was originally designed for use in high-ratio cake recipes, that is, cakes where the amount of sugar equaled or even exceeded the amount of flour. These cakes were moist, firm, but delicate. Many of the cakes that can be seen or purchased in commercial bakeries may be high-ratio cakes, as the method was also originally designed to be used with specially formulated flours that were very fine and specially emulsified that would be incorporated into the flour, resulting in a very fine, smooth texture.

Pastry queen Rose Levy Barenbaum successfully adapted the high-ratio formula for use with butter, creating several two-stage cake recipes specifically for home bakers in her Cake Bible. It is now a fairly well known alternative technique for mixing cake batter, either at home or in the professional kitchen.

The reason I decided to go with a high proportion cake and the two stage method is that normally when we like our fluffy tall cakes I wanted a few more compact layers to make a five layer cake. I traded in the height for extra tenderness, and this cake was indeed delightfully tender, with a very fine, velvety crumb that cuts smoothly and displays beautifully. Ideal for creating a multi-layer cake!

I also played with the proportions a bit to get enough batter to fill five 6 ″ round cake pans. This is a pretty big cake; With five layers and the intense richness of high-proportion cake, you won't need more than a small slice to satisfy it, so a 6 ″ round cake is enough to feed a dozen or more people. There are a few cautions about using the two-stage method, but once you understand some of the science behind the method, it's pretty foolproof.

Make sure your proportions are correct: the weight of the sugar must be equal to or greater than the weight of the flour; the weight of the eggs must be greater than the weight of the fat, and the weight of the liquids (eggs plus milk) must be equal to or greater than the weight of the sugar. Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature for maximum incorporation. The butter should be soft but fresh.

Make sure to beat the butter into the dry mix well. This is almost anathema with the traditional cream creation method, where you want to avoid excessive gluten development. However, in the two-stage method, you are trying to cover all the flour particles with fat, so that they don't stick to each other while baking and form gluten. Keep the mixing speed low; slow incorporation will result in a fine textured, fine crumb cake.

Another reason I liked using the recipe to make an ombre cake is that you have to keep adding more coloring to the batter for each successive cake layer. I didn't like the idea of ​​having to keep stirring a traditional white cake batter, fermented with beaten egg whites, slowly deflating the whites each time they are stirred. With this ombre cake recipe, there is no such fear so I can walk away and get the nice, built-in food coloring.

Since there was so much in this cake, I did a cake test a week before. I loved the high-ratio cake recipe, but the layers ended up a little too neon pink-fuschia at the end, so I went with a lighter hand for the final version.

Since high-ratio cakes can contain more sugar than regular cakes, this cake is sweet, although not unpleasant. Of course, my sweet tooth has a very high threshold, but my parents, who generally avoid sugary cakes and sweets, liked this cake. I stuck to a basic Swiss meringue buttercream with a bit of almond and vanilla extract for depth.

Although there are some gorgeous ombre frosting designs out there, I deliberately kept it simple as my family is not a huge fan of excessive frosting. This is only the second ombre cake I have ever made. The first one I did was earlier in my blogging days, and it didn't turn out as neat and pretty as I expected. I needed to trade in, and what better way than with a pretty peach frosting? The ombre frosting is really very easy to make.

Once you've filled and coated your cake crumb, separate the remaining frosting into 4 bowls and one will have a little more frosting (this will be the white frosting and you'll need a bit more for the top). I should have measured this correctly (sorry!), But the great thing about ombre cakes is that they are forgiving, so less or more of a color is not a big deal.

For the remaining three bowls, add the following amounts of color and mix well. Starting with the bottom and the darkest peach color, distribute it roughly over the bottom quarter of the cake with a small spatula. Clean your spatula and do the same for the lighter peach colored frosting and yellow frosting in the center sections. Clean your spatula add the remaining white buttercream to the top third and the top of the cake.

Try to make sure all the layers are the same amount of thickness. Take a bench scraper or large scroll putty knife and smooth the sides and match the colors. Use a small putty knife to create a swirl pattern on the sides and on top. Things like a cake turntable and a smoother icing make it infinitely easier, but you could do a rustic ombre effect just as easily.

I actually intended this cake to have clean, smooth, pristine sides. At first it did, but I thought it looked a bit plain. I didn't want to play with a dripping ganache, plus I've made a lot of dripping ganache cakes lately, so I decided to make an easy swirl pattern on the sides with my offset spatula.

Ombre Cake

Prep time: 35 mins
Cooking time: 35 mins
Total: 1 Hours 10 mins
Yield: 8


2 cups flour
1 cup milk
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon meringue powder
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In the blender, add the butter together with the sugar.

Add the eggs and vanilla, beat until fluffy.

In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the cake mix alternating with the milk and beat just until everything is integrated.

Divide the dough into three containers (in equal parts) and paint different shades, using the paste coloring. Prepare three 15x5cm diameter molds and pour the dough.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake at 180 ° C for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted and comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely before unmolding.

In the blender or with the help of a hand mixer, add the butter, add the icing sugar, meringue powder, water or milk and vanilla extract. Beat until integrated. To change to a smooth consistency, add an additional 2 tablespoons of milk.

Divide the mixture into 3 and paint in three different shades just like the pastel mix.

Place the darkest cake on a cake base, add a good layer of hot icing as a filling and then place the medium shade cake on top, fill this with the medium frosting and finish with the light cake on top. Cover the cake first at the base with 3-4 rounds of the dark frosting. Then put the medium and finally the light. Smooth the frosting with the straightener or using an acetate sheet.


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  • Amelia
    Amelia November 6, 2012 at 6:07 AM

    Hi Kaylan, wow.... your this cake is fantastic. Look really gorgeous and pretty. Very lovely color too.
    Thanks for sharing the great recipe.

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