Mini Ombre Cake

February 8, 2012 · 3 comments

in dessert,food,holidays,Mini,recipe

As I previously promised (though a little belated), I made a mini pink ombrè cake to commemorate the one-year anniversery of this blog (and just in time for Valentine’s Day!).  :)

I followed the same layering concepts as my Surprise Rainbow Cake, but wanted to play with just one color and some cake piping.  Instead of the 6 layers I used for the Surprise Rainbow Cake, I kept it simple and made only 3 layers.  For a 5-inch round cake, 3 layers is enough, no? 

 I used a simple buttercream frosting.  But, instead of using completely butter, I used 2 parts shortening and 1 part butter.  Shortening is great for making sturdier frosting, which is ideal for cake decorating, but butter gives the frosting a better flavor than shortening.

I used about a third of my batch of frosting for the crumb coat that covers the entire cake before it gets decorated.  Be sure to put some parchment paper down around the edges of the cake.  Any extra frosting from the decorating will get on the parchment paper and not on the cake stand.  You can remove the parchment paper when the cake is complete.  This will make the decorating process a little less messy — I’m a bit of a messy cake decorator.  Don’t judge.

 Here’s all three layers with a crumb layer around it.  For good measure, you should put enough frosting that would leave the surface smooth and even.  For this cake, I rang out of frosting for the crumb layer and didn’t make a perfect crumb layer (I’m a rebel, I know!).  But because this cake will be covered completely with roses, I wasn’t too worried because the roses would hide those imperfections.  ;)

To decorate the cake, I used an open star tip attached to a pastry bag filled with the remainder of the frosting that has been mixed with food coloring and piped layers of roses.  To make a rose,  start in the center of where you want the rose to be, then slowly move the tip in a circle around the center point.  Loop around the center point about twice and try to end at the same point for each rose.  I started from the bottom of the cake and worked around the cake until the bottom row of roses were complete before moving up to the next row.

Ta da!

After you have covered the cake with roses, you can pipe some extra frosting into any extra spaces between the roses.  If you pipe in the same direction as the neighboring rose, it will look like it’s apart of the rose.   Sneaky, I know.

 It’s not perfect, but I was happy with how it turned out.

 My favorite part is the different gradients of pink layers inside!

 And yes, I cut a pretty fat piece for myself.  I mean, someone has to be the guinea pig.  Plus, it’s only a 5-inch round cake — it’s practically a diet cake!  :P

The cake was moist and the frosting had the perfect buttercream and sugar consistency.  I washed this piece down with some milk, and  I may or may not have been on a sugar high for the following few hours.  :)

Mini Ombre Cake

Makes a 3 layer 5-inch round cake

Three-Layer Ombre Cake

  • Vegetable shortening
  • Parchment paper
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 sticks (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk, room temperature
  • gel food coloring of your choice

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting 

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk


Three-Layer Ombre Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush three 5-inch-round cake pans (or as many 5-inch cake pans as you have, reusing them as necessary) with shortening. Line bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper; brush again and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Slowly add egg whites and mix until well combined. Add vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Add flour mixture and milk in two alternating additions, beginning with the flour and ending with the milk. Mix until well combined.
  3. Divide batter evenly between three medium bowls. Using a food coloring color of your choice, add enough of the color to each bowl, working on one bowl at a time.  Whisk the color in until you have reached the desired shade for that layer.  I recommend starting with the darkest of the three range of colors you want and work your way to lighter colors.  That way, you avoid the possibility over coloring your lightest layer because you can compare it to the next darker color. 
  4. Transfer each color to an individual cake pan. Use a rubber spatula and smooth out the batter so that the cake will be as level as possible to minimize the amount of trimming necessary.
  5. Transfer to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes (working in batches if necessary).
  6. Remove cake layers from oven and transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 10 minutes. Wrap the cake layers individually with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator while making the frosting (below).
  7. Remove the cake layers from the refrigerator.  Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cake layers to make level, if necessary. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a cake round or lazy Susan. Place the darkest layer on the cake plate. Spread a scant 1 cup of the white buttercream filling over the first layer with a small offset spatula so it extends just beyond edges. Repeat process with next darkest layer.
  8. Place the lightest color layer on top, bottom-side up. Gently sweep away any loose crumbs with a pastry brush. Using an offset spatula, cover the top and sides with a thin layer of frosting (also use any of the excess frosting visible between the layers). Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
  9. Put an open star tip onto a pastry bag and then fill it with the color buttercream frosting.  To make the rose, start in the center of where you want the rose to be, then slowly move the tip in a circle around the center point.  Loop around the center point about twice and try to end at the same point for each rose.  

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  1. In a KitchenAid Stand Mixer or medium bowl, cream butter and shortening until light and fluffy.  Add salt, vanilla, confectioners’ sugar and milk.  Beat well.
  2. Use 1/3 of the frosting for the white crumb coating. 
  3. With the remaining frosting, blend in some gel food coloring until it reaches the desired shade of color.  This will be the frosting you use to decorate the cake.