Happy Mother’s Day! This year I decided it was time to make a cake and up the anti when it comes to decorating the cakes I make.
I’ve been wanting to make an ombre cake for a while, but have never quite gotten around to actually making one, well now I have, and it was much less faff than I had originally thought, and the cake looked really good when it was cut into (my worries of putting the cakes in the wrong order where completely unfounded!).
How to Make Your Own Ombre Cake
For the sponge you’ll need –
* 450g Un-salted Butter or Margarine, softened slightly, plus a little extra for greasing the cake tins
* 450g Caster Sugar
* 8 Eggs, medium to large in size
* 450g Self Raising Flour
* 1 tsp Baking Powder
* 2 tbsp Milk
* Pink food colouring
Step one – Preheat your oven to 180ºC and grease and line four 7 inch circular baking tins.
Step two – Cream the butter and sugar together in a food mixer until pale and fluffy.
Step three – Add in the eggs one at a time, making sure the mixture is throughly combined befor adding the next egg. If your mixture starts to curdle add a little of the self raising flavour to counteract this.
Step four – Sift the flour and baking powder together into a bowl and then gradually add into the egg mixture in the food mixer.
Step five – Add the milk. and stir through until combined.
Step six – Evenly divide the mixture between four bowls. If you want to be precise weigh out the mixture before hand (remember to minus the weight of the bowl) and then divide this by four, and split between four bowls, this will ensure you have completely even layers.
Step seven – Add pink food colouring (I used Sainsbury’s food colouring) to each of the four bowls making sure that you have four different shades of pink cake mixture.
Step eight – On the underside of each piece of baking paper write the numbers one to four in pencil, this will help when it comes to knowing which layer is which when assembling your cake.
Step nine – Put each of the cake mixtures into the tins, putting the darkest shade in number one, followed by the next lightest in number four, and so on, finishing with the lightest shade of pink in the tin numbered one.
Step ten – Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until well risen, and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Leave the baking parchment on the bottom of the sponges.
TIP – if the sponges have come out a little domed on top, use a bread knife to cut the tops so that they are nice and flat.
To make the flowers you’ll need –
* Ready to Roll Icing in Pink, Yellow and White
* Daisy Plunger Cutters
* Baking paper
* Rolling pin
Step one – Roll out the ready to roll icing on greaseproof paper using a non-stick rolling pin, to a thickness of around three millimetres. Use the plunger cutters to cut out various sizes of daisies.
TIP – the yellow icing I was using was a little bright so I kneaded in some of the white icing to soften it, you can do this with any colour of ready to roll icing, just make sure to add in little amounts at a time, to achieve the desired shade.
Step two – leave the flowers to harden slightly for a few hours or so, or preferably overnight.
Step three – To make a layered flower, stack the different sizes of daisies on top of one and other, with the largest size on the bottom and the smallest on top. Secure each layer with a small amount of water on the back of the flower(this will act as a kind of glue), or if you prefer you could use edible glue.
Step four – Leave to set for an hour or so.
To make the frosting you’ll need –
* 750g Icing Sugar
* 240g Unsalted Butter or Margarine
* 1.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
* 60ml Semi-skimmed Milk
* Green Food Colouring
* Grass Tip Piping Nozzle (Wilton 233)
* Icing Bag
* Palette knife
Step one – Start by mixing the butter with the icing sugar, and then add in the milk and vanilla extract, continue to mix until completely combined.
Step two – Split the mixture into four bowls, with half of the entire mixture going into one (bowl one), and then half of what is left in another bowl (bowl two) and then whatever is left split evenly between the remaining two bowls (bowls three and four).
Step three – Add a few drops of green food colouring to the bowl with the most mixture (bowl one) until you have a pale pastel green, this will cover the entirety of the cake and also be used to pipe on the ‘grass’ on top of the cake. Colour two of the other bowls two different darker shades of green (bowls three and four). Leave bowl two yellow.
Step four – Pop all of the bowls of frosting into the fridge to firm up for an hour or so.
Assembling the Cake!
Step one – Start with the darkest sponge (number one) on the cake board (make sure to remove the baking paper!). Using a palette knife, apply a layer of the yellow frosting, so that the top of the sponge is completely covered.
Step two – Continue to keep adding the sponge layers (from one to four) with a layer of frosting in between each. Do not apply a layer of frosting on top of the last sponge layer.
Step three – Using a palette knife cover the entire cake in a thin layer of the pastel green icing. Pop into the fridge for half an hour to firm up, and then apply another that completely covers the cake.
Step four – Using the grass tip icing nozzle in an icing bag, scope the remaining pastel green frosting into the bag, and begin piping the ‘grass’ on top of the cake. Pipe this on sporadically over the top of the cake and around the cakes base, where it meets the cake board.
Step five – Squeeze any remaining icing back into the bowl, and then add in your next shade icing shade, and pipe on the grass sporadically, filling in the majority of the gaps. Once complete squeeze any remaining icing out of the bag and add in the final shade of green frosting and fill in any remaining spaces.
Step six – Once you are happy with your icing start to apply the icing flowers on the top and side of the cake.