Tuesday, 27 March 2012

How to: Pink ombre layer cake

For Lyla's birthday this year I decided to make a pink layer cake. It was epic. One of the biggest cakes I had made. I trawled the internet for recipes and inspiration, but didn't really find anything I loved. I ended up using a cake recipe from Sweetapolitia and icing from My baking addiction. It took me some time to get my head around it {oh the butter!} and convert the recipes. But once I did it was easy. I was really impressed with how it turned out and surprised by actually how relatively simple it was to make. So I thought I share it with you.

For the cake
341g unsalted butter at room temperature
540g caster sugar
9 egg whites at room temperature
630g plain flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups of milk or buttermilk
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pink food colouring

Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Butter and line a 20cm cake pans or five if you have them, I didn't.

In an electric mixer beat butter and sugar on med/high speed. For 3-5mins until pale and fluffy. Lower speed and add egg whites gradually, mixing until fully incorporated.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix both vanillas in to milk. Add to butter mixture a little at a time, alternating between flour and milk mixtures. Mix gently until just incorporated. Do not over mix.

Weight whole batter by pouring into a clean bowl on digital kitchen scales. Divide total by amount of layers you need, original recipes is for three but I wanted slightly thinner layers so went for five.

Pour accurate amount into five individual bowls. To colour, add a little food colouring to each bowl, increasing in amount as you go. I basically used 1 drop in the first layer, then 2 in the second and so on. You want it to be a subtle increase from light to dark

Once you are happy with your colours pour cake mix into prepared tin/tins, smooth top and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 mins.

Cake is cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat until or layers are cooked and cooled.

If you are making this cake ahead of time like I did, wrap cooled cakes in double layers of cling film and freeze until the night before you need them.

For the icing
{Note: This was not quiet enough icing for my cake so I doubled the recipe below, which made a huge amount of icing that I used for my cupcakes also. I suggest making one batch first then another if needed.}

1/2 cup of raspberries {blended to a purée then pushed through a fine sieve to remove seeds}
165g unsalted butter at room temperature
110g salted butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
680g icing sugar
2-4 tablespoons very cold milk

Cream butter in an electric mixer. Add vanilla extract and raspberry purée and combine well.
Add sugar a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. After all sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly begin adding cold milk a tablespoon at a time, mixing well on high speed, add until you reach desired consistency.

Remove cakes from freezer. Place bottom layer of cake top side up on cake stand or plate. Spread about 1/2 a cup or so of icing over cake, smooth using a knife. Repeat with all layers. Finish with last cake top side up.
Then spread a thin layer of icing over entire cake to crumb coat. Scrap any excess off using a knife for a smooth finish. Refrigerate cake at this point for at least 30 mins.
Use remaining icing to cover cake and decorate to your liking. Fruit, sprinkles, whatever takes your fancy!

You can serve cake at this point or refrigerate overnight or until needed. Remove from fridge at least an hour or two before serving to come back to room temperature.




  1. It looks amazing & delicious, I might whip this up just for fun.

  2. I was inspired by your cake, it looks amazing. I've literally just put the last layer of Mila's cake on the cooling rack. Cheats version mind you. I was wandering what I should do for the icing. You've got me sorted once again Jody! Thank you! xx

  3. I can't wait to have an excuse to try this but I don't think the boys will appreciate pink so might just do yellow. Will be calling for help!

  4. Looks so fabulous! I love all those pretty in pink layers... Xx

  5. An absolute triumph Jody! Love to look at works of art like this cake. I am yet to try a layer cake, but I must admit, I am itching to! Maybe one in blue for one of my boys will do nicely. I bet it tasted amazing too with all that sugar and butter xo

  6. I am so impressed! Would love to try this one day x

    (thanks for your comment - so lovely to hear from you)

  7. That is one impressive cake Jody :)
    That addition of raspberries in the icing sounds wonderful.

  8. Awesome cake. Will definitely be trying this one for my girls.

  9. impressive cake jody. certainly sounds like an epic effort but looks delicious. love the pink. xo.

  10. Beautiful! This is the type of cake i plan to make for my daughter's first birthday. Do you know how many people the cake serves?

  11. jody, i loved your party photo's and your cake. i used your cake recipe for my own ombre cake. thanks for sharing it! i just wanted to let you know i've linked back to you also http://yummymummiesandminime.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/one-year-old.html x

  12. you are amazing!!!!! this is so beautiful, thanks for the heads up. xx


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