Friday Food: DIY Ombre cake

So, since leaving the world of wedding blogging, I don’t have much occasion to delve into the wealth of pretty found on wedding blogs. I do however love my Pinterest account and find so much inspiration there. When there isn’t a wedding to plan I’m often found busy figuring out how to work something I’ve found there into my life instead.

Birthday sprinkles cake // Pink ombre cake with flags // Purple Ombre cake // Pink Ombre slice

Today’s Friday Food is an ombre cake, something I fell in love with and found via wedding pins but think works just as well as a celebration cake. I made this one to take to my work the day after my birthday to celebrate with them and thought I’d share some tips. There are a wealth of how to’s on various sites (See the list at the end of ones I read,) but really all you need is a dense-ish victoria sponge recipe and frosting. This is my own go-to Victoria sponge recipe (one of Florence’s actually!) if you need one.

For the sponge cake:8oz Self raising Flour
8oz Caster sugar
8oz butter (I usually use somewhere between this amount and half, depending how virtuous I’m feeling, it works just as well)
4 eggs
a splash of milk
and your chosen food colouring!

Buttercream Frosting:1/3 of a pack of unsalted butter
250-300g of icing sugar, according to taste.
a splash of milk

Method:There are 2 ways to mix a sponge, the easy way and the traditional way. If you have a food mixer there is nothing wrong with throwing everything into a bowl and whizzing it up. I’ve done this on many an occassion and it’s worked perfectly, save for the odd air bubble!.
If you want to do it properly, here’s how…
Add the butter and sugar together in a food mixer and ‘cream them’ until the sugar/butter mix is light pale and fluffy.
Next add in your (beaten) eggs and incorporate.
Lastly sift the flour in and mix together gently with your food mixer on a slow speed. Add a splash of milk to loosen the mixture if it’s too stiff, it should pour, but very slowly!
Now divide the mix into 4 equal portions. Keep one aside for the palest layer then add food colouring to the remaining three, to create a slightly more intense colour in each. I wanted mine pale so went easy on the colouring, but the strength of colour is up to you. Just go slowly, a little food colouring goes a long way!
Place each colour mixture into a separate 20cm cake tin and bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden on top. To test if they are ready, insert a skewer and ensure it comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

While your cakes are cooling, mix your frosting. Start with the butter in cubes, at room temperature and mix it (in your food mixer again) to become smooth. Add the icing sugar bit by bt and try not to make an icing cloud int he kitchen – you may want to add it by hand to avoid this then use the food mixer later on to whizz it up into a lighter frosting. Add a splash of milk to loosen it as required.

Assembly:Sandwich each layer together with a dollop of frosting, spread out to a couple of millimetres thickness. If your cakes are particularly ‘dome shaped’ on top you might want to slice them off to make them flatter and stack better.
Next use your remaining frosting to ice the sides of the cake using a palete knife to press it into the cake as you spread in one motion. Pay particular attention to filling in the gaps between each layer at the edges.
Finsh with the top! Don’t worry about having enough frosting, there is plenty here, but if you are concerned just apply a thinner layer and continue to build up evenly.
Decorate your cake as you see fit, I used simple sprinkles for a party finish!

Next step? Enjoy!

Feel free to shoot me any questions you have in the comments box, I’ll help if I can!


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28 thoughts on “Friday Food: DIY Ombre cake

    • Ha! I’m definitely the baker in my house (i.e. between Pete and I) but he cooks most of the time throughout the week, so it’s a fair trade. Plus I love it – I had wanted to do this for ages.

      This was just for work anyway, my ACTUAL cake was a Hummingbird salted caramel chocolate cake made by my sister. Proper food porn, and coming soon to FF! 🙂


      • I’ve wanted to try making a salted caramel chocolate cake for ages – it looks massively complicated though, so waiting for a special occasion. Was it as amazingly droolicious as it sounds? The ombre cake looks fab too, I’d love to do a rainbow one.


  1. I am so giving this a go at some point – it looks amazing!! My only question is – how difficult would you say it is to do Rebecca?


    • Do it Katie, honestly it’s no more difficult than assembling a normal cake and icing it, honestly, it’s so easy, just takes a bit of time. I really wanted to post it here because I felt a bit daunted by it, but don’t be. It’s just a coloured sponge!


  2. What a coincidence, I had just decided to try an ombre cake for my birthday next month! So helpful to see a real life version first (the ones on Pinterest are just too perfectly styled to be true) and yours looks absolutely gorgeous. How lucky are your colleagues?

    And Gemma, I always tend to make a birthday cake for myself too – that way, I can try out something new (that might not work) without any guilt. Plus, if other people make one too, it just means more cake…

  3. Loving this – makes we me want to make one too! It turned out so pretty!

    Looking forward to the salted caramel chocolate cake ! Please post soon!

    Rachie xo

    PS: My colleague just brought a gorgeous coffee and walnet cake in to work and i just tucked into a piece with a cup of tea – its deffo a cake day! xx

  4. It looks gorgeous, i could just eat a slice now. Random question, does the cake mixture mind sitting around or do you need to buy 4 tins and cook all the layers at the same time? I’ve only got 2 sandwich tines and going out to buy another 2 seems a bit excessive

  5. Lovely looking cake. I feel totally inspired! Does anyone know if a non-dairy version of a Victoria sponge is possible? Mr P can’t do butter, milk, etc. Eggs are fine. Two years ago we had a lot of wedding cake suppliers who couldn’t cope with this at all, but I’m hoping for more enlightened advice here!

  6. Looks fab Rebecca and I’m definitley looking forward to the salted caramel chocolate cake.

    If any of you live in Chorlton, Tea Hive have it on their menu today!!

    Changed my name a little to see if my Gravatar works…..lets see…..

  7. So excited to try this. I bought red food dye for mine last weekend and it went orange…u can tell I’m new to this baking lark
    Think I might steal the sprinkles idea if I do manage to pull this off aswell

  8. I’m a bit late to the party here, but: so yummy! Those cakes are so very purty! You inspired me to get baking, which made me very happy, though my waistline can’t say the same 😉 (portion control? What portion control?)

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  10. eeeek I know this is a late post but cake is baking in the oven as we speak for one of the girlies birthdays if it turns out half a good as your will be very very happy xx

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