I’ve always been intrigued but a little threatened by Ombré cakes, but when JJ from 84th and 3rd announced a new SABH challenge for Ombré, I knew I had to step up to the challenge.
So what is ombré, I hear you ask? Ombré is the French word for colour that is shaded or graduated in tone. The technique can be applied to hair, nails, and of course, cake.
Obviously I wanted these to be pretty, but I wanted them to stand out a little from the rest of the picture-perfect-made-for-pinterest cakes I have seen flooding the internet lately. So I thought, why not make them ombré in flavour too?
I had a little brainstorm and soon enough I had scribbled down a wonky drawing of a dessert idea. The top was a white coconut-flavoured cake, the next layer a pale pink with a subtle coconut flavour, then a darker pink cake with a subtle strawberry flavour, and finished off with a dark pink and strongly flavoured strawberry base.
- 230g butter, softened
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup milk, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups self-raising flour
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- Coconut essence
- Strawberry essence
- Pink food colouring
- 4-5 cups sifted icing sugar
- 100g butter at room temperature
- 250g cream cheese at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 4 20cm round cake tins with baking paper and grease the sides.
- Cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth in a large bowl.
- Gradually add the sugar and beat for 3 minutes until fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift the 2 flours and salt into a separate bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Do not overmix!
- Divide the mixture into 4 separate bowls (I used digital scales for accuracy).
- For the top layer, add no colouring and 1-2 tablespoons of coconut essence.
- For the second layer, add a tiny drop of pink food dye and 1 teaspoon of coconut essence.
- For the third layer, add more pink food dye and 1 teaspoon of strawberry essence.
- For the bottom layer, add a generous amount of pink food dye and 1-2 tablespoons of strawberry essence. Try and stir each bowl as gently as possible.
- Pour each batter into their lined cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
- Cream the butter and icing sugar together until well mixed.
- Add the cream cheese in cubes slowly until incorporated. Continue mixing for 5 minutes until the icing is light and fluffy.
- Use a round cookie cutter (approx 10cm in diameter) to cut out 5 rounds per cake.
- Place the dark pink strawberry cake on the bottom of your serving platter, and pipe a layer of cream cheese icing on the top. Place the second pink layer of pink and repeat the process, gently pressing down each layer.
- Pipe a rose on the top of each ombre cake (I use the Wilton 1M tip) and ta da!
The flavours complemented each other perfectly and the cream cheese icing ensured it wasn’t sickly sweet.
I can’t wait to see what everyone else created!