It’s been a few months since I’ve been in cake mode. This week I’m working on a special request: a sweet train-themed number for a cute little two year-old. As I pondered what decorating style and colours to use — something new or something tried-and-true? — my mind wandered back to some of my former ‘firsts’. One of those was my first ombré cake, which I made for my eldest daughter’s 10th birthday, two years ago. It’s a style I’ve repeated a couple of times since then.
Ombré is the gradual blending of a one colour hue to another, generally from dark to light (or light to dark). I searched the mighty internet for ideas and decided on a simple buttercream petal design (so easy!), with the pink coordinating with the birthday invitation and party decorations. And then I took it one step further and decided to also do the cake layers in the same pink ombré palette.
Here’s where things got a little dicey.
Quick tip: Before beginning any recipe, be sure to read through it twice and have all your ingredients ready to go.
First, I was making a four-layer cake which meant two cake recipes (yielding two layers each). Well, I somehow managed to botch both recipes which meant baking both. Again. (This might have had something to do with the extreme exhaustion and muscle fatigue settling in after completing my first Warrior Dash. Or not.)
Quick tip: Have your colour palette or colour sample on-hand in order to best match your colour selections.
Next, I neglected to pull out the invitation and went about colouring the cakes and the icing in shades of pink ‘from memory’. Well, when it came time to assemble I quickly realized the pink was all shades of awful and I had to play around with my Wilton icing colors to get an approximate match. At this point the (second) cakes were baked so there was not much I could do about those.
Quick tip: Begin with the lighter tone and keep track of how many drops/quantity of food/icing colour you are adding so that you can scale upwards, in proportionate amounts, for each shade.
See? The outside looks pretty and the inside looks pretty (even with the crumbled Oreos) but the colours do not exactly match. I tend to get hung up on these details but if you check out the look on my daughter’s face at her pretty, pink-and-black Paris-themed fabulous fashionista party she doesn’t seem the least bit aware. To her it’s all about making a wish.
Have you ever attempted an ombré cake? Feel free to share your how-tos or how-not-tos in the comments!