Happy New Year 🎉
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Years Break. Did you get much baking done? I made Gingerbread stars, yogurt bundt cakes, chocolate cupcakes and of course two pretty awesome Ombre Cakes which is what today’s post will be all about. I have had a pretty good baking year and I’m so happy to end it with a super awesome Bake.
The success of these layer cakes has given me the confidence to try different flavours and variations so watch this space!
BABY SHOWER BAKES
As soon as the Baby Shower was confirmed I knew I wanted to bake something special. Of course I went with the traditional blue and pink theme but to make it extra special I decided on an Ombre effect. I’m still fairly new at making layer cakes and this was a first for an ombre cake. Honest to god this was the hardest thing I have ever baked!
It took all the patience in the world which is pretty hard for me as I have no chill. But I wanted this to be perfect for the mum to be. My first idea was to make mini Ombre Cakes but as this was going to be the centerpiece of the food table so I had to make something that would feed the whole clan (There’s about 50 of us xD) After doing a looot of research I finally settled on this recipe *Rainbow Cake*
This recipe makes a 6 layer cake with all the colours of the rainbow. For my cake I decided to follow the recipe but split into two layer cakes with three layers for each cake. To get the ombre effect I decided to dye the batter so that each layer was a slightly darker shade of pink or blue. I did the same for the buttercream but only for the top and sides of the cake.
PINK AND BLUE BATTER
- 9 tbsp whole milk
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Blue and Pink colour paste
- 750g Stork
- 750g caster sugar
- 9 large free-range eggs
- 750g sifted self-raising flour
750g! Yup you read that right. Remember this is for a 6 layer cake. I underestimated just how much batter this cake was going to need so I was in for a shock when I started. I started of by mixing the vanilla and milk and splitting between 6 bowls. I then added colour paste to each bowl making sure to go slightly darker for each bowl.
Next it was time to cream the butter and sugar. As always I made sure to keep the butter out so it was at room temperature but its been soo cold recently that even though I left it out for about 8 hours (Took it out when I left for work) the butter was still pretty hard. This made it really hard to cream with the sugar. I mean this is the first time I have seen my Kitchen Aid struggle 😔
To get the perfect consistency for your butter and sugar I always set my timer for 5 minutes but due to the amount (750g!) and the hardness of the butter I let it go on for about 10 minutes making sure to stop every few min to scrape the bowl. You guys this was so annoying to do I kept thinking I have failed before even really beginning. Told you I have no chill xD
While the butter and sugar were creaming I cracked all 9 eggs into a bowl and lightly whisked. These were then added to the butter-sugar mix in about 5-6 batches making sure to mix well between each. Adding the eggs made the mixture much more easier to handle thats for sure so I started to feel a bit more at ease.
Finally I added (Actually I dumped it all in) the flour and mixed on a low setting. Now this is the funny part xD I had to measure the entire batter and divide by 6 to make sure each layer of cake was of an even size (Pretty genius idea) But there was sooo much batter that when I placed the bowl on my measure scale it said ‘Error’ 😂 My poor scale couldnt handle it. So I had to eyeball the amount of batter into all 6 bowls.
Another funny thing to add here..the 6 bowls I had set aside were not the best choice in terms of size. Like I said I underestimated the amount of batter this cake will produce. So when I added the batter and tried to mix the colour in I ended up colouring the entire table. Major fail but a lesson learned for next time.
The recipe says to use 8 inch tins but I decided to use my 7 ½ inch tins as they have the loose bottom and are deep so they make better layers. 6 batters with 3 tins meant I had to bake in stages. I started with the blue and ended with the pink layers. These were baked on Gas Mark 3 for 30 min.
- 400g soft unsalted butter
- 900g sifted icing sugar
- 5-6 tbs whole milk
- 1 tbls vanilla extract
- Blue and Pink colour paste
Can I just start off by saying that buttercream sucks! I hate it 😖
It’s such a pain to make. Icing cloud storm destroys your mixer, your kitchen, your clothes argh!! But I nailed it, I finally nailed it!
The original recipe for this requires 900g of icing sugar with ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Urm what? You’re telling me ½ teaspoon is enough for 900g of icing sugar. I refuse to believe this is actually what they do. 900g of icing sugar is aloooooot. That is going to make a ridiculously sweet buttercream. I was skeptical when I read this and decided to use 1 tablespoon instead. Best idea ever 😀 The buttercream was smooth, light and simply delicious. My advice for when you’re making buttercream. Don’t feel like you need to follow the recipe exactly. Use your own judgement and taste as you go.
Anyways to make the buttercream frosting I started by creaming the butter for about 5 minutes. I learnt my lesson from the cake batter and so warmed the butter for about 10-20 seconds just to help soften it. Once it was nice and fluffy I added the icing sugar in 3 batches and mixed well between each. Finally I added the vanilla infused milk to flavour it and bring it all together. The freezing cold temperature actually worked in my favour here as the buttercream didn’t melt and held its shape 🙂
DECORATING AND ASSEMBLING
Now for the fun part – decorating 😊
Once the cakes were out of the oven and cooled down completely I used a cake leveller to cut each layer so that it was even size. I also used a 7 inch cake board to trim the sides of the cake. When you bake the cakes they turn brown around the edges and top. This is called caramelisation so trimming will bring out the colours. Also using a cake board will ensure you get nice and even stacks (Another genius idea)
Next I brushed sugar syrup on each of the layers to keep them moist and soft (Best tip ever!) Now crumb coat and chill time 😎 I applied a thin layer of frosting between the layers, around the cake and the top and stuck both cakes in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This helps to lock in the cake crumbs and also to keep the moisture of the cakes. I actually stuck to my 30min timer this time around people. Well there was just so many dishes to do that I had no choice xD
I divided the remainder of the frosting between 6 bowls and like the batter I coloured each bowl a shade darker than the last. Once the cakes were chilled I started to apply the coloured frosting starting with the darkest shade at the bottom and working up to light. This was done using an offset spatula. I didn’t bother making this part neat as I wanted the colours to blend to get that ombre effect. Once the cakes were covered I used a cake scraper to smooth out the buttercream. This is when the Ombre started to come together and the cakes looked pretty awesome 😊 I had some frosting leftover after completing both cakes so instead of binning it I used the leftover to decorate some cupcakes I had made earlier (20 Cupcakes to be exact)
CURLING ON THE SOFA AND SLEEPING FOR DAYS…
That was pretty hard work you guys but I am so so pleased with the end result. The cakes stayed moist and light, they baked through completely so held their shape when cut. The frosting was also smooth and didn’t melt or become all grainy. Best of all when we cut into the cake we could actually see the different shades. Wait the real best part was the taste 😃
So damn good if I do say so myself, it was enjoyed by everyone.
I’m so happy I was able to make a special bake for the Mum to Be and that I am finally getting good at layer cakes. This has totally given me the confidence to make more layer cakes. The next cake I have my eye on is a Kinder Bueno layer cake 😍 I hope you enjoyed reading this post, it’s pretty lengthy I know but it’s a big cake so Hey 🙆
Once again I wish you all a very Happy New Year.
Here’s to another year of awesome Bakes