How to Bake an Ombre Cake

by Lauren Salkeld, Epicurious
















Ombre cakes are all the rage on Pinterest, and my younger, more stylish sister Alex requested that I make one for her birthday. What's an ombre cake? Well, it's a traditional white cake with white frosting that's been strategically dyed to create an ombre effect. In other words, it's the cake shown here. Google "ombre" and you'll find it's also a trend in hair and nails.

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Alex chose blue for her ombre color and she wanted the cake to be tall, so I baked two standard layer cakes to get a total of four separate cake layers, each one tinted a different degree of blue. Obviously the outside mimics the inside, so the bottom is a darker, brighter blue that becomes progressively paler as it moves up the cake. To accomplish the different colors I kept it simple, using one, two, three, or four drops of blue food coloring paste, depending on the cake layer or frosting batch. And since there were two whole cakes to cover, I made two full frosting recipes.

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To achieve the ombre look with the frosting, I covered the cake in a thin layer of the pale blue frosting and chilled it briefly (this is called the crumb coat and primes the cake for full frosting). Next I started frosting the bottom with the darkest blue then gradually moved up the cake using lighter and lighter shades of blue. To create that graduated ombre look, I occasionally used a plastic bench scraper (an offset spatula would probably also do the trick) to blend and smooth out the frosting. For the final finishing touch, I added a some glittery sprinkles because if someone wants an ombre cake, they probably also want a cake with a little sparkle.




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