Who doesn’t love a good ombre? Jared Leto’s perfect hair, anyone? Or, maybe I’m the only one who wishes my hair looked like his. Regardless, ombre-anything adds a little extra sass, even to cakes.
That’s right, we’re making sassy cakes.
In all honesty, though, just by adding a little food color to the cake batter will really make the finished product something special. This is a fun thing to take for birthday parties, holiday meals, or if you’re into being an adult and having children, a gender-reveal party.
Although I did not make the cake from a box, you could absolutely do that. Just make sure you have about 6 cups of batter total, so you can do 2 cups in each cake pan. If you do use boxed cake mix, add about 2 tsp of almond extract, it really makes the cake taste wonderfully and no one will know you took a quick shortcut!
Feel free to get creative with the colors, too. I made this for Easter, so I chose to do shades of blue. But, you could do rainbow, or varying shades of different colors. It’s a fun way to get artistic while cooking!
Also, I made the cake topper pictured, which was SO simple, and I have no idea why some of them are so expensive on Etsy. I’ll write a post soon on how to make your own!
So, if you’re not sure if you want to ombre your hair or not for the summer, go ahead and ombre a cake. It’s just as fun, I promise.
Three-Layer Ombre Cake
- 6 C of your favorite white/yellow cake mix, I used this one, but subbed the vanilla extract for 2-3 tsp of almond extract
- Blue food coloring
- Almond buttercream frosting
- 6 C powdered sugar
- 4 sticks unsalted, room temperature butter
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 C milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter and flour three 9″ cake pans. Place parchment paper rounds at the bottom of each pan, and butter those, too.
- Follow the instructions for your favorite white/yellow cake mix. When the batter is ready, scoop it evenly (about 2 cups each) into three separate bowls.
- In the first bowl, squeeze about 3-4 drops of blue food coloring into the batter, and stir until the color is just evenly distributed.
- In the second bowl, squeeze about 6-7 drops of food coloring into the batter, and stir until color is evenly distributed.
- In the third bowl, squeeze about 8-9 drops of food coloring into the batter, and stir until color is evenly distributed ***The amount of food coloring you add to each bowl of batter will depend on how contrasting you want the layers. This is totally up to you! Add a little bit at a time if you want, until you get the desired ombre effect.
- Pour each of the bowls of batter into the separate cake pans. Bang the pans on the countertop to get rid of any air bubbles. Place the pans into the oven and bake approx. 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Place pans on wire cooling racks for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges, and flip the pans quickly upside down to release the cake from the pan. Allow the cake rounds to cool completely on wire racks, about 1 hour. When cooled, wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 30 minutes, and up to overnight.
- While the cake rounds are freezing, make the icing. Beat powdered sugar, butter, and salt on low until just combined (this will get messy, sorry in advance). Scrape the sides, and beat on medium-high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add almond extract and milk, and beat on medium-high until the icing is light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Place the darkest layer of the cake on a cake stand, and place a large dollop of icing on top, spread, and then place the medium-colored layer on top. Spread another dollop of icing, followed by the lightest layer. (You could obviously go with the lightest layer on the bottom, and darkest on top, whichever you prefer).
- Using the rest of the buttercream, ice the rest of the cake (I had PLENTY of icing leftover). Decorate with sprinkles if desired, and enjoy!