Today is Wallflower Mama’s birthday! I’ve never made a birthday cake for anyone before but now that I’m on a bit of a baking high (thanks GBBO) I was inspired to. For my first go, I’m very pleased with the result! Sure, it’s not perfect but I like cakes that are a little imperfect… Perfect cakes scare me.
Whilst browsing Pinterest the other day, I came across a beautiful cake by Sweetapolita. I loved the ombre effect and it gave me an idea for my Mum’s birthday cake. Sunset colours! My Mum adores sunsets, so I knew she would love this. But my previous cake decorating attempts haven’t turned out great so I was a little apprehensive. Luckily, Sweetapolita has included an extremely helpful video tutorial in her post which showed me exactly how to create the ombre effect with buttercream icing. So I’m not going to make a tutorial about it (although I’m sure watching me covered in icing sugar frantically running around my kitchen would be hilarious) but instead refer you to her tutorial which does a better job than I ever could.
I have eaten a revolting amount of buttercream today (one of the cook’s perks!) And I now feel the urge to go and eat something healthy. And then gorge on some more cake and frosting later :-D
- 6 large free-range eggs
- 325g (1 + 1/2 cups) caster sugar
- 325g (2 + 1/4 cups) self-raising flour
- 325g (2 + 1/2 sticks of) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Strawberry Jam
- Buttercream (quarter of recipe below)
- 280g (2 sticks) butter
- 560g (4 cups) icing sugar
- 4 tbsp milk
- Red, orange and yellow food colourings
- (optional) edible gold dust to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180c.
- Grease and line 3 x 8in sandwich tins.
- In a bowl, mix together all the sponge cake ingredients until well combined. The consistency should be thick but soft and falls off the spoon easily.
- Divide the batter equally between the 3 tins and cook on the middle shelf (if you can squeeze all 3 on the same shelf!) for 20-25 minutes.
- When 20 minutes are up, check the cakes to see if they are done. They should be golden and springy to touch.
- Let them cool in their tins for a few minutes before carefully loosening out of the tins and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make up the buttercream by whisking the butter in a bowl until soft and creamy. Add a third of the icing sugar at a time and mix, adding the milk as you go along. It should be a rich, creamy but firm frosting.
- Split in half (one half for crumb coating, the other for decorating) And divide one half into 3 bowls and add the red colouring to one bowl, orange to another and yellow to the last. Mix well until you have achieved the desired colours.
- When the cakes have cooled, it's time to assemble the cake. Start with one layer and carefully shave the top of it with a knife to create a straight edge. Add a layer of buttercream and jam before adding the next layer and repeating. With the last layer, create a flat top ready for frosting.
- First, you need to create a crumb layer. To do this, simply ice the cake with the non-dyed buttercream to create a neat "base layer." Leave to cool in the fridge for 2 hours before moving onto the next layer of frosting.
- For instructions on applying the ombre frosting, please see Sweetapolita's tutorial
- Decorate with edible gold dust, sprinkles or whatever you like!
- Leave in the fridge for an hour before serving. Enjoy!