In My Kitchen: Ombre Cake Tutorial

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In my kitchen.

I would like to talk about something that has become increasingly more popular in our kitchen, ombre designs.

In the past it was a generally standard idea that a cake would be simply covered in plain white icing or fondant and the design placed on top. But now the idea of adding ombre colouring to the base has changed everything entirely.

For this example I will be describing how to create an ombre effect on your cake using buttercream.


For this I will be describing the techniques we use for decorating a standard round cake, these same techniques can be used for square and slab cakes as well with only minor adjustments.

Now lets have some fun!

First take your standard white buttercream and divide into two or more portions and place those in a bowl. Be sure to leave aside some white buttercream, as you will need that later on. Next pick out the colours you would like to use and set them aside. I recommend using pastels and softer colours for this technique as I find that they garner the best results.
Next add a small amount of your colouring in to the bowl and begin mixing. Start by creating your darkest colour first. Once you have your base colours set, you can begin to create varying shades just by adding a large spoonful of white icing to your mix. My preference is to mix all of my colours by hand, but depending on the size of your cake you may want to use a stand mixer instead.

Begin by filling your piping bags with the colours that you will be using, I suggest using a standard round coupler inside with no tip.
To decorate the cake, start by icing a very thin layer of your white buttercream over top of the entire cake. This is generally referred to as a ‘crumb coat’ and you should be able to faintly see the cake through the icing. Next you want to start with your darkest layer, using your piping bag circle the base of your cake twice making 2 even passes around your cake. Repeat that same step with the second, lighter icing layer and again once more with the lightest colour of buttercream.
To finish spread the remaining vanilla buttercream across the top of the cake, not worrying too much about making it perfectly smooth.
Using a spatula or metal bench scraper to gently smooth your icing, gently place it against the icing and rotate the cake on your turntable. This will leave a nice gradient effect along the side of your cake. Repeat the same technique on the top and you are ready to serve.

Heres your chance to get creative! Try decorating with ruffles, rosettes, swirls, or anything else you can imagine.

Items used:

Wilton Angled Icing Spatula           Wilton Piping Bags               Wilton Couplers