Weekend Recipes

Ombré Celebration Cake

There is something very satisfying about creating food that is as delicous to eat as it is pretty. This little recipe, whilst requires a bit of patience, is straightforward for the most part and starts with the most basic of sponge bases.

You’ll need:

For the cake

  • Equal amounts (250g works) of room-temperature unsalted butter, caster sugar, and self-raising flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Food colouring of your choice
  • 6″ cake tins. This recipe will comfortably fill three or four of these, to create your ombré layers
  • Piping bag with a ‘star’ nozzle

For the buttercream ‘roses’

  • 500g unsalted room-temperature butter
  • 1kg of icing sugar (You can halve this and the butter if you just want a simple icing, of course – see rose and vanilla ombré cake)


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
  • Cream the butter and caster sugar together until they form a paste
  • Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and combine with the butter/sugar mixture
  • Gradually add in your self-raising flour until well incorporated and smooth, being careful not to over whisk, before adding a few drops of your vanilla extract
  • Split your cake mixture evenly across the cake tins

The fun part

  • Take your chosen food colouring, and begin to add to the first cake tin. Start off slowly and gradually build up to the first shade of your ombre layers, going from light to dark. There is an element of trial and error, but as a general rule you can double the amount of colouring each time. For example, using 1/2 tsp of colouring in the first cake tin, 1 tsp in the second, 2 tsps in the third, and so on…
  • When you’re happy with the vibrancy, pop each cake tin in the oven for about 12 minutes, or until a knife runs clean, before leaving aside on a cooling rack
  • For the icing, combine the butter and icing sugar together with a whisk, and add a spot of colour
  • Use a knife, or spatula, to adhere your layers together, and take it around the cake and top to form a crumb coat foundation for your decorative roses

Two-tone icing

There’s no fool-proof way of doing this but this seems most straightforward (if a little messy).

  • Split your remaining buttercream into two bowls, adding a little more food colouring to intensify one half
    • Tip: With your nozzle in place, pop the piping bag into a tall glass and fold the edges over. This keeps it in place as you fill
  • Take your first batch of icing, and gradually pour into the piping bag, whilst encouraging it to sit on one side with a palette knife
  • Turn over, and fill the other side with your second shade
  • For a ‘rose’ effect, place the nib in the centre of where you’d like your first flower. Slowly guide this round until you have piped a full circle, carefully tailing off. Your next should slightly overlap this one at the edges. Continue this process until you have covered the cake.

Any gaps can be filled with excess buttercream.

© All photography and views expressed in this blog are my own. For more information, and for details of my editorial policy, please see my blog disclaimer.


8 thoughts on “Ombré Celebration Cake

  1. Hi,

    If making chocolate buttercream using the general rule of 2:1 sugar to butter, how much sugar would I use and how much cocoa?



    1. Hi Sheila! I’d make up your buttercream as usual – mixed for a good 5-10 minutes until light and airy – and, if using caster sugar, until completely smooth. Gradually incorporate the powdered cocoa, a teaspoon at a time, and taste as you go along to avoid that powdery texture you can sometimes get! Better still would be if you have time to melt actual chocolate! I defer to the brilliant Cupcake Jemma on YouTube for a failsafe recipe:

      Hope that helps! I’d love to see your finished bake!


      1. Thank you sooo much for the quick reply. And thank you for sharing the video, recipe looks amazing!

        I’m not sure how you post pictures on here but if I can figure out how to attach and send it, I’ll defo share the results 🙈

        Thanks again xx


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