Pink Ombre Vanilla Cake

Good Monday morning!

I got up rather early this morning. 7am, ok so not that early really but early respective to standard holiday rising times. When I got up it was pouring, no, bucketing with rain. There was even a clap of thunder.

So I proceeded to watch the season 5 finale of Grey's Anatomy. How is it possible to kill off two characters in one episode? or does George come back to life? I hope so. Anyway since I was shocked at such an episode as well as the rain going on in the background I decided to search out a vanilla cake recipe and make an ombre effect with the layers.

I have seen these ombre cakes lurking around Pinterest lately and it wasn't until that I saw a friend of a friends one that I decided to muster up the courage to do one. It was just a matter of when . .

Sweetapolita did this excellent tutorial on a pastel swirl cake that I eyed up whilst sitting in the airport.

Ombre + pastel swirl = an excellent morning activity.

I searched and searched the blogs of iambaker, Sweetapolita and even Whisk-Kid but to no avail. All of Sweetapolita's recipes included copious amounts of egg whites. I don't know about you but I feel guilty leaving 6 or so egg yolks sitting in the fridge. Its not like I am going to make mayonnaise.

Then I pondered whether or not I could turn my vanilla cupcake recipe into a cake. Then it struck me!

Chris bought me the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days book, however it got delivered to his Dunedin address. Chris is in Auckland, not Dunedin so I couldn't search the book. But I could search the internet!

So I googled Hummingbird Bakery vanilla cake recipes and sure enough one popped up. Thank goodness!

I had my recipe. It used three eggs. I could live with that.

Lets do this shall we?

Hummingbird Bakery's Vanilla Cake
(makes three 20cm layers)

360g plain flour
360g caster sugar
120g softened butter
360ml whole milk (1 1/2 cups)
3 eggs
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons vanilla essence
pink food colouring

and for the icing:

500g icing sugar
160g butter, softened
50ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
pink food colouring
a drop or two of strawberry essence if you wish :)

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees on bake. Line three 20cm cake tins with baking paper and grease the edges.

Beat the butter and sugar together until evenly distributed. It won't cream so don't worry. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and beat until a fine sandy consistency is reached. Add an egg and half a cup of the milk. Beat until incorporated. Repeat until all the eggs and milk are included. Add the vanilla. Beat until smooth. If it is a good day, the stars are aligned and you are wearing your lucky underwear the batter should fluff up a bit. I obviously wasn't wearing the right undies today. The batter was runny. But that's ok, it will still work.

Here is the fiddly bit.

Tare another large bowl over your kitchen scales (digital is best). Pour and scrape all of your batter into the bowl, weighing the total batter volume. Divide this number (1312g in my case) by three. Then get three separate bowls and weigh out three equal portions of batter (437ish g in my case).

Now its time to colour. Drop by drop, colour the batters until you have a light, medium and dark shade of pink. Once the colour is evenly mixed, pour the batter into each lined tin.

Our oven wasn't big enough for all three so I had to bake two first then the last one.

Bake for 25 minutes (or until the skewer comes out clean). If the tops start browning a little too much, place some tin foil over the top. This will stop the browning but let the cake to continue to cook.

Once out of the oven, leave to cool in the tins before turning out onto a wire cake rack.

Ok you have your cakes. Leave these to cool completely before you even start to think about icing them.

Follow Sweetapolita's tutorial on how to ice this baby all swirly and the like. She has a video which is far better than my mushed holiday brain trying to pump out comprehensible sentences.

Beat all your icing ingredients together until they are super fluffy and smooth. The volume should increase quite substantially. Colour all of the icing the lightest shade of pink. Then crumb coat the whole cake with that colour. Then split the remaining icing into three lots and colour two of the bowls a dark and darker shade of pink.

Yeah best to follow Sweetapolita's instructions for this. I have sugar on the brain.

Pop your crumb coated cake in the fridge for half an hour.
This allows you the perfect time to revisit the tutorial
video. . .
Start by placing a good dollop of icing on the top.
Spread this evenly across the surface,
letting excess overhang the sides.

Get the darkest shade and carefully dab it onto the bottom third.
Do it one small blob at a time.
It does not need to be smooth at this point.

Get your middle shade of pink and repeat the same process
in the middle third.

Get a mug full of boiling water and a nice long knife,
a palate knife would be best. Hold the knife parallel to the
cake side, angling  slightly forward. In one cleanish sweep
,  glide the knife around the cake, turning the cake
stand beneath it. The colours should start to blend together.

Dipping the knife in hot water and wiping it each time,
smooth the edges of the cake. Be careful not to over
work it as you will loose the gradient effect. This sort
of cake suits a  rougher finish rather than a totally smooth

Anyway once done sprinkle with some sprinkles and some edible glitter. Now I just have to find someone to give this cake to. I will post cross section photos once it has been cut into. Which could be a while yet. The cake is sitting on our coffee table looking a little lonely. . . .

I shall update you as soon as the cake is cut!

TTFN! :)


So Jack came home from school and became rather impatient waiting for dessert time. Couldn't let him spoil his dinner now could we?

Dessert time finally came around. . .

Hmm well I think that is more than enough cake for one day :) 
Hmm wait, I think Mum needs a batch of cupcakes made for work tomorrow.