Need an easy but staggeringly beautiful way to decorate a bake? Then look no further than the ombré cake

They’re sophisticated, beautiful and classy. And yes, we're still talking about something you can make in your very own kitchen – it's the ombré cake.


Ombré cakes are the colour-coordinated peacock of the cake world. They have a gradual tonal icing or interior sponge layers which fade from light to dark. And they're actually not that hard to make either. Choose your favourite colour, grab a palette knife (or failing that, an ordinary knife will do) and unleash your inner artist.



So how exactly do I ice an ombré cake?

  1. Ice your cake with a base layer of vanilla buttercream
  2. Make up three or four bowls of buttercream to different colour gradients (just add progressively more food colouring to each bowl)
  3. Pipe a line of each colour around your cake (you can just spread it on with a knife if you like a more rustic look). Start with the darkest colour at the bottom, and pipe progressively lighter colours up the cake.
  4. Finally, smooth the icing up the cake with a knife and use a spatula to remove the excess.
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A pink ombre cake in the making with icing piped onto a vanilla buttercream base

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Keep piping your coloured icing until you've covered the sides of your cake

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Smooth the icing down with a palette knife

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Remove the excess with a regular spatula or this rather frightening looking off-set spatula (no we'd never seen one of these before either!)


And to make an ombré sponge ...?

This is just as simple but involves a bit more washing up!

  1. Make a vanilla cake batter then separate into three or four bowls
  2. Mix in food colouring to different degrees (or fruit pulp such as mango or raspberry if you want to go natural) so you have three of four different coloured sponge mixes
  3. Transfer to greased and lined cake tins. Bake according to your recipe and you're done. Couldn't be easier!
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Green ombre cake batter waiting to be transferred to cake pans and baked


Not convinced? Here are some pretty pictures which might just change your mind ...


Sunset boulevard

You'll feel calmer just looking at it.

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Rosy outlook

Go floral and get the ombré look with textured roses instead

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Watercolour effect

How very impressionist of you.

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Green goddess

It's green! Does that make it more healthy?

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Getting figgy with it

Add a hint of natural sweetener.

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No-bake cheesecake with blueberry curd

Because the ombré -effect isn't only for sponge cakes you know.

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Surprise ombré-inside cake

Set off with hundreds and thousands.

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Mesmeric mango

The fruity touch adds even more deliciousness.

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Ombré mini cakes

Make cake sponges in your normal cake tins and cut out smaller circles with a cookie cutter.

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Rhubarb wrap

Or create the same ombré effect with poached strips of rhubarb

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In the buff

This cake has nothing to hide.

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Au natural

Coloured with raspberry pulp, which adds flavour too.

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Good limes

Zesty, bright and delicious. Yes please.

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