Mister Man's parents came to stay for the weekend and since his birthday and Easter had just passed I had an ambitious plan to make an Ombre Cake - which I've been seeing all OVER the place. I honestly didn't think I was going to pull it off...but I was totally game to try. I think it's fun to do stuff like this - even if it stresses me the hell out sometimes.
The recipe was something I came up with myself. Mister Man and I are calling it Strawberry Lemonade. I started with a Pillsbury Moist Supreme White Cake Mix (they were on sale and I'm lazy). When mixing up the cake batter I used buttermilk instead of water, butter instead of oil and I separated the eggs and whisked the egg whites before adding the entire egg to the batter. I then added (for each box of cake mix) 1 tspn of lemon extract and 1 tspn of fresh lemon juice (you can skip the fresh lemon juice if you don't have any on hand - it will just be slightly less tangy. Our Kroger just happened to have them on sale for freaking 18¢ each - so I couldn't resist buying a huge bag). Then I spread Smuckers Orchard's Finest Pacific Mountain Strawberry Preserves in between each of the five layers. I'd actually recommend staying away from preserves or anything with chunks in it. I haven't made very many cakes - and during this experience I found that you want your cake layers to lay flat...duh.
The tutorial for decorating the cake came from The Hungry Housewife. She has a very concise post with great photos and a short instructional video. If this is something you're going to try, and you have an extra sec (let's face it...if you're making this bad boy you've got some time) you should watch the video. It seems so much more simple once you see the technique in action. Hers is obviously so much more crisp and evenly spaced then mine...but my frosting kept getting super soft from the oven being on. It got sort of mushy and started to run just a bit.
Top of the cake
I had a really hard time getting a good photo that represented the interior cake color - but here's five layers of deliciousness. The cake came out so unbelievably moist, yet dense like a home made cake, not a cake mix. Next time though, I'll totally use more jam. It tasted sooooooo yummy and the cake layers soaked it up beautifully. To make this particular cake I used 8" straight side pans. It took two boxes of cake mix and about 1/3 of a small jar of jam. I made two batches of frosting and had a bit left over when done with the cake. I might have been able to plan a little better, make my petals a bit smaller, and have an additional layer of petals running around the cake. Hindsight...
Can't resist the cute candles. I mentioned how much fun they'd be to make and Mister Man cringed. Don't worry sweetheart! I'm not planning on taking on any new hobbies any time soon!
I used a combination of the above food colors/pastes. The darker colors didn't seem to mix quite as well in the frosting - but the cake batter took it well.
Colors of my cake batter. The difference in color seemed to come out a little more after it was cooked.
And of course, my happy husband. He didn't even scrape off any of the frosting when he ate his three pieces (three since last night!). That's true love.
I'm excited to play with other flavors and color variations. This truly was a fun cake to cut up and eat.
'til next time... ♥
p.s. If you've made anything Ombre leave me a link so I can check it out!