Monday, April 29, 2013

Ombre Birthday Cake

Today I'm not sharing a cake recipe, rather just this icing technique.  Inspired by a pretty cake at Apt 2B Baking Co, and with a request for a purple birthday cake for a 30th birthday party, I started with three layers of white cake, filled with fresh raspberry sauce, and covered with a crumb coat of cream cheese frosting.  While the crumb coat hardened in the refrigerator for a half hour, I readied my frosting.  I made my cream cheese buttercream recipe, and I would estimate that I used about two cups of frosting.

I divided the frosting into three bowls, tinting them three different shades of purple - dark, medium and light - using the Americolor Royal Purple gel food coloring.  Instead of spreading the frosting onto the cake like the cake that inspired this one, I decided to pipe it on.  First, I spooned the darkest purple into the bottom of the piping bag, then medium right on top of the dark and lastly light.  Then, starting at the base of the cake, I piped the frosting around and around - this step doesn't have to be perfect since you're just trying to get the frosting onto the cake in the general area that you want each color to be.

Then I took a flexible icing knife, and starting at the base of the cake again, I dragged the knife around and around, up the sides and towards the center, wiping any excess frosting off the knife into a bowl as I went.  Again, this technique is not intended to look perfect, and it's okay if the colors blend together a little as you drag the knife around.  I think of this as rustic elegance or imperfectly perfect.

I finished the cake with a border of dark purple flowers piped around the base and the birthday message on top, with a little cake bling of dark gray pearl sprinkles.

The ladies who ordered the cake had a bachelorette party that day, followed by a birthday celebration that night, and I'm sure this cake was a yummy and sweet ending to their party.