***To watch the chat I had earlier with Autumn talking us through this tutorial just click play on the video below***
Autumn: Ombre is big in cake land right now. Everywhere I look people are venturing away from the traditional wedding cake, which usually is ivory, cream or white as a base colour to graduated colours with their icing choices. I love this new fad and for the discerning cake lover I have put together a lovely easy tutorial to get started on.
Another cake trend at the moment is texture. Ruffles created with fondant icing or piped buttercream are big news so leading on from this tutorial, again with a ready buttercream covered cake, I will show you how to get stunning soft ruffles and pleats onto a cake also with an ombre! Of course everything I show, you can change the colours and play with once you have mastered it. Below the end of each tutorial you will find examples of cakes that are ombre or ruffle based or both, for inspiration.
For this tutorial you will need to check out my recipe for buttercream and guide to crumb coating and filling as a basis from my wedding cake tutorial – before you get ready to start, but for ease I have included the buttercream recipe and instructions below -
125gms (1/2 block) of unsalted butter 450gms sifted icing sugar – add more if you want! The milk will help keep it soft. 1tsp vanilla extract 5 tbsp of fresh milk – for a smooth and soft consistency that spreads a bit easier it’s the best thing. Add as you mix to make the mixing of the butter and the icing sugar easier. 2tsp of sugar flair icing whitener (if you want it a bright white instead of a yellow/ivory)
Large mixing Bowl
2 small glass/mug/bowl
Edible pearls 4mm
Sugar flair colour Ruby
Sugar flair superwhite
Cake turn table
Mix your buttercream and crumb coat your cake. Place in the fridge for about 1 hour until it is hard and well set.
Now take about one 3rd of the remaining buttercream mixture and place in your small bowl/glass. Mix, using your small spatula, a 5 pence piece size blob of Sugar flair Ruby colour and mix till it is a complete uniform colour.
Clean off your small spatula, keeping it clean after every time you use it to place some icing on the cake (you can scrape the left over bits onto your other glass/bowl) it will mean that you don’t get the left over icing dragging the ready placed icing off of where you placed it last. Keep your spatula in one place, up right and at a slight side angle from the cake and turn the cake table instead of your spatula. This will ensure you get a nice neat spread of icing.
Continue in the same manor until you have one strip of dark icing all the way around the base of the cake.
Next mix about 1 table spoon of your white buttercream icing (I have separated mine into another glass from the main mix so the mix in the large bowl can be covered so it doesn’t dry out!) with the remaining icing after the last application to bring it up a shade and apply to the cake in the same way as above. Being careful not to mix the icing colours but to lay on top on the edge of the layer below.
I prefer to take half of every colour left after each application (strip of buttercream) and place in it a bowl isolated in case of mistakes or if I wish to go over layers afterwards. This also leaves room in your glass/bowl for your next spoon of white buttercream that you must add after every application/strip.
To make sure the ombre works don’t make each strip to big, I think its better if you have a 5 inch tall cake to keep the strips of each colour change to about 2 cm at most. But of course that is up to your ideas of what you want your final design to look like!
When you reach the top of the cake, using your large spatula, put a large blob of whatever colour you just finished with on top and smooth and spread it, keeping the spatula flat but with one edge slightly raised against the direction you are turning the cake table towards. This should help you create lovely spiral on top or help you smooth it completely flat.
In my final pictures I haven’t added the pearls but have included a picture of a cake I did add pearls too. I think it look fabulous with a sprinkling of them in random places! I also love the idea and look of using your bench scraper to smooth of the cake and give it a seamless look like the cake below…
Image by Gabriel Ryan for Sweet & Saucy Shop via Style Me Pretty
Image (left) Maggie Austin Cakes and (right) Janae Shields Photography
Thanks Autumn for such a great tutorial – these cakes are so gorgeous!