Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Wednesday, 30th January 2013

If you were to ask me the question, “What’s your favourite thing to bake?” I would answer emphatically, “Cake!” My answer would come as a surprise to those that know me best. Why you ask? Cake decorating – it’s not only that I lack the technical skill. I lack patience. I barely get started and irritation gets the better of me. I’ve wanted to make an Ombre Cake for quite some time but I’d been struggling to find the inspiration to decorate uniquely with my limited piping skills.

A photo of Pink Ombre Cake decorated with Pink Gum Paste Heart on white cake stand with antique cake server.

There’s only so many ways to decorate a cake using the swirl technique. And considering it’s one of the only piping techniques I’ve perfected, my choices were limited, or so I thought. I learned a valuable lesson this past week; cake decorating can be as difficult or as simple as you want. Simple techniques can turn an ordinary cake into a work of art. And it doesn’t have to be perfect organic is beautiful too.

Close up, cropped photo of Ombre Cake.

Jennifer {Savory Simple} shared her stunning Strawberry Swirl Dream Cake and once again I found myself wishing that my decorating skills were more advanced. Jennifer was gracious enough to share a link to a video tutorial prepared by Leslie {The Hungry Housewife} and while watching the video I was once again reminded that cake decorating doesn’t have to be all that difficult, in fact, it can be downright easy. And although I could do with a little more practice, I’m really happy with my first attempt at using the Petal technique.

A photo of Pink Gum Paste Hearts overlapping in a row on white flour sack cloth.

Whenever I make a cake I can’t help but feel nostalgic, it conjures up blissful memories of celebrations past. I’ll never forget my tenth birthday. At the time, my mother worked the evening shift at the Eaton’s department store and during the day she cared for my nieces and nephews. Looking back I can’t recall her having the time to sleep let alone plan a birthday celebration for me.

A close up photo of Pink Cake with a slice removed displayed on white cake stand.

My two older brothers Joe and Gabriel who would’ve been fourteen and fifteen at the time decided to plan my birthday party. To say I was surprised would be a complete understatement. You know the “special” dynamic between older brothers and younger sisters at that age?

A close up photo of Pink Ombre Cake on white cake stand.

The brothers want to keep the younger sisters out of their space. And the sisters want to be in the space! Not because they want to hang with their brothers but because they’re crushing on their brother’s best friend…which I secretly was! I’ll never forget these three words, “Grace, go home!” my brothers spouted them off so often that it became a running joke in the neighbourhood.

Photo of a slice of Pastel Cake displayed on stacked white dessert dishes with full cake displayed in behind on white cake stand.

I didn’t take them seriously until they invited my friends, decorated the house with balloons and birthday banners, planned the games, assembled goodie bags and even baked the cake, what a site that was. I’ll never forget that lopsided slab cake decorated with rainbow sprinkles because my brothers showed me in a very unexpected way that they loved me (even if they didn’t want me around).

Photo of Ombre Cake decorated with Pink Swiss Meringue Buttercream displayed on white flour sack cloth.

A beautifully decorated cake is the show-stopping centrepiece of every celebration. It’s a wonderful way to show off your creativity, be it in the flavours you pair together, the fillings you use or how you decorate it.

Close up photo of a bowl of Pink Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

When we think of celebrations usually events like birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and weddings come to mind but in my opinion a cake turns any memorable milestone into a celebration like getting an A on a report card, or perfecting a pirouette. Nothing says extra special like a homemade cake.

Close up photo of Pink Ombre Cake.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching why not show that special someone in your life how much you care by baking a cake incorporating flavours from a dessert you shared on your first date? And if it invokes warm memories from the past – so much the better!

Photo of Pastel Layer Cake with slice removed on white cake stand with antique cake server.

To make this Ombre Cake, fluffy Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream is nestled between four layers of moist and flavourful White Cake. I used powder food colouring for the first time to tint both the cake batter and frosting and although I had to use quite a bit of powder to achieve the shades I wanted the powder did not thin out the frosting nor did it alter the taste of either the cake or frosting. Overall I’m pretty happy with the product but I think in future I will begin with a darker shade of red, which may decrease the amount of powder needed.

Photo of Pink Ombre Petal Cake on double stacked white cake stands with antique cake server.

Like I stated earlier, the Petal technique is quite easy but what I most appreciate is the versatility of the technique, by switching the size of both the pastry tip and spatula like Jennifer did when decorating her Strawberry Cake it created a different look.

Close up photo of Pastel Layer Cake with Pink Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting on white cake stand.

And using the Ombre technique with the Petal technique like I have creates yet another look. Leslie chose to use both techniques too in her Blue Ombre Petal Cake but she continued the Ombre technique on the top of the cake, creating yet another look.

Photo of a slice of Pink Pastel Cake on double stacked white dessert dishes with dessert fork.

If you lack cake decorating skills like I do I recommend trying and adding both the Ombre and Petal techniques to your repertoire.

Photo of Pink Layer Cake on white cake stand displayed with randomly placed Pink Gum Paste Hearts.

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Torte

Comments (4)

4 Responses to “Pink Ombre Cake with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream”

  1. Carol | a cup of mascarpone Says:

    This cake is stunningly gorgeous!!!

  2. thelittleloaf Says:

    Grace, this cake looks incredible! I’ve been meaning to try ombre for ages – this might just be the recipe!

  3. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Says:

    Such a gorgeous cake, Grace, and I just love all of the frosting loaded on there:-)

  4. Sandi @ My Culinary Escapades Says:

    Love the soft look of this frosting. Definitely going to have to try this.

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