Red Velvet Ombre Cake

My younger sister turned 40 years old last month. She decided to have a birthday bash for family members and some very close friends. She requested for a birthday cake which can serve up to 30 people. We discussed for quite a while, and I couldn't think of any good cake which I baked, that can serve her guests. Most of the cakes were meant for "internal" consumption. I baked my mum's 70th birthday cake, but decided the size was too big for her guests. Furthermore, she wasn't a big fan of blackforest cake. My initial proposal was to bake Tiramisu, since her birthday lunch was to be held in an Italian restaurant. Then I changed my mind because I didn't have most of the ingredients.

Finally, two days before her birthday party, I decided to bake her a (surprise) Red Velvet Cake. I know she loves my Red Velvet Cake and Chocolate Cupcakes. Instead of just frosting it normally, I decided to make an ombre rose frosting for her.

"Ombre refers to colors that blend into each other, often from dark to light." - Kind Arthur Flour. I'm very often awe by beautiful colours of ombre cakes and rainbow cakes. I've finally pick up the courage to try this ombre frosting. The Red Velvet Cake turned out to be really good. Her guests were very impressed with the beautiful frosting, and the great tasting cake I made. My sister was also very pleased and delighted. I was so happy to have made the right last minute decision.
Recipe for Red Velvet Ombre Cake, recreated from Joy of Baking and previous post.
Makes a 4-layered 9" round cake 

Red Velvet Cake
500g Cake flour, sifted
1 tsp Fine salt 

30g Dutch-processed cocoa powder
227g Liv unsalted butter, at room temperature
280g Caster sugar
4 large Eggs
2 tsps Vanilla extract
480g Buttermilk (480g whole milk + 2 tsps fresh lemon juice)
2 tsp Liquid red food coloring
2 tsp White distilled vinegar
2 tsp Baking soda


  • Grease two 9" round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  • In bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  • In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
  • In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter. 
  • Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the three prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. 
  • Bake in the preheated fan oven of 160C for approximately 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. 
  • Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight).

  • Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from Martha Stewart)
    750g Cream Cheese
    500g Liv unsalted Butter, softened
    210g Icing sugar, sifted
    3 tsp Vanilla extract

    1. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
    2. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, in three batches, then add vanilla, and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 3 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth again.

    To assemble:

    1. Slice both the cakes into 2 layers, making a total of 4 layers.
    2. Place one layer on the cake board, spread with cream cheese frosting.
    3. Repeat for 2nd, 3rd and 4th layer.
    4. Then crumb coat the whole cake, ie. frost the cake all over with cream cheese frosting.
    5. cake_RVOC01
    6. Refrigerate it for at least 30mins.
    7. Meanwhile, take about 100g (or 120g) of the cream cheese, mix with your desired colour. In my case, it's pink. I used a toothpick, insert into my Wilton gel colour lightly, then stir it into my bowl of cream cheese.
    8. Using a nozzle tip #21, pipe a flower at the side of the cake, starting at the bottom. Filling up gaps as you piped.
    9. cake_RVOC02
    10. When completed 1st layer, with the remaining cream cheese, add in slightly more colour, adding more cream cheese as desired.
    11. Continue piping the second layer.
    12. Repeat #8 & #9 for the 3rd layer flowers.
    13. Then using the remaining colour of the cream cheese, add in more cream cheese, and add in red colour. Mix well.
    14. Using nozzle #1M. Pipe roses all round the top. Filling up gaps as you go.
    15. cake_RVOC03
    16. Chill it before serving.
    cake_RVOC04 cake_RVOC06
    I'm submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #40: Rainbow and Ombre Party! (March 2014) hosted by Cynthia of The Baking Biatch.


    Kitchen Corner said...
    March 16, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Hi Jane, the ombre roses looks really pretty. I still couldn't make such a nice ombre cake. The first I made wasn't nice and I didn't use different red colours for the icing. In this case, can it still named as ombre? I like to submit to the aspiring bakers too if it is ok that the rossett on the cake just in one color only.

    Passionate About Baking said...
    March 16, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Hi Grace,
    Thanks. You should try using different colours, they look really great on the cakes, though my colours are not so even. Based on the criteria for AB, it needs to have at least 4 colours to be considered ombre. Unless you made rainbow cake, which qualifies.

    Kitchen Corner said...
    March 16, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Ohh I see I see. Understand now. Thank you!!

    Post a Comment

    Be free with your mind!