Graduated Colour “Ombre” Cakes

Hi everyone,

So I’ve had a long gap from posting (again) but from now on I’m going to post every Wednesday and hopefully occasionally more often. I’m also going to start writing reviews; take a look at the new page for a bit more about that.

This week’s recipe is for some cute little cakes with graduated colour layers. I’ve seen these called Ombre cakes, I’m not really sure why but thought I’d put it in for good measure!

I made these a while ago for fun and even won a twitter competition from the picture of them which I’m still pretty chuffed about. They are perfect for any occasion as you can pick any colour you want and decorate them any way you choose. So, without any further ado, lets get to the recipe!

You will need:
-Your favourite Victoria Sponge Cake recipe (mine’s Mary Berry’s of course!) and all the ingredients that it requires.
-Gel food colouring (I’m not sure liquid colouring would work so well here)
-Butter cream (100g butter, 225g icing sugar and 2 tbsp milk)
-2 Victoria Sandwich tins
-anything you fancy to decorate with

So, the trick here is to halve the Victoria sponge recipe but make it twice over so you end up with four, thinner cakes. However, do make sure you halve everything in the recipe – I absent mindedly added the full amount of baking powder on my first attempt and had to start again! So if you can be a bit absent minded too then maybe write down the half quantities so you can follow that directly!

Once you’ve made the batter for the first cakes then split it in half. Put one half straight into a greased tin and then to the other half, mix in a tiny bit of your chosen food colouring until it is just very lightly coloured compared to the plain cake. Transfer this into the other sandwich pan and spread both batters out so they are smooth and level.

Bake the cakes in the oven at 180C for about 13-16 minutes until the cakes are cooked. My tip here is to place them on the lowest shelf in the oven as it often stops a peak forming in the cake which would be detrimental to our design.

When these cakes are cooked, turn them out on a wire rack to cool and then mix up the next half of the batter. When colouring these you want to do half slightly darker than the last coloured cake and then the next half darker still. Bake these in the same way you did the last time and then leave all the cakes to cool.

The next step is to cut out the cakes so you have lots of little discs of cake. I used plain round cutters but I suppose you could choose any shape you wanted. The first time I tried these they were heart-shaped which was quite cute. This time, I managed to get eight discs out of each cake.

Once they are all cut out and ready to go (the off-cuts are for you to enjoy as baker’s perks) then you are ready to assemble them. Whip up a batch of butter cream and use this to sandwich the four different layers together from light to dark or vice versa.


Decoration is really up to you. I think they look nice with just another layer of butter cream on top so that the graduating layers are visible. However, it’s also quite nice to cover them in fondant icing because they create a nice surprise when they are cut (or bitten) open. So that’s your choice but I chose just butter cream and then added some decorations on top. Sprinkles are great here and I just used some I had in the drawer already. I also tied strawberry laces into bows to put on a couple and finally, I made some roses out of fondant icing too. If you like the look of the roses then I’m going to put a little tutorial for them on this blog soon so keep your eyes peeled!

Well, that’s it really; once you’ve added your finishing touches they are ready to be devoured!

If you try these out I would really love to see your different interpretations so do get in touch on here or send me a tweet @blunderousbaker and show me.

Happy Baking



p.s. Here is a little crime scene picture after my butter cream making!

Spatula? What spatula?