An ombré cake is as beautiful as it is delightful to slice. My sister and I made this cake using the scratch recipe that is the same as our wedding cake baker made (she has retired from her business and was so kind to share!). It is composed of classic white cake and Swiss buttercream, which is made by heating a sugar syrup and whipping into egg whites (the results are heavenly). To create the ombré effect, we used a 5-layer cake pan kit. I weighed my bowl at the start so I knew the starting weight, and once the batter was done, I was able to know the weight for each of the five layers. I “weighed out” the first white layer with a large cookie scoop into prepared pan #1 and then worked a little pink coloring into the remaining batter, weighed out the next layer and kept adding coloring to darken the batter each time until pan #5 was done. The results were beautiful!
6 egg whites, room temperature
3 cups flour (420 grams)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar (470 grams)
Whip egg whites to soft peak stage.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
Cream the butter and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
Combine the milk, water and vanilla.
Alternately add the sifted mixture with the wet mixture into the butter mixture until combined.
Fold in the egg whites and scoop into prepared pans.
Bake at 350°F and check after 10 minutes, monitoring closely until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.
4 egg whites
260 grams sugar
23 grams corn syrup
52 grams water
4 sticks unsalted butter (1 pound), room temperature
Whip the egg whites to soft peaks in a stand mixer.
While eggs are whipping mix sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium sauce pan and turn head to medium-high.
Cook sugar to 240°F, checking with a thermometer.
With the mixer on low, pour hot sugar slowly into egg whites until incorporated.
Turn mixer to high and whip until the mixture has cooled slightly.
Add in the butter a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Continue to whip until the buttercream has thickened.
Recipe note: For our wedding cake, I requested a maple flavoring with walnuts, which our baker incorporated into this buttercream. She toasted walnuts at 375°F for about 10 minutes, chopped finely by hand and folded into the buttercream reserved for the filling layers, along with pure maple syrup and a pinch of salt to taste.