This Valentine’s Day Ombre Cake is four layers of soft moist sponge, vanilla buttercream and fondant ombre hearts.
Valentine’s Day hype seems to be in full swing. The shops near me are full of roses and cute teddy bears so I thought it was about time I shared this incredible recipe with you.
Valentine’s Day Ombre Cake
To make the cake start by lining your cake tins with parchment paper and leave to one side. Also, you need to preheat your oven.
Cream together the butter and sugar until it is pale and fluffy. Add in the flour, eggs, baking powder and vanilla extract and mix until completely combined and smooth.
It may seem like a huge quantity of ingredients but tryst me it makes the perfect sized cake. I wouldn’t recommend reducing the cake to tow layers because then you won’t get the ombre effect on the inside of the cake.
You could reduce the cake to three layers though just check out the alternatives section below for the quantities.
Colouring your Cake Batter
Once your cake mixture is smooth split it between four bowls. To the first bowl don’t add any food colouring. In your second bowl, add a tiny amount of food colouring and mix. You want it to be a very pale pink. Top Tip! – Always add a teeny tiny little drop of food colouring and then mix. Gradually add more. If you add too much at the start then you can’t take it back so you want to gradually build the colour up.
To the third bowl add slightly more food colouring. You want it to be slightly darker in colour than the previous bowl. Repeat this until the cake batter in all four are pink. They each should be slightly deeper shades of pink so that you get a lovely ombre cake effect when you cut into the cakes.
I used Pro Gel food colouring. It is a gel food colouring which means you only need to use a tiny amount to get a fantastic colour, compared with a water based food colouring which you will need a lot of and it can sometimes leave behind a funny taste.
Pour the mixtures into the four cake tins and bake in the oven. The cakes will come out of the oven slightly golden on top of don’t worry if the colours aren’t as vibrant as they were when you first put them into the oven. When you cut into the centre of the cake the colours will be the same as they were before you baked them.
How do I know my cakes are cooked?
There are several different ways to check the cakes are cooled. If you gently touch the top of your cakes if it springs back when you remove your finger then it is ready.
You could also use a cake tester and test the thickest part of the cake. If it comes out clean then the cakes are ready. If there is still cake batter on the tester when you remove it, pop the cakes back into the oven for 3-4 minutes and then retest. Repeat until the skewer comes out clean.
For the love heart decorations I used four different colours of Renshaw Ready to Roll Icing, Fuchsia, Pink, Baby Pink and White and these plunger cutters. I honestly am not sure how many of these I cut out but it was far more than I needed and I just picked out the prettiest ones for the finished cake.
Pop all of your love hearts on a flat baking tray and leave to one side.
Once your cakes have cooled make the buttercream.
I preferred to use buttercream for this cake because covering a cake in fondant isn’t something I have a lot of experience with.
To make the buttercream mix together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until it is lovely and fluffy. If you find the buttercream is too thick add a tsp of milk and mix again. Repeat until it is the perfect consistency. Pop it into a piping bag with a large round nozzle and leave to one side.
I start by placing the first cake on the cake board and pipe the buttercream on top. If you have a turntable this will make decorating so much easier. I put the darkest pink sponge on the bottom. Using an angled pallet knife to smooth the buttercream onto the top before adding my next cake layer. Don’t worry if it splodges over the side we will use this for the crumb coat. Repeat until all of your cakes are stacked, the deepest pink on the bottom and your plain coloured on on top.
Pipe the buttercream onto the top layer of the cake, again don’t worry if it goes over the edges. Using your cake smoother smooth around the sides of the cake. Don’t worry if you can see the cake through the buttercream, this is just the crumb coat. We will cover the cake soon.
If there are any gaps, pipe buttercream into the gaps and then smooth again using your cake smoother. When there are no gaps in your cake pop it into the fridge until the buttercream has hardened. Once the buttercream has hardened, pipe the remaining buttercream around the sides of the cake.
Using your smoother, smooth around the sides, if there are any gaps fill these with the buttercream and continue to smooth around the sides until the cake is smooth. You will most likely take some of the buttercream off the cake if you do pop this back into your bowl and we will use this for the swirls on top of the cake. Using an angled palette knife smooth any buttercream into the top of the cake so you have nice sharp edges.
Now with your pre cut love hearts start sticking them on the outside of the cake. I started with the fuchsia pink at the top of the cake and worked down until the white is on the bottom of the cake. Making sure they are all in line and have equal spacing between them.
You might have noticed I didn’t level the top of my cake, this was deliberate because I wanted the love hearts on top to have a bit of a slope so you can see them. If you want you can level the top of your cake before you stack them.
I then finished the top of the cake with this topper.
To make this a three layer cake just reduce the amounts to 350g self-raising flour, caster sugar, butter, 7 large eggs, 1tsp baking powder, 1tsp Vanilla Extract. For the buttercream, I would use 750g of Icing Sugar, 375g Unsalted Butter and 1tsp of Vanilla Extract.
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Valentine’s Day Ombre Cake
For the Cake
- 450 g Unsalted Butter or Stork
- 450 g Caster Sugar
- 450 g Self-Raising Flour
- 9 Large Eggs
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
- Pink Food Colouring
For the Decorations
- Fuchsia Ready to Roll Icing
- Pink Ready to Roll Icing
- Baby Pink Ready to Roll Icing
- White Ready to Roll Icing
For the Buttercream
- 1 kg Icing Sugar
- 500 g Unsalted Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2-3 tbsp Whole Milk (optional)
To Make the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 170C (150C Fan). Line 4 8” cake tins with greaseproof paper and leave to one side.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add in the flour, eggs, baking powder and vanilla extract. Whisk until all combined.
- Split the mixture evenly into four separate bowls and add the food colouring. I left the first bowl white with no food colouring. Then I started with one drop of pink in the second bowl, two drops in the third etc. and then mixed. The colours in each bowl should be slightly darker than each other.
- Pour the mixture into the individual cake tins and bake in the over for 35-40minutes. You will know they are ready when they are golden brown and springy to touch.
- I leave them to cool in the cake tin for 15-20 minutes and then remove and put them on a wire rack to cool fully.
To Make the Decorations
- Roll out your fondant until it is roughly 1cm thick. Now using a love heart shaped plunger cut out love hearts in each of your four colours. Pop them on a flat tray and leave to one side.
To Make the Buttercream
- In a bowl mix together the butter and icing sugar until it is combined. Add in the vanilla extract and mix again.
- If you find the buttercream is quite thick add 1tsp of milk at a time mixing in-between until it reaches the desired consistency. Pop the buttercream into a large piping bag with either a large round nozzle or with snip the tip of the bag off.
To Put it All Together
- Place your first cake on your board or plate and pipe the white buttercream on top. I started with my darkest coloured sponge on the bottom building up too the lightest cake on the top. Smooth the buttercream. Repeat until all your cakes are stacked. Don’t worry if some of the buttercream splodges out of the side we will use this as part of the crumb coat.
- Use your cakes smoother and go around the sides of the cake and ensure there are no gaps. If there are using the buttercream fill the gaps and smooth again. Don’t worry if you can still see the cake colours through the buttercream we will cover them fully soon.
- Pop the cake into the fridge until the buttercream firms up.
- Once the buttercream has hardened, pipe the remaining buttercream around the sides and on top of the cake.
- Using your smoother, smooth around the sides, if there are any gaps or indentations fill these with buttercream and continue to smooth around the sides until the cake is smooth.
- Using an angled palette knife smooth any buttercream into the top of the cake so you have nice sharp edges.
- Decorate with your pre-cut love hearts. I started with the darkest colour on top gradually getting lighter to the bottom of the cake.
- I finished with a pretty cake topper.
If you do have any questions about this Valentine’s Day Ombre Cake or any other recipes on my blog you can contact me either by sending me a DM on social media or an email. You can find all my details on the right-hand side of this page.