Sunday Bake | Ombre Petal Birthday Cake

30 Mar 2014

This week was Craig's Birthday which meant that I had a birthday cake to concoct! I've seen this 'petal' technique ALL over Pinterest recently and I just think it looks so cool! I love the effect it gives, and I love abit of ombre too so I knew I wanted to include that element as well. Mustard Yellow is Craig's favourite colour and that was the original idea, but trying to make mustard is REALLY hard! Mine turned out wayy too orange, but its the thought that counts right? I really want to make this again in a Mint Green (my favourite colour!) or a Sea Blue!

The actual cake is a chocolate and vanilla marble, which as usual I over-swirled so the marbling isn't very defined - darn it! All of the icing is a Vanilla Frosting which I just tinted with food colouring to create the ombre effect. As this cake is all about the decoration I'm not going to write a cake recipe, as you can really do any recipe and flavour that you like! But I will give a recipe and some tips on creating the petal effect.

I actually attempted this technique last year and I failed epicly because my frosting was way too runny! It needs to be quite stiff so that it actually holds its shape on the side of the cake. So I decided to use the Vanilla Cupcake Frosting recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery book Cake Days as I know that it creates a really stiff mixture. I also had to double the original quantity as this technique uses up a lot of frosting! This is definitely a technique to use for an occasion as it's definitely not light on the calories! Oops!

Vanilla Frosting:

1kg Icing Sugar (ouch!)
320g Unsalted Butter, Softened
100ml Whole Milk
1/2tsp Vanilla Essence

(Sidenote! 1kg of Icing Sugar is a hella lot of Icing, so when whisking you may end up coating yourself in the stuff! I actually made mine in two batches (500g of Icing Sugar in each batch) to make it easier for myself, but its completely up to you!)

1. Whisk the icing sugar with the butter until fully combined and sandy in consistency.
2. Add the vanilla essence to the milk and pour into the butter and icing sugar while mixing slowly.
3. Then increase your speed and using a wooden spoon mix the frosting until light and fluffy.

Now if you want to colour your frosting, separate the frosting into bowls depending on how many different colours you want to create and add food colouring. To create the above, I put half the frosting into one bowl and then halfed the remaining half and put that frosting into two bowls. Was that confusing enough?

Essentially I had three bowls of icing, one with half the original frosting as I needed more of the white icing to fill and crumb coat the cake. The other two bowls I tinted with food colouring, ensuring that one bowl was darker than the other.

Next is assembly! First, I filled the cake with some of the white vanilla frosting and then crumb coated the entire cake and put it in the fridge for about 20 minutes. This is to make it easier for you when piping as you'll have a smooth, flat surface to work with.

Now onto the piping! It really is so simple, I promise. Starting at the bottom pipe two circles with the white frosting, above that two circles of the yellow frosting and above that two circles of the 'mustard' frosting. Then using a spatula spread each circle to the right making sure to clean the spatula inbetween different colours. You then need to do exactly the same, slightly to the right of the original circle. If you want to create the ombre effect pipe the first line as normal, then on the second line pipe one circle of the darkest colour frosting at the bottom and work up as normal for that line. Then on the next line pipe two circles of the darkest colour frosting at the bottom and again work up as normal. Repeat that all the way around the cake and you will see the pretty pattern appear.

I hope you like the cake anyway and I hope this all makes sense, its actually quite hard to write down but is super easy to create! Let me know if you have any questions :)



  1. I love it when you bake! You make everything look so delicious! :D
    I am not that good at baking to be honest, but I would still love to try and make this! ^_^

    1. Awh thank you so much :) Definitely try it, I promise you its not as hard as it looks! :) Xxx

  2. That's so amazing. Mine is just spread on all the time !
    Eb x

    1. Haha, mine is usually to be fair! :) Xx

  3. Awh Aimee! That looks amazing; it really looks like you put so much time and effort into it. And I really like that colour! It's so happy looking.

    Highlight of my Sunday! I always love to see what you've made this week:) xx

    1. Thank you so much Mary :) I really did, my hand was aching from all the piping after! haha

      It is a happy looking cake, isn't it? :) haha Xxx

  4. This looks amazing! I've never tried decorating a cake like this - I may have to try! x

    1. Thank youu :) Definitely try it, its so effective! X

  5. This is gorgeous, this always looked super hard but this has given me hope that it's something I might be able to replicate at some point. Thanks.

    1. I promise you, its so much easier to do than it looks! I was always abit daunted by it, but now I've tried it once I can't wait to do it again and perfect it! :) Xx