Burnt Orange Ombre Cake

My husband’s birthday is this week, and this past weekend we hosted a Texas football watch party.  We absolutely LOVE college football and any opportunity to host a gathering to cheer on one of our favorite teams.  Since I have been working on growing my baking business Sweet Success CC, I look at any opportunity to bake as a post for my website.  I had seen the idea for an ombre cake on Pinterest, and really wanted to see if I could pull it off.  Since we were cheering on our burnt orange longhorns, I decided to go with a burnt orange color scheme.  My guests got to dine on this delicious cake while celebrating longhorn football and my hubby’s birthday.  This cake was to die for; fluffy, vanilla goodness with just the right amount of sweetness.  A definite keeper for future orders and celebrations.  Hook em!

Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting  (recipe adapted from Sweetapolita and ombre tutorial from Java Cupcake)

Yield: One 4-layer, 9-inch round cake


  • 10 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 24 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease, and flour four round 9-inch pans.

2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/2 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.

4. Add the butter and remaining 1 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1 1/2 minutes.

5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.

6. Divide the batter evenly into four bowls.  Leave one bowl of batter uncolored, and add varying amounts of the same color to the other three bowls.  One bowl should be the darkest color, and the other two should be lighter variations.  Spread the batter evenly in each of the floured cake pans with a small offset palette knife.

7. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.

8. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Best eaten the same day as baked.

Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting


  • 6 sticks + 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 6 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (icing, powdered)
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale & creamy.

2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.

3. Best used right away.

4. You can eliminate the vanilla bean and use a total of 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.

How to Frost a Blue Ombre Cake


  • 4 Cake layers
  • Vanilla Bean Frosting
  • Wilton Food Color Gel in Copper
  • Toothpicks
  • 4 bowls & spatulas
  • Small offset spatula
  • Cake Stand

Spread a generous layer of buttercream between each layer of cake and apply a crumb coat of buttercream to the outside.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To prepare buttercream into ombre colors (light to dark), separate the buttercream into 4 parts and place in 4 bowls.  Set aside the white buttercream.  Using Wilton Food Color Gel in Copper, dip a toothpick into the food gel getting a VERY SMALL amount of color onto the pic.  Smear the pic into one bowl of the buttercream and use a spatula to incorporate until uniform.  Set aside.  Repeat this process for the rest of the buttercream, but use a little bit more gel color on the tooth pic each time.  In the end, you should have three shades of copper and white buttercream.

Begin with the darkest shade of copper.  Using a small spatula, spread an even 1/2 inch thick layer of buttercream around the bottom 1/3 of the cake.  Using the edge, hold the spatula flush against the dark layer to smooth out  any massive bumps of buttercream.  Wipe the spatula clean before moving on to the next color.

Repeat the step above using first the next lightest shade of  copper buttercream to spread on second 1/3 of the cake.  Overlap just slightly the two colors where they meet.  Finally, use the lightest shade of copper buttercream to spread on final 1/3 of the cake.  Remember to smooth the sides with the edge of the spatula.  Using the white buttercream, spread 1/2 inch layer of bc on the top of the cake making sure to cover all the way to the edges.  Using the edge of the spatula, smooth side and top of the white buttercream.



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