The mother of all pink ombré cake (s) with butter icing and roses

I am the first person to tell you that I am not really the baker in the family. And I am not being modest – many people who have eaten my creations will attest. While I firmly believe it has A LOT to do with my oven (hear my cry for help, Smeg!), I will take responsibility for my inability. So imagine my surprise when I managed to put together this beautiful pink ombré cake for Mother’s Day!

I found the recipe to this delicious beauty in the latest Ideas Magazine. This recipe for cake is different to what I’ve made before, and I couldn’t believe how incredibly moist it was. To be honest, I thought I had screwed it up (she said, while glaring accusingly in the direction of the oven) because I had to bake it much longer than the recipe said and then I was afraid it was going to be too dry. But it is gorgeous and delicious!

pink ombré cake with roses

The original recipe made these gorgeous little cakes decorated with roses. But not being able to take direction well – which is why my baking career never took off, I suspect – I decided to bake them in 3 22cm round tins and make 1 big layered cake with roses and Michaelmas daisies. The icing is simple butter icing with a dash of vanilla.



For each cake layer:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 140g cake flower
  • 7.5ml baking powder
  • A few drops of pink food colouring (add more drops to layers 2 and 3 for the ombré effect)
  • 125ml warm milk
  • 65ml melted butter

For the butter icing:

  • 150g soft butter
  • 450g icing sugar
  • A dash of vanilla essence
  • Boiling water

For the decoration:

  • Seasonal flowers
  • Edible sprinkles


Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF

Prepare your cake tins by lining them with baking paper and buttering the surface.

Instructions for the cake layers:

  • Beat the eggs and caster sugar with an electric mixer until it’s light and fluffy.
  • Sieve the cake flower and baking powder over the egg mixture and blend until just incorporated – do not over-mix.
  • Add a few drops of food colouring to the warm milk.
  • Add the coloured milk and melted butter to the egg mixture and blend well.
  • Pour the batter  into one of the prepared cake tins
  • Repeat the steps for 2 more layers, remember to add more food colouring layers two and three.
  • Place the cake tins in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or test the layers with a fork – if there is no batter stuck the fork the cake is ready!
  • Let the layers cool down for 10 minutes before you remove them from the cake tins.

Instructions for the icing:

  • Make the butter icing by mixing soft butter, a few drops of vanilla and icing sugar together.
  • Add a small amount of boiling water to the icing to give it a smooth consistency.

Instructions for assembly:

  • Place the darkest layer on a cake stand, or plate of your choice, then spread butter icing on top of the cake.
  • Place the medium coloured layer on top of the icing, spread icing on top, and repeat the process until there are no layers left.
  • After the layers are assembled make sure that the top layer of icing is smooth, before decorating.
  • Take flowers from your garden (or bought), lightly rinse and dry them, then arrange them on top of the cake.
  • Add fun edible sprinkles, we used sugar hearts, but you can go for chocolate sprinkles or silvery balls – it’s completely up to you.
  • Give yourself a pat on the back – you’re done!

pink ombré cake with roses

One clever trick from Ideas is to use straws that are heated over a flame and pinched at the bottom to make closed-end tubes. You push them into the cake and put the flowers into them, to prevent the flowers from touching the cake. I’m pretty sure that roses are fine, but some flowers may have sap that seeps into the cake – not what you want at your tea party!

pink ombré cake with roses

Everyone knows that cake is best served with bubbly. A deliciously crisp Perdeberg Winery Chenin Blanc MCC with some pretty hibiscus flowers in the glass did the trick!

Happy Baking!


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