Mini ombre cakes

Learn how to make these beautiful mini ombre cakes with this step-by-step tutorial by Britt Box.

Brought to you by Britt Box from She Who Bakes

These cute mini ombre cakes are the perfect addition to any dessert table this summer. They'd be perfect for any wedding, party or gathering and can be easily customisable with any colours, flavours or decorations you want. They also ensure every guest gets the same size portion – so no more arguing over cake slices! I made layers of four sponges, but these would also be great with less layers, different sizes and even different shapes. Little square cakes would look just as adorable!

Top tip! Customise the colours, flavours and decorations as you wish!

Useful information before you get started...

I’ve made them in a beautiful purple ombre, and for this you will need four thinner cakes in varying degrees of purple. There are a couple of ways you can achieve this. 

  1. You can either bake the small layers in a selection of 8cm (3in) or 10cm (4in) round cake tins and have no cake leftover
  2. You can bake four bigger cakes as I did, and then use an 8cm (3in) round cutter to cut out the mini rounds (read to the end to find out a great way to use up leftover cake!)

Making the cakes

This recipe will make four thin 18cm (7in) round cakes, perfect for layering. I used four 18cm (7in) tins and baked them all at once but if you only have the one tin you can divide the recipe to do one at a time. You'll also need a food colouring of your choice – I recommend using a professional gel colour as opposed to a liquid/water based colouring. I used Sugarflair Grape Violet.

For these mini layers you'll also need some strong buttercream. As the cakes are small and aren’t being covered with sugarpaste or a crumb coat, if the buttercream filling is too soft, they may collapse. For strong buttercream, make sure not to use any liquid. 

Decorating the cakes

I decorated my roses with a little blossom flower that I made using purple flower paste and a blossom plunger cutter. I left it to dry on shaped foam, creating the 3D shape, then I filled the middle with a little yellow royal icing. Any leftover cake can be crumbled up and made into cake truffles. Simply weigh your cake crumbs and mix it with half the amount of buttercream (e.g. 600g (1lb 4oz) cake to 300g (101/2oz) buttercream). Chill the mix, then shape into balls and cover in chocolate. Delicious!

Once your mini tiered cakes are assembled, they are best enjoyed on the day or kept in an airtight box for the following day. Any longer than this and you risk them drying out. However, if you cover them in sugarpaste icing they will last a few days longer.

Ingredients

For the mini cakes

  • 350g (12oz) caster sugar
  • 350g (12oz) unsalted butter/baking spread
  • 350g (12oz) self-raising flour
  • 95g (3¼ oz) plain flour
  • 6 free-range eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla

For the buttercream

  • 250g (9oz) unsalted block butter
  • 500g (1lb 1oz) icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

For the mini cakes

1
Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3.
2
Cream together the butter/spread and sugar. Add the eggs and mix.
3
Add the self-raising and plain flours and mix. Add the vanilla and mix well.
4
Divide the cake mix equally into four bowls.
5
Using a palette knife, add colour to the bowls in varying amounts for different shades – I tend to do a very small amount for the first bowl and work my way up. Mix well to get your desired colours.
6
Once you’re happy with your ombre shades, pour your mixes into lined tins.
7
Bake the layers at 160°C/Gas Mark 3 for 40 minutes, then leave the cakes to cool completely on greaseproof paper.
8
Once cooled, I recommend double wrapping in clingfilm and leaving overnight for the crumb structure to firm up, which makes the cutting and layering process so much easier.

For the buttercream

1
Cream the butter on its own until it is soft and spreadable.
2
Add the icing sugar and vanilla and mix well.
3
It may go crumby at first, but don’t add in any liquid, just keep mixing and eventually it will come together. The key here is to mix, mix, mix.
4
Once you have made your buttercream, colour it to match your theme. I used a very small amount of purple for mine. Then, fit one piping bag with a 1J (plain round) nozzle and one with a 2D (rose) nozzle. Fill the bags with buttercream and leave to the side while you cut out the cakes.

To assemble

1
Once the cakes have been left to set, unwrap them.
2
Use a cake leveller to trim them to ensure they are all the same thickness. Be careful not to cut too much off, they are only thin layers after all. Flip the layers over and use a serrated knife to trim off any discoloured parts of the cake.
3
Using a deep 8cm (3in) round cutter, cut out four mini cakes from each of the larger layers.
4
Place the darkest mini layer down onto a cake board. Then, using the piping bag fitted with the round nozzle, pipe a layer of buttercream on top of the mini cake layer, making sure to go right to the edge. I find using a piping bag and nozzle here makes for a lovely neat finish between the cake layers.
5
Top the cake with the second darkest layer, then repeat. Add the next shade up and repeat, then add the lightest shade. Once your mini cakes are stacked, press down gently on the top layer to stick them all together.
6
Once stacked, pipe onto the very top layer using the 2D nozzle, starting in the middle and going outwards until you reach the edge to create a little rose. Stop squeezing the bag, then pull away for a nice finish.
Last updated 23 days ago

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