Tips on how to make an Ombré Rosette Cake (easily!).
I originally made a rosette cake for my baby girl’s 1st birthday party (photo here), which was a big success. Lucy adored the cake and everyone (read the adults) also loved the cake which was a Strawberry and Chocolate Ice Cream Cake.
Most guests didn’t believe me when I said that I made it, which I’m taking it as a compliment! I made a second rosette cake, but ombré at the request of one of my friends for her daughter’s 2nd birthday.
The ombré cake did extremely well on social media (see here) and I wanted to share I how made the cake as I am definitely NOT a pastry chef, I have zero training (besides decorating cakes when I worked at Dairy Queen when I was a teenager and let’s be honest, I ate more than I decorated), and I found this project incredibly easy. Follow along in the post to see how this Ombré Rosette Cake came together.
First and foremost, I used my friend Olivia’s frosting recipe which can be found here, with some minor adaptations to suit my vanilla extract heavy hand. Olivia’s instructions are really great and if you’re not following her blog I’d highly recommend popping over for some serious cake envy. She was super patient about any questions I had regarding this cake! I don’t want to recommend the cake recipe I used shown in the photos since I wasn’t crazy about it.
I did love the cake for Lucy’s birthday and it was this Chocolate Cake recipe from a post I did over at Peaks & Harbours. I reduced the amount of coffee powder I used to 1/2 tsp (leaving liquids as is) and I used decaf since it was for a child’s birthday.
I ended up making 6 frosted cupcakes along with this cake since the cake shown here is a 3 layer 6″ and the cake in the P&H post is a 2 layer 8″. Make sure the cake is completely cool (chilled in the fridge for at least a couple of hours).
Frosting: use an icing colour gel such as Wilton brand. Gel food colouring is fairly widely available, I purchased mine at Superstore and Gourmet Warehouse here in Vancouver (no affiliation). Regular food colouring has quite a bit of liquid in it which changes the consistency of the frosting. Gel icing colour is also much more concentrated meaning way less is required; I use a toothpick to add it to my frosting.
Crumb coat: I used two different shades of frosting for the crumb coat since I’m not well versed in cake decorating, I wanted to ensure that I hide any possible gaps between the rosettes by having a matching crumb coat. The crumb coat or masking coat as I believe it’s technically called, should be thicker than a normal crumb coat. That means you shouldn’t be able to see most of the cake.
As Olivia mention’s in her post, the rosettes make a lot of frosting so you want a masking coat to “mask” any imperfections with the rosettes, but not so that everyone is only eating frosting and missing out on the cake portion.
Rosettes: I’d recommend practicing a few on some wax or parchment paper (I scraped my practice rosettes back into the frosting bowl as the recipe just covered the cake). Be sure to go counterclockwise as well, for whatever reason, it makes the rosettes pop more from the cake.
It was a bit counterintuitive for me, but the rosettes should overlap, just enough to so that the masking coat is covered up. Try this in the practice round as well to make sure you’re happy with the layout. Start in the middle and then wrap around the middle for one full circle; moving at a continuous pace that allowed the rosette to build upward versus being flat was easiest.
When coming to the end of each rose, ease up on how much pressure is applied to the piping bag; you want the tip of the rosettes to flow into the circle and not come up into a firm point. Make sure there’s enough frosting in the piping bag before each rosette is commenced.
Equipment: the only equipment I used that I’d deem completely necessary is a 1M star tip decorating tool. I used Wilton brand. The smaller star tips won’t produce the beautiful curves and billowy look of the rosettes seen in this post (I tried it).
I used a piping bag, however a plastic freezer bag would work well also. I have zero other cake equipment. I don’t have a stand that spins, or anything fancy so this cake is very possible for cooks of any level!
Yields One 6" Three Layered Cake
The easiest way to have a homemade decorated cake look like it came from a pastry store!
20 minPrep Time
20 minTotal Time
- 6 cups confectioners/icing sugar
- 2 cups butter, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract (preferably clear and that does say tablespoon, not a mistype)
- 2-4 tbsp whipping cream (I used 3)
- Gel food colouring of choice (I used "Rose Petal Pink" Wilton brand and decreased the amount of gel from bottom to top)
- Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk butter until creamy.
- Reduce speed to low and add in icing sugar 1 cup at a time until well blended.
- Increase speed to med and beat until blended, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add vanilla and 2 tbsp cream and continue to beat on medium for about 1 minute.Add more cream as needed until desired consistency is reached.
- Continue to whip for 3-4 more minutes until frosting is completely smooth.
- Divide into 3 separate bowls (giving 1 bowl a bit more as the top covers more ground). Add gel icing colour to each bowl until desired shades have been reached.
- Frost on a cool cake using the methods described in the post above and chill.