Operation Ombre Mini Cakes

Kel & I hard at work in the kitchen baking some delicious goodies!
Kel & I hard at work in the kitchen baking some delicious goodies back in high school!

Baking holds a very special piece of my heart. It is always there to calm me down when I’m stressed or cheer me up when I’m upset. The sweet smell of sugar and repetitive motion of a mixer can work wonders on my racing thoughts, and after having a difficult week I decided to whip out the mixer and get to work. Cupcakes are my typical go-to when it comes to the kitchen, but I decided switch it up this weekend and try to recreate mini ombre cakes I found on Pinterest. 

All you need to make these cute little goodies is:

  • White cake mix
    – Food dye
    – Unsalted butter
    – Powdered sugar
    – Vanilla
    – Salt
    – Milk
How the cupcakes should've looked...
How the cupcakes should’ve looked…

The trick to making a white cake is only using the egg whites instead of the whole egg so that the batter stays as white as possible, making it easier to get to color you want with the dye. Mixing these batters gave me crazy flash backs to my sophomore year of high school when Kelly recruited me to bake cupcakes for our high school’s AP art show. Kel promised to help me bake the 100 cupcakes but ended up ruining the frosting for almost half of them and I was up half the night trying to save them… She is lucky I love her because I was not happy!! 😉

...how they actually looked. Yikes.
…how they actually looked. Yikes.

unnamed-10I recommend making the darkest layer for your cake first, so that you can get a sense of how strong your dye is.

unnamed-6I like these Wilton gel colors a lot more than the liquid ones. While you cant keep track of how many drops you put in it, the colors come out a lot richer!

unnamed-9Getting the ombre effect with my batter took a lot more work than I thought it was going to. Add a little, mix a lot, add a little, mix a lot, add a little… you get the picture. I might have gone crazy if I had to adjust the color one more time!

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Fresh out of the oven!! I was horrified at how the colors had turned out after cooking, all the blood sweat and tears put into mixing the batter to perfection was for NOTHING they turned out ugly!! Fortunately (after having a mini melt down) the cake of the inside was a much better color than the inside, phew!

In typical college-dorm-room fashion I didn’t have a circle cookie cutter so I used the lid from one of the many jars I have hoarded under my bed waiting to be covered in modge podge and glitter. The edge of the lid was too blunt to cut through the delicate cake, so I took a small knife and used the lid as a guide instead. After making the cuts the extras pull off easily. I felt like I was playing grownup playdough, cutting shapes and throwing the excess off to the side!

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unnamed-12unnamed-13After cutting the circles out I took a bread knife and trimmed off the tops and bottoms of the circles in attempt to make them nice and uniform… I say attempt, because I made way too fluffy of a cake to achieve anything near a clean cut, and if you are a perfectionist like me, nothing was going to save these poor fluffy cake circles.

unnamed-3Up next comes the frosting!!! Two things my kitchen is never without are butter and powdered sugar… the main ingredients in buttercream. I love a good buttercream frosting, and could probably make it in my sleep I’ve made it so many times! My favorite recipe is from this blog.

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I added a thin layer of the frosting around the edge of the circles to act as glue and then stacked them on up.

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unnamed-16The final step for creating the towers is to add the rose on top. This is a lot easier then you might think. It is just like frosting a normal cupcake but starting in the middle instead of the outside. And if your idea of frosting a cupcake is using a butter knife and smoothing it on… pick up some frosting tips, and no excuses because they are sold at Wal-Mart, and prepare for your baking game to be ten times stronger!

I will definitely have to practice making these a few times before I consider giving them to anybody, but it was still fun and lifted my spirits a little from this past week!

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Do you have any savvy baking tips that might help?? I would love to hear!

Xx Mal

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