The Best Pink Ombre Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This is THE BEST Pink Ombre Cake, made from scratch and layered with a dreamy cream cheese frosting. Perfect for any celebration, it’s melt-in-the-mouth cake layers beautifully complement the cream cheese frosting (which by the way, is an confectioners-sugar free frosting!)
It has always, and I really mean always, been a hit in family and friends.
Since I promised the pink ombre cake recipe to quite a few people, I thought it’s about time I get down to posting it.
I made this cake at the birth of my darling little niece.
I have made this cake so many times already and I don’t think I can ever get sick of it. From my brother’s graduation, gatherings with friends, the birth of my niece, to my own engagement party, this ombre cake has always been a hit.
Despite that, I’ve never captured a good picture of the beautiful layers, hopefully next time!
Why I love Ombre Cakes
Color: While this is a recipe of a pink ombre cake, I have made the same with purple and blue food colors. Certainly looks gorgeous in any color! 🙂
Matches the theme: Ombre cakes go so well in any party or celebration because you can match it to the party theme, decor and even a coloured dress code. For example, I made a purple ombre cake for my engagement and it matched my party decor and my dress! Ah, it all looked stunning.
Winner with adults and kids: Everyone loves ombre cakes because of how bright, pretty and colorful they are.
Why this is my favorite Pink Ombre Cake recipe
Small Batch: This is a small batch cake, so it makes three(or four thin) 6-inch layers. I double the recipe when I need the regular sized cake.
Quick & Easy: While it does involve a few extra steps, I promise you, it really is easy. Buuut, if it was not easy, it would still totally be worth making.
Melt-in-the-mouth Cake Layers: The secret of this recipe are whipped egg whites! Egg whites are folded into the cake batter, which is what takes this cake to another level. It is this steps that makes the cake airy, fluffy and all-thing-wonderful.
Oil and butter: Cake recipes that contain a combination of butter and oil have the best buttery taste while still being soft and moist. On the other hand, ombre cakes that are made with just butter can be more dense and dry.
Made From Scratch: So easy yet entirely made from scratch!
Easily available ingredients: No complicated stuff here.
What is a Pink Ombre Cake?
The word ‘Ombre’ means shaded or shadow in French and comes from the verb ‘ombrer’. So, an ombre cake is a cake that is shaded with different colors; one color fading into the next, gradually blending from dark to light.
In this case, a Pink Ombre Cake contains layers of cake, in different shades of pink, from darkest to lightest. I have most often made pink ombre cakes and blue ombre cakes, but really, the color can be whatever you like!
You can even pair it with a pink ombre frosting to make the cake look prettier.
Which food color should I use in Ombre Cakes?
For Ombre cakes, always use good quality gel food colors. They give the brightest colors and prevent your batter from becoming liquidy (as liquid food colors would do). This is because gel food coloring is more concentrated than the liquid food colors.
Therefore, you need lesser food color to get the same brilliant color that a LOT of liquid food color would give you.
Ingredients you will need to make ‘The Best Pink Ombre Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting’
Unsalted Butter: Make sure to take the butter out of the refrigerator or freezer beforehand, because you need softened butter in this recipe.
Vegetable oil: You can use any flavorless vegetable oil, but my personal favorite is canola oil.
White sugar: Castor sugar works best! If you do not have that on hand, you can use granulated sugar.
Vanilla extract or essence: Extract is obviously the better choice but if that is not available, just use vanilla essence. I’ve even successfully used powdered vanilla flavor packets in place of vanilla extract. Don’t skip; you don’t want your cake to smell egg-y.
All purpose flour: Add this alternating with milk, as mentioned in the directions of this recipe.
Milk: Full-fat milk, only!
Salt: Use regular table salt.
Egg whites: As I mentioned before, whipped egg whites are the ‘secret ingredient’ to get those beautiful fluffy cake layers.
Cream Cheese Frosting: This frosting has been with me a long time, and is definitely a keeper. It’s simple and pairs beautifully with this cake. BONUS: NO CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR!
How do I make The Best Pink Ombre Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting?
First, you will prepare the basic batter in a bowl.
Then you beat the egg whites in another bowl till stiff peaks form.
Fold the egg whites into your batter, gently, using a rubber spatula.
Divide this into three portions/small bowls.
You can keep one portion as it is, which will form the lightest layer of your ombre cake. In the other two portions, add the gel food color.
The quantity of the food color you add depends on the shade you want. All that matters is that you add more in one and less food color in the other, so that one portion looks significantly darker than the other.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Coupled with this dreamiest cream cheese frosting, this is the best ombre cake to have ever existed.
This frosting has been with me a long time, and is definitely a keeper. It’s simple and pairs beautifully with this Pink Ombre Cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
- Cream Cheese (I used Philadelphia): Bring your cream cheese to room temperature before use.
- Butter: This should also be at room temperature.
- Pinch of salt: Use regular table salt and don’t add any more than this.
- Honey: Use good quality, thick honey.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract works best but vanilla essence will do too.
- Milk: Use regular full-fat milk.
- Corn starch
That’s it; so easy! You really can’t get this wrong. And the best part? It’s not loaded with icing sugar or powdered sugar.
REMEMBER: Cool your cake layers completely before frosting!
Can I half this ombre cake recipe?
I would not suggest it, because using one and half large egg white may be tricky. Also, it would produce a cake too small. If you are okay with that, then go ahead.
Can I double Pink Ombre Cake recipe?
YES! In fact, a doubled recipe would be perfect if you are using 8 inch layered pans, or if you do not want a small batch cake.
Make Ahead Instructions
Cakes are at their peak of freshness the day they are prepared or the next, so it is best to serve it then. However, sometime this is not possible. And so I’ve got these amazing tips for you:
1.Prepare and freeze the cake layers:
Cake layers can be prepared weeks in advance! Cool the cake layers completely then wrap them really well in heavy duty foil or plastic wrap. Next, place these wrapped layers in either a large zip-lock bag or airtight container.
This is not only an amazing make ahead tip for any cake, but it also means a much easier frosting process. Frozen cakes are easier to handle and when you frost the cake, their crumbs don’t mix with the cream cheese frosting.
Unfrosted cakes may be stored in the freezer up to six months.
2.Prepare the cream cheese frosting
You can prepare the cream cheese frosting a day or two in advance.
3.Prepare and frost the best pink ombre cake with cream cheese frosting
You can prepare and frost the cake a day in advance.
How do I store this pink ombre cake?
Refrigerate: Cakes with frostings should be kept refrigerated.
Cover: Cover your frosted cake with a cake cover or a large bowl.
If you do not have that, place some toothpicks halfway through around the edges and center of the cake then place a plastic wrap or foil over it.
The toothpicks would support the plastic wrap/cling wrap so it doesn’t stick to the cake frosting while still covering it.
ONE LAST TIP: DON’T BAKE THIS CAKE AND THEN CUT INTO LAYERS.
Here goes the recipe of the best pink ombre cake with cream cheese frosting!
The Best Pink Ombre Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 43 grams unsalted butter softened
- 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 200 grams caster sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 173 grams all purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup full fat milk
- 3 egg whites large
- Red food color gel as needed
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 300 grams cream cheese I used Philadelphia, room temperature
- 60 grams butter room temperature
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or essence
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Line 3 6-inch cake pans with round parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides. Shake out the excess flour.
- In a medium sized bowl, beat butter using a hand mixer until it's creamy.
- Next, add sugar, oil and vanilla, and beat till well combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- In a separate bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine. Keep aside.
- In another small bowl, measure the milk and keep aside.
- Now, turn your hand mixer to medium speed, and gradually alternate adding the flour and milk in the prepared butter mixture. Start and end with flour! So basically, add a little flour, the a little milk, then flour, the milk, then flour. Don't panic: It's not tricky or difficult, just add a little at a time. Beat until each one is almost completely combined before adding the next.
- Remember to scrape down the sides and bottom while doing the above step.
- In a separate bowl, add the egg whites and using a hand mixer on high speed, beat until stiff peaks form.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into your batter. Take care to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that the ingredients are well combined and take care not to over mix.
- Evenly divide cake batter into three portions. I weigh the whole batter and divide it into three portions by weight just so it is accurate.
- Put one portion of the batter directly into a prepared cake pan. The other two portions should go into two separate bowls. Now it is time for you to add red food color gel. The quantity of the food color you add depends on the shade you want. All that matters is that you add more in one and less food color in the other, so that one portion looks significantly darker than the other.
- Bake at 180°C for 10-15 minutes for me until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake layer comes out clean or with few crumbs. For best results, rotate your cake pans halfway through the baking to ensure even baking.
- Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside rim of each pan and invert each onto a cooling rack.
- Allow to completely cool before covering with frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter for 2 minutes.
- Add honey, vanilla extract, milk, cornstarch and salt, and beat till combined.
- If you want, you can add a little bit of milk or cornstarch depending on the consistency you like. It should be spreadable and not runny!
Did you try this recipe?
I would love to know how it turned out for you. Leave a comment below and post a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #theovenist.
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2 thoughts on “The Best Pink Ombre Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting”
My wife made this at a family gathering and it was so good!