Any day that calls for cake is a good day. Knowing that Mother’s Day was coming up, I also knew that called for a cake to celebrate the day dedicated to my mom. I wanted to try something different than a standard white, chocolate, or yellow cake which led to a lot of brainstorming for a simple, yet elegant cake. Stumbling around Pinterest one day, I came across this Ombré Cake which I knew I had to try.
I used a basic white cake recipe, but doubled it to make a four layer cake. To get the ombré layers, I just used my eye and added less and less food coloring to each of the four bowls of batter. I also wanted to put a twist on the basic cake recipe and decided to fill the layers with raspberry preserves and to frost the cake with a rose cream cheese frosting. If you don’t like rose water, feel free to sub-in vanilla extract or any other extract your heart desires instead.
This cake is simple to make and assemble, looks impressive, and tastes delicious. The raspberry preserves pair beautifully with the floral notes in the frosting, and the ombré layers add a fun and unexpected pop of color to the cake. It probably is one of my favorite cakes that I’ve made to date. Add a couple of flowers as a finishing touch to the top, and you have a cake that is perfect for Mom.
Raspberry Rose Ombré Cake
For the cake:
8 egg whites
4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 2/3 cup buttermilk
Red food coloring
For the frosting:
1 8-oz package cream cheese (or neufchâtel cheese)
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 teaspoons rose water
5 3/4 – 6 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 5-oz jar raspberry preserves
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to oven to 350 F. Grease and lightly flour 4 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Divide the batter equally between four bowls, setting aside one of the bowls (one layer is going to be white so you do not need to add food coloring to it). Starting with one bowl, add enough food coloring to reach whatever shade you desire for the darkest layer, mixing it well. Moving to the next bowl, add enough food coloring to reach a lighter shade than the first, and mix well. For the third bowl, add enough food coloring to reach a lighter shade than the second bowl, mixing well. Pour each bowl of batter into the four prepared cake pans.
Bake 20-23 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on wire racks.
For the frosting:
Beat the cream cheese, butter, and rose water with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating well until the frosting reaches spreading consistency.
Place your darkest layer on the serving plate. Put some frosting in a piping bag with a large, round decorating tip, and pipe a dam around the edge of the layer. Take about 1/4 – 1/3 cup raspberry preserves and spread it over the center of the layer, stopping once you reach the piped frosting on the edge. Place the next darkest layer on top. Repeat until you reach the top layer (which will be the white one). Do not put the raspberry preserves on top of the last layer!
Take the remaining frosting and frost the top and sides of the cake. If desired, garnish with flowers or decorate to your preference.
*Cake recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook