Ombre Birthday Cake

In 2012, I ran a 10-mile night race through Disney World. To keep my mind distracted while running in the oppressive heat I thought of another daunting process that lay ahead of me– adopting another baby. There was endless paperwork to be filled out, and “look, we’re so happy” photos that needed to be shot, and all the waiting, not to mention the uncertainty. I thought about all of it, and then it hit me… do I really want another baby? I wasn’t so sure. When the race was over I felt very tired, overheated, and extremely nauseous. Eight months later, you were born, and I sang “Baby don’t you cry, gonna bake a pie…” to you while you nursed on me. Now you are four years old, and I’ve high hopes on you becoming a comedy writer based on your appreciation for Three Amigos, Three’s Company, and that story you love (and won’t let me forget) about how mommy once had to get a shot in her butt. People always say that I became pregnant with you because I finally relaxed after adopting Cameron. I don’t think so. I believe this was what was meant to have happened. Anyway, Happy Birthday my sweet Wesley. I’m so glad that you are in my life. Here, I made you an ombre birthday cake.

To decorate a cake in the ombre finish, divide your buttercream into three or four different colors of your choice. Place each color in a piping bag. I used a basic vanilla buttercream recipe (see below).

After the cake has been crumb coated, and chilled in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes pipe out a ring or two around the bottom of the cake. Continue piping rings along the side while changing the colors as you work your way up. Finally, smooth out your final color on top of the cake. Oh, and for the cake itself, I used a vegan chocolate cake recipe.

Use a large off set spatula to smooth out the frosting. For a more rustic finish, run a smaller off set spatula around the sides while working your way up to create lines.

I had some white chocolate “shells”, and since I used various colors of blue I decided to go with an “under the sea” theme.

I placed the shells on top of the cake, and then piped out a decorative border using a star tip.

Happy Birthday, Wesley!

Vanilla Buttercream
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  1. 4 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
  2. 1/8 tsp Salt
  3. 6 to 8 cups Powdered Sugar
  4. 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste, or Vanilla Extract
  5. 1 to 2 TBS Milk
  1. In a bowl connected to a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter and salt for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then on a low speed mix in 1 cup powdered sugar. Continue to add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Mix in the vanilla and a little milk.
  2. If the frosting seems to soft and runny then add more powdered sugar, and if it seems too thick and stiff and a little milk.
  3. Beat the frosting for 2 to 3 more minutes until fluffy.
  4. Store in a airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Special equipment needed
  1. Standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment
  2. Rubber spatula
Project Pastry Love
  • Beautiful story and beautiful cake! 🙂 Happy 4th birthday, Wesley!