Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pink Ombre Vanilla Cake

This past weekend Butter Hearts Sugar turned 2!

Two years in I can't imagine not having this blog. Its my creative outlet, my recipe storage spot, a place to ramble, a place where I can talk cakes and cookies as much as I want without driving boyfriend nuts and sometimes its just my excuse to make yummy treats and not feel bad.

When I started this blog I had no idea anyone would actually read it, so thank you for all your visits, lovely comments and encouragement, you make me smile daily.
I've been making so many cakes for other peoples birthdays lately, sometimes resisting the urge to just cut a slice, sit down and enjoy it is pretty tough. I have never made myself a birthday cake, boyfriend's birthday is a few days before my own so I usually just make a cake for him. I decided my blogiversary was a great opportunity to make a cake just for me my blog. Nothing fancy just a fluffy vanilla cake with yummy airy vanilla buttercream exactly as I'd like it.
It might seem a little on the boring side, but I love vanilla cake. When that yummy vanilla cake is decorated with pretty pink ombre buttercream, well pretty sure you cant get any better than that. This recipe is very similar to the one I've mentioned in a number of recent posts (Lamington Vanilla Cake) with just a couple of changes to the ingredients. The main difference in ingredients is the changing from regular self raising to cake flour, I enjoy the texture cake flour gives and it takes it one step closer to a packet mix taste in a from scratch cake.
For the Vanilla Cake
3/4 cup milk 
5 egg whites 
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 3/4 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
170 grams salt reduced butter (softened)

To make the cake- Grease and flour two 8 inch round cake pans and preheat oven to 180 degrees c.

Set aside 1/2 cup of the milk.

In a medium bowl combine the remaining 1/4 cup of milk, egg whites, vanilla extract and paste and set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the softened butter and the 1/4 cup of milk and mix on low to prevent flour going everywhere. When the ingredients come together increase speed to medium and mix until smooth, about a minute and a half.
Add the egg and milk mixture one third at a time, beating on medium for about 20 seconds between each addition. The mixture should be smooth and fluffy.
Divide the cake mix between the two prepared pans and smooth over the tops.
Place the cakes in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes keeping an eye on them toward the end to make sure they don't over cook. Test the middle of the cake with a metal skewer, if it comes out clean the cake is ready.

Allow cakes to cool in pans for about 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely. Cool top side up. While the cakes are cooling prepare the frosting.

Basic Vanilla Buttercream
200 grams salt reduced butter (softened)
6 cups icing sugar
pinch salt (optional)
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pink food colouring gel

To make the buttercream- Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer, beat on medium until fluffy and very pale, for around 3 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low so you don't fill you kitchen with clouds of icing sugar. Gradually add the icing sugar and milk along with the vanilla and salt and mix until combined. Add a little more milk or sugar if necessary to get your desired consistency. Turn the mixer speed up to medium and beat for another 2 minutes until fluffy.

Divide the frosting into four bowls and colour to the desired shades of pink. Spoon the buttercreams into four piping bags fitted with plain round tips with a 1cm opening.
Trim off the domed tops of the cakes and sandwich the two layers together with some buttercream. Before decorating the cake cover the whole thing with a thin coat of frosting. This will stop any crumbs showing up and ensure no naked bits of cake peek through the decorations.
Starting at the top pipe a straight line of dots vertically down the cake. Start with the lightest colour at the top and end with the darkest at the bottom.

Using a small offset spatula or round ended butter knife, press gently on each icing dot and spread horizontally in the one direction.

Pipe a second line of dots over the trails of icing, continue piping and spreading the icing around the rest of the cake.
When you get to the last gap between the icing, finish with a line of  dots.

For the top of the cake use the same technique but work in circles, starting at the edge complete one circle at a time.
Once again work through the colours from light to dark.

Continue until the entire cake is covered.



  1. Lovely cake! I love vanilla too!

  2. very creative cake! love the colour tones x

  3. Such a pretty cake. Gorgeous! I too love a good vanilla birthday cake :-)

  4. Gorgeous! Thanks for explaining how you did the icing!

  5. Wow the cake looks stunning. Thanks so much for showing the step by step detial how to decorte it. Must try this myself. Amazing! Happy blog-anniversary

  6. Wow, wow, wow! Happy blogoversary!

  7. so pretty! happy blog birthday. love reading your posts and think you are so talented.

  8. I just stumbled on your blog and your work is great! Love how you stage your cakes & cupcakes for photos

  9. I think your work is wonderful! Just wondered what flour you use? I would live to try this cake for my little girls 4th birthday.

  10. Gorgeous cake! And my favourite colour too.

  11. Yum!! Delicious recipe. Thanks for sharing this with us. Your blog posts are really very interesting and useful. But still worried about the amount of sugar we can add on our diet. There are different parameter to consume sugar. Check now is normal sugar an evil in our diet?