Baker friends, do you make your own special occasion cakes? I always make my own birthday cake as well as the birthday cakes of every nearby family member, but I have been forbidden to make my own wedding cake. You would think that this would be a relief (and it is, especially with the wedding right around the corner), but it’s just so hard to give up control sometimes. I feel like the entire wedding planning process has been an exercise in letting go, but it’s especially hard where the cake is concerned. However, no one is stopping me from making a pre-wedding cake, right? I’m celebrating my last days as a single lady with this over the top purple cake!
I’ve been wanting to make a purple ombre cake for as long as I can remember, but just haven’t found the right occasion until now. I can’t think of anyone other than myself who would love a cake that looks like the color purple exploded, and I had so much fun making this! Even though my wedding is in just a few days and I probably shouldn’t have been spending my time baking, it really helped relieve some of the stress.
For the cake, I used my Pink Almond Party Cake recipe but omitted the almond extract and divided the batter between 5 6-inch cake pans. Rather than add the food coloring all at once, I divided the batter between 5 bowls and tinted them individually. I highly recommend using gel food coloring rather than liquid. Add a tiny amount at a time until you get the color that you want. Since you are dividing the batter into 5 parts, the thinner layers will only need to bake for about 15-18 minutes.
I used the same frosting recipe as my Pink Almond Party Cake as well but upped the quantity. The recipe for the larger batch of frosting is below. You probably won’t use all of it, but I find that it’s best to have some extra when you’re tinting the colors. Just in case you overdo it with the food coloring, you have some extra white to add back in.
For the cake recipe, click here.
- 2 cups (450 grams, 4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 5 cups (575 grams) confectioner's sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Purple gel paste food coloring
- With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until it becomes pale and creamy (2-3 minutes).
- Add the powdered sugar and salt and beat on low until combined. Turn up to medium and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine..
- Add the cream 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
- Place the white layer of the cake on an 6-inch cake board. Place about 1/2 cup of the frosting on top, and spread evenly with a palette knife. Place the next layer on top of the first and repeat the process with the next 4 layers.
- Place a generous scoop of frosting on the top of the cake, and spread evenly across the top of the cake. Work your way around the sides until the entire cake is covered with a thin layer of frosting.
- Let the crumb coat set in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Once the crumb coat has set, spread a thicker layer of frosting on the top and sides of the crumb coat to create a smooth finish.
- Divide the leftover frosting into 3 bowls and tint each with food coloring.
- Place the frosting in 3 separate piping bags fitted with star tips to decorate the top of the cake.
Cake recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated via epicurious.com