Pink Ombre Swirl Cake

I’ve recently been fixated on the beauty of graduated layers of color, also called ombre.  From ribbon, to curtains, fashion, and of course cakes I’ve been seeing gorgeous ombre colors all over the place!  Several months ago I saw a beautiful cake from Call Me Cupcake, and shortly after saw a gorgeous ruffled cake by Fondant Flinger.  I wanted to merge the ideas a bit, and wanted a way to include some great texture on the outside of the cake, without creating time consuming fondant ruffles.  I remembered I am baker’s gorgeous rose cake, and thought a smaller version of the rose-like swirls could be the perfect finishing touch!

Here is my pretty pink, swirly cake!

How to create this Pink Ombre Swirl Cake ~

For the cake, I doubled my Perfect Vanilla Cupcake recipe.
The cake above is a 6″ cake,  and I reserved a little batter for a few vanilla cupcakes.  You could certainly do this cake as an 8″ cake.  For an 8″ cake I would suggest multiplying the recipe by 3 (if using my recipe linked above) if you want a nice tall cake.  Of course you are welcome to use any other vanilla cake recipe, or a box mix.

I divided the batter as evenly as possible between 5 bowls, coloring the darkest layer first, and working from that color as a guide.  I used Americolor gels in soft pink, electric pink, and a bit of electric purple (in just the darkest layer).  Add the batter to prepared cake pans (greased and floured, and lined on the bottom with parchment paper).  Also, you probably don’t have 5 matching cake pans (nor do I), so you’ll have to bake the layers separately (hopefully you have at least 2 matching pans).  Bake and fully cool the cakes.

Prepare a batch of American Buttercream Frosting.  Again, I made a 6″ cake, so for an 8″ cake, I would suggest multiplying the recipe by 1.5.  I divided the frosting between four bowls, one bowl with a bit more than the others (the one that will be the lightest color, because it’s used for the top as well as one row of swirls).  I colored the frosting with Americolor soft pink and a little electric pink (for just the darkest color). Also, reserve a small amount of frosting (maybe 1 cup) in the mixing bowl, to use between the layers, and to very thinly frost the outside (crumb coat).

Assembly ~
Layer the cakes, darkest on the bottom, frost with a very thin layer of icing between each layer.  Because I didn’t want too much frosting between the layers (to detract from the colors of the cake), I brushed each layer of cake with warmed cherry jam (most any flavor you like could be used).  You could also use a simple syrup, orange juice, or omit this step.  Frost the outside of the cake with a thin layer of frosting.  Smooth as well as you can (I use an offset spatula), but it doesn’t need to be perfect.  Place the entire cake in the freezer about 10 minutes for the icing to set, and the whole cake will firm up (making it much easier to decorate).

Prepare a piping bag with a #21 Wilton tip (a moderate sized open star).  This is the tip I used, but other open star tips could also work.  Fill piping bag with the darkest color icing.  Remove cake from freezer, and start along the bottom of the cake, creating rows of swirls.  For each swirl, start in the center of the “rose” shape and pipe in a spiral around the center, about 1 1/2 rotations.  Continue along the bottom of the cake, creating rose-like swirls.  Repeat with remaining colors of icing.  You may find that there will be some areas in each row that don’t get fully covered, to fill in the little empty spaces just squeeze in some icing, in a curved shape (like a “C”) to mimic the rest of the swirls a bit.  For the top of the cake (shown below) I used a combination of swirls and some “C” curves for a looser, wavy effect.

Once fully frosted, store the in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Serve with milk, or coffee to accompany the pure sweetness of this cake.

I would love to see some of you try this in other colors… yellows to orange, shades of lavender, or light turquoise to teal… oh I made need to make another one soon!  What colors will you try?

Happy baking!

The most beautiful cake ever!  Includes recipe and step-by-step instructions to re-create this gorgeous cake.


  1. Singer Robbie Williams posted a picture of your cake on his website 🙂

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  9. Wow! This is absolutely stunning, and what a great blog you have! So detailed and fun to read. Gorgeous cake. I’m so happy I fell onto your website 🙂

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  11. Dear Glory,

    You are the best! I been trying to make cakes and cupcakes featured in your website :):)

    I had my wedding last Saturday and decide to make this beautiful pink swirly cake to cut…its a heart shape two tier cake…not as gorgeous as yours but I will try to make it to be perfect!!! I also can’t seem to make the perfect pink ombre like cake so I just go for the Plain vanilla butter layer cake 🙂

    Thank you so much and hugss!

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  13. Hi glory, I am planning to make this cake for my daughters bday
    party. Can I use cream cheeese frosting instead of buttercream? Will
    the swirls hold up like yours if I use cream cheese frosting?

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  16. Hi,

    I love your rose cake and i would like to ‘steal’ your ideal for my friend’s birthday!!
    I have one question, regarding the American buttercream frosting, will it last long? Because i would travel about 100+km to her place and our country was hot and humid (South East Asia).
    Kindly advice =)

    • Yes, please feel free to use this design for your cake. If you do post an image on-line (facebook, blog, etc.) please include a link back to my site for the idea. Traveling with cake is always tricky, but I think it could work. After you frost the cake, put the whole cake in the fridge, or freezer for the icing to really set up firm. If possible, you could put the cake in an ice chest. Also, when you arrive at the party, you may want to put the cake in the fridge to cool off a bit if it has gotten quite warm. Best of luck!

  17. Hi.
    For the frosting, must it be that much icing sugar?
    Or i can substitute with other ingredient?
    My family doesn’t like the cake to be too sweet

  18. Hi. Can i use 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening for the frosting? So that it can hold up longer. And leave the rest ingredient unchange

  19. I just loooove for work, and I am definitely trying this cake ! Good luck,keep on surprising us ! 🙂

  20. Hi.. I’m very excited that I’m going to make this cake for my daughter’s 1st birthday. Her name is Rose and I’m sure I cant bake anything better than this. It was love at first sight!! Please can you tell me if its possible to make this type of a cake to feed 35 guests. What’s the maximum number of layers I can try without making it difficult for cutting. This will be first attempt in making a party cake..hope it turns out well!!

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  22. i made this cake today for my sisters birthday and my whole family loved it! the recipe is easy and the cake turns out beautiful (btw im only 12 years old)

  23. I am french thank you so much for the advices. Perfect look everybody loved it. I have made it in blue too but the ombre layered turned into green and not blue. Why?

  24. That cake is so beautiful and with your instructions, I feel like I could try it. Would you please share where you got the pedestal and plates shown in the photos? Thank you so much!

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  27. I love,love, love this idea. I am doing rainbow colors in May for my daughters 2 birthday 🙂 so excited, and it will be my first fondant cake also 🙂

  28. you are so amazing!!! i just found your page and i’m so stunning!!
    love your recipes very much!!! .. i really have to try them!!

    and your photos are also amazing!! 🙂

    love the style of your website and everyhting !!


    love from germany

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  31. I’m making this right now!!! Hope it ends like yours

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  35. I really admire you!! I am 16 and I love baking and decorating! I will try to make this cake tomorrow. The recipe seems easy! I hope it turns out good! Thank you for your recipes! 🙂

  36. I’ve made this cake 2 times and am making my 3rd today. I’ve made purple and blue and this will be the first time I do pink! It’s for a baby shower and its going to be perfect!! I also use almond extract instead of vanilla. The second time I made the cake I was out of vanilla and did not have time to go to the store so I used almond. It was perfect! It gives it a different flavor and makes it unique!

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  39. Hi
    when you mentioned cake pan, it is non sitck ?

    • Hi Valerie, I do not use non-stick pans, but you may if you like. I prepare my pans by lightly coating the pan in butter or oil, then sprinkling a bit of flour in the pan, shake all around, and dump out any excess. I would also recommend lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

  40. Is the top layer thicker than the rest of the layers? If so, did you add more to that cake pan?

    • Hi Valerie,
      Yes, in this case the top layer is thicker, but that was an accident more than anything. Ideally, each layer should be very close to the same height.

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  42. I just found out about this site,(via a Dutch site named and I immediately loved it! And I’m sure I’m gonna try to bake this cake one day, thanks for the inspiration!

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  44. I am going to try this tonight for my mom’s bachelorette brunch party tomorrow – hopefully it will come out amazing, I’ll update ya and let you know! 😀

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  50. I love these recipes and the images of the cakes are beautiful. I wondered if I could post the picture of the pink cake on the sidebar of my blog, as long as there is a link connecting back to your site. My blogging identity is tied into cake and my blog site is pink, so I like to put images of pink frosted cake there. I will definitely try this recipe! Please let me know if this would be okay.

    Thanks and kind regards,
    Sandee Harris

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