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Easy ombre birthday cake

I’d been eyeing up very impressive cakes on Pinterest for a while, thinking of what I could make for Artie’s birthday last week. He asked for a Angry Birds cake originally, so his Nana very sweetly got a cake topper to make my life easier – one that you stick onto ready made rolled icing (hate that stuff). But then I showed him these style of cakes, and he said he thought they were EPIC. They look so impressive and hard to make, but this was so easy, I swear!

Four layers of sponge (make ahead and freeze). Sandwiched with jam. Then I cheated and used Betty Crocker’s ready-made vanilla frosting, simply dyed with blue food colouring. I think, if I do this again, which I will for Bea’s birthday, I will go heavier with colouring on the top part, to make it even more obviously ombre.

It lasted for a week and got even nicer over time, if that’s possible!

Here’s how you do it! Below are the amounts for 4 layers. If you want to make the sponges in two gos, as I did as I only have 2 tins, then halve and freeze them until needed.

Makes: 1 large cake, enough for 16 people

Takes: about an hour in total


  • 400g plain flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 400g butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 8 eggs
  • Pinch salt
  • Strawberry jam, about 3-4 tablespoons
  • 2 x 400g tubs of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting
  • Food colouring
  • Sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 4 x 8 inch tins (or 2 if doing in 2 batches) and line the base with parchment.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar with a hand whisk, an electric whisk or in a stand mixer.
  3. Add eggs, and flour, salt and baking powder. Mix to combine.
  4. Add to tins, dividing equally. Bake for 20 mins.
  5. Let cool in tins so you can handle them, then on a rack to finish cooling. Freeze or use immediately.
  6. Spread each one bar the top with jam.
  7. Get 3 bowls and divide the frosting into them. One leave white. The others make dark and light of the color of your choice. I used 2 teaspoons of dye in one and 4 in the other. It’s up to you how dark you go. Then start with the dark one, at the top, slather it on! Don’t be too precious. Once the layers are on, start to blend. Add sprinkles and you’re good to go!

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