This Pink Lemonade Ombre Layer Cake is perfect for a party with a zingy lemon flavour and beautiful ombre layers.
Learn how to make these adorable Pink Lemonade Macarons in my guest post for Love, Pasta and a Toolbelt!
Questions like “What’s your favourite animal?” (an elephant, obviously). Or, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” (still working this one out. If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears!). And the best question:
“What’s your favourite colour?”
Honestly, what kind of inane question is that? There are more than a million colours and colour combinations, shades, hues, tints … and yet all kids have a favourite colour. Although at one time I’m pretty sure I would have answered with PURPLEBLUEGREENRED which is totally a real colour…
I guess it’s a sign of growing up when you realize that all colours are indeed made equal (except Octarine, which any bookworm will know is truly the best colour). I would not have come near this cake as a kid – pink was for girly-girls and I was vehemently opposed to anything girly after I hit seven.
But I’m pretty sure I would still have loved this cake.
The colours of this cake make me ridiculously, irrationally happy.
How can you not look at this cake and smile? The ombre layers of pink, the multi-coloured sprinkles, the pink macarons with lemony-yellow buttercream (WHICH I NAILED THIS TIME, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!)?
And best of all? It tastes like pink lemonade, which is the absolute best flavour to usher in the first day of spring!
Everything about this cake makes me want to throw open the windows and sit in a camp chair, toes in the grass. We’re still a couple months away from that being a reality, but it will do for now!
And it’s so easy to make the different layers, you’ll wonder why you haven’ t been doing this all along.
(Quick caveat, my cake didn’t rise for some reason, but it was still insanely delicious and packed full of lemon flavour! I found out later that it was because I quadrupled the recipe instead of doing two double batches. And I didn’t use real buttermilk, soooo yes. Do as I say and not as I did)
Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl, and then add the wet ones a bit at a time. You can do it all by hand with a whisk, no mixer needed! I adapted this recipe from the Lemon Buttermilk Cake from Avery Cooks, minus the glaze.
Separate the batter evenly into four bowls. I scooped it into each bowl with a cup measure to make sure they all had the same amount.
Leaving one as you made it, add a couple drops of food colouring, increasing the amount as you go. Once you think you’re done, take a look back and just make sure it’s an even gradient. You can always add more food colouring but you can’t take it away! I found that doing the darkest one first helped me to gauge the rest.
(I just want to dive head first in there. Don’t judge me)
Pour each bowl into its own greased 8 inch round cake pan, and bake. Let them cool completely before you try to frost them, or else you’ll end up with a sticky disaster. (No, I’m not speaking from experience, what are you implying?)
Now layer them! Start with the darkest colour on the bottom and work up (or the other way round if you want, I’m not the boss of you), making sure to slather lots of buttercream between the layers. I’m using this recipe for Vanilla Buttercream from Savory Sweet Life, which is my favourite all time best-tasting buttercream hands down no contest.
If you want to get that really smooth finish, do a crumb coat layer first (a very thin layer of frosting to trap all those pesky crumbs!) Make sure to get it as smooth as possible and fill in any major holes. Toss it in the fridge for at least 10 minutes before you do your final decorating!
It’s already SO PRETTY! I’m sure a naked cake would work too.
Slather the rest of the buttercream on the cake. My favourite trick is to try and get it as smooth and level as possible, filling in any holes, and then going over it with a metal spatula that’s been under hot water for a few seconds. The hot metal will melt the butter in the buttercream as you pass it over, so it’ll give you a beautiful, smooth finish! It does come to room temperature so you may have to reheat it a couple times.
Decorate as you like! I did some rosettes, tossed some sprinkles on the bottom and top because everything is better with sprinkles, and topped with some Pink Lemonade Macarons! (These babies are going to be a guest post on another blog, so you’ll have to stay tuned to learn how to make them!)
Is this not the happiest cake you’ve ever seen in your life?
Packed with sweet pink lemonade flavour…
I can’t think of any better way to celebrate the First Day of Spring, can you? But now you have to tell me… what’s your favourite colour?
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 tsp lemon extract (or to taste)
- Pink or red food colouring
- 1 cup room-temperature butter (I use salted, but you can use unsalted and add 1/4 tsp of salt)
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 3-4 Tbsp milk or heavy cream (add more if the icing needs to be softer)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) in a bowl with a whisk. Add the lemon zest at the end and whisk through.
In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (eggs, buttermilk, lemon juice, vegetable oil & lemon extract)
Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, whisking as you add. Set aside.
REPEAT the recipe so you have enough for 4 layers!
Separate your batter into four bowls. Add food colouring, leaving one layer as is. I find it easier to do the darkest layer first, and then eyeball the middle two so that you get a nice gradient.
Pour each bowl into its own greased 8 inch round baking pan, and bake in the oven for about 30 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients. You want it to be very soft and easily spreadable, so add more cream if necessary
Vanilla Buttercream recipe is from Savory Sweet Life: http://savorysweetlife.com/2010/03/buttercream-frosting/
Lemonade Cake is adapted from Avery Cooks: http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/10/lemon-buttermilk-cake-with-lemon-glaze.html