Mini Strawberry Ombre Cake

Thursday, March 23, 2017

This week we welcome guest blogger, Christina Lane. Christina is the founder of the popular blog DessertForTwo.com. Her food writing and photography have been featured on popular websites including The Kitchn, Tasty Kitchen, Babble, Fine Cooking, Serious Eats, and the Huffington Post. A Texan by birth, Lane’s desserts are a unique blend of Southern, Californian and Midwestern influences. She bakes and eats dessert daily.

In the pursuit of cuteness, I made us a mini ombré cake.

If you're new to the word 'ombré,' you've been spared horrible hair dye jobs (lucky you!). Ombré is when a color fades from dark to light. In this case, dark pink frosting on the bottom of the cake fades to a plain white vanilla buttercream on top. Are you with me?

Doing an ombré job on a mini cake was, um, challenging. Our little 6" cakes only bake up to be about 2" high, so how much room do we really have to get our ombré on?

Answer: not much.

But we persevere and swirl a little strawberry jam into our icing with big ombré dreams.

Before we get too far, let's talk about mini cake pans. I have always used a 6" cake pan with 2" high sides. Last year, I started seeing 6" cake pan with 3" sides. Don't buy those! The extra inch of pan will create more heat in the oven and make your cake sink. (And nothing makes me sadder than sunken cakes).  

If you're looking at this cake and thinking the vanilla icing part looks a little yellow, it's because I used my favorite Kerrygold butter. It's a richer yellow color than regular butter, and tends to dye my frostings a bit yellow. I'm not complaining one bit, because you know how I love my Kerrygold.

This mini cake recipe makes 6 mini slices of cake, or 4 bigger slices. Personally, I can eat a quarter of this cake at a time without any hesitations. I won't hedge any bets about how many slices you can eat a time. That's between you and your fork, no one else.

Kerrygold Mini Strawberry Ombre Cake
Prep:  30 minutes
Cook:  39 minutes
Serves:  2
Ingredients:

6 tablespoons Kerrygold unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

3/4 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons whole milk

1/4 cup sour cream

 

For the frosting:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons strawberry jam

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350° and grease a 6” round cake pan with 2" sides. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat very well, about 1-2 minutes.

Add the egg and beat until well combined, about 15 seconds.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add half of this to the batter and beat lightly.

Stir in the milk and continue beating. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat, then stir in the sour cream.

Scrap the batter into the pan, smoothing the top and bake on a small sheet pan for 37-39 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack in the pan. Carefully remove the cake by running a knife around the edge of the pan. The bottom should come free easily, since it was lined with parchment.

Next, make the buttercream: in a medium bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and milk and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, add the strawberry jam, and stir in a scoop of the buttercream, about a 1/2 cup. Mix very well until combined. If its not red enough for you, add red food coloring. If the jam causes the buttercream to be too loose and floppy, refrigerate it for an hour. (It really depends on your jam, I used homemade strawberry jam that was quite runny, and had to refrigerate before decorating my cake).

Place the cake on a serving plate. Using a small spatula, spread the strawberry frosting along the bottom edge of the cake.

Next, spread the remaining (white) frosting on top of the cake, pushing it down the sides as you go. Using the spatula, smooth the sides of the cake and blend the white and pink frosting together. Pretty!

Slice and serve.