How to Host an Ombré Party: Ch. 3 – How to Bake and Assemble an Ombré Layered Cake

Hello lovely readers. This post is CHAPTER 3 of our Prep School Party mini-series: “How to Host an Ombré First Birthday Party.” When I decided to design an ombré themed party, I went back a forth on whether I wanted to “outsource” her birthday cake or bake it myself. After seeing how “easy” it was to ice it in this video by Nicola Bakes, I decided to do it myself and I’m so glad I did.

How to Bake Ombre Layered Cake |


(3) 8 in. cake pans
Plastic knife


Food coloring (I used Wilton’s gel colors)
Butter for greasing the cake pans
2 boxes of white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water


Follow the directions for mixing your wet and dry cake ingredients. Separate the cake batter into 3 mixing bowls of the same size (or use a measuring cup), pouring slightly more into the bowl that will be your bottom layer. My bowls were not the same size and one layer was a little on the thin side. Into each bowl, add 1 drop of food coloring at a time – you can always add more – until you’ve achieved the desired shade.

Ombre Cake Batter |

Pour the colored cake batters into separate, generously buttered baking pans and bake per the instructions on the box.  I baked each cake separately but it’s probably fine to bake them all at the same time.  The cakes are ready when you insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the pan about 10 minutes. With a plastic knife (it’s malleable and gives a little), gently separate the sides of each cake from its pan. Put a paper plate on top of the cake and invert the pan to extract the cake from the pan. Let the cakes continue to cool.

Once the cakes have cooled COMPLETELY, you can level off the dome that formed on top of the cake with a buttered serrated bread knife to give you flat tops and bottoms that will make stacking the cakes easier.

Before you assemble the cakes, prepare whatever plate, cardboard, or cake stand you will be using to serve the cake.

Spread icing in the center of the vessel and place your bottom layer. Spread icing on top of the cake to help the second layer adhere. Repeat this process for the third layer. Stacked Ombre Cake | preperie.comAs you can see, my layers were a little uneven.  My mixing my bowls weren’t the same size, so it was hard to separate the batter evenly. In addition, I only used 1 box of mix since the cake was going to be smaller, but it would have been better to have extra, so one layer was a little thin. Finally, my sister forgot to bring her round cake pans, so I had to cut out the cakes from a heart-shaped pan. It left the cakes a little crumbly on the sides, but it was covered up by the icing.

Despite all these “obstacles,” the cake still looked awesome when you sliced into it and you wouldn’t have known what an ugly duckling it originally was!Ombre Layered Cake |

In my next post, I’ll go over how to ice this bad boy.

Have you baked an ombré layered cake or bake often? Any tips you’d like to share?

And to help your sanity, download the PDF instructions in the link below so you’re not getting butter and cake mix all over your pretty iPhone case 🙂

Download Recipe:  How to Bake an Ombre Layered Cake

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