I just finished a fun project: the Lychee Ombre Rose Cake.
A friend and former work colleague celebrated her little one’s baptism this weekend. I was honored when she asked me to make a rose cake for the event, after seeing my first attempt back in October.
With all the fuss putting this cake together, I didn’t get as many photos as I would have preferred. But I wanted to share the experience with you, and what I learned.
This is a crowd-sourced cake. This cake could not have been accomplished without the help of fellow food lovers. I took inspiration from many sources as I designed this cake over the past month.
I experimented with numerous cake recipes, and at least six (6) types of buttercream. [There will be a separate post on buttercream, I promise you.] Although I did modify many of them, the recipes below stood out. They are solid recipes you can trust to perform.
White Cake : Thanks to SprinkleBakes for a moist White Cake Recipe!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream: Great SMB recipe from Smitten Kitchen
Lychee Filling: Adapted this Lychee Mousse filling from Raspberri Cupcakes
Color Styling: Inspired by 52 Kitchen Adventures‘ similar ombre version
All told, I probably spent five hours on this final cake. You can’t rush genius.
Baking the cakes, whisking fluffy Swiss Buttercream in my little mixer, whipping up lychee mousse and tinkering until I found the perfect color of pink. It takes time, people!
Once I had all the requisite cake components, I was ready to build my Lychee Ombre Rose Cake! You can see there are quite a few tools you’ll want close at hand.
I really like the effect. Perhaps I’ll do a simple cake this way in the future. [Note: this is prior to smoothing the frosting…which is why it looks a tad lopsided.]
My “Learnings” [Don’t make my mistakes!]
- Don’t Bother with American Buttercream. Just don’t. NO Crisco either. Use Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It’s so much better.
- Make a LOT of frosting. For this cake, you will need a lot of frosting, particularly for icing the top layer of roses. I almost ran out of the lightest pink icing. Reserve some uncolored icing for emergencies.
- Keep your icing cool. The rose consistency changes as you ice and warm the icing in the bag. So take breaks and briefly chill the icing to avoid this.
- Deliver your own cakes. I heard the cake encountered some smudging during transportation. Next time I’ll deliver or find a surefire way to keep the cake from moving. [One good suggestion is museum putty.]
Each time I make this style of cake, I get a little better at it. Still plenty of things to learn and improve upon. 10,000 hour rule, right?
Overall, I really appreciate my friend taking a chance on me as a newbie baker. And I hope you take a chance on yourself and make this cake, too!