BHG Delish Dish

Stirring Up Ideas In The Kitchen

Frosting an Ombre Cake!



Hi! I’m Courtney Whitmore from! My site is devoted to all things entertaining from tablescapes to the party food! I’m also the author of Push-Up Pops, Candy Making for Kids, and Frostings. I’m super excited to share one of my favorite frosting techniques with the Delish Dish readers.



How to Frost an Ombre Cake

I used this buttercream frosting recipe which is the perfect consistency for creating an ombre look to your cake. The technique is easy and looks quite fancy when finished so it’s perfect for birthdays, showers, and other special celebration cakes! You’ll see the ombre look in my Frostings book which I’m super excited to give away to some lucky readers below!

Here are the steps to create this beautiful ombre frosting technique. First up, you will need a batch of buttercream frosting divided evenly into 3 bowls. Next, you will need your choice of color (I used Wilton’s Gel Color in Aqua), toothpicks, offset spatula, and of course – your cake! I used a vanilla pound cake. Frosting cake that is chilled or frozen is best because it helps avoid excess crumbs mixing into your frosting.

Frosting an ombre cake!

Here I have my unfrosted cake. I have 2 layers (taller cakes work best for an ombre technique). I have placed the cakes on small strips of wax paper so that I can avoid messing up my white cake stand. They can be gently removed when I’m finished.

Frosting an ombre cake!

With my buttercream frosting, I frost the top of one of the layers. Then top that with the second cake layer. You can certainly make additional layers if you would like! The frosting color you choose for the inside is purely a matter of choice. I chose white here.

Applying a crumb coat to a cake.

The next step is a crumb coat! This thin coat of frosting helps seal in crumbs so they don’t come loose as you frost your cake. White is the best choice for your crumb coat since the top of your cake will ultimately be white for the ombre technique. A thin layer is fine and it doesn’t have to be perfectly covered.

How to frost an ombre cake

With your frosting divided into three bowls, use a toothpick and your coloring (I recommend a gel food coloring) to create 2 shades and leave the last white. You can absolutely create additional shades of your color if you would like but at least 3 is necessary. Here I have a darker aqua, light aqua, and white. The colors create a really pretty ocean-like watercolor look to the cake.

How to frost an ombre cake!

Using your offset spatula, apply the darker color shade to the bottom of your cake. Because I have 3 colors, I apply the darker shade to the bottom third of the cake. It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth here. Next, use your lighter shade to apply to the middle third of the cake in the same manner.

How to frost an ombre cake!

For the top third of the cake and the very top of the cake, use your white frosting to smooth over the crumb coat. Use your offset spatula to gently smooth between the shades of frosting. TIP: Dip your spatula in warm water and gently wipe off excess water before smoothing. You can also use cake decorating comb to create thin lines or other patterns on the frosting.  For a more natural look, do not worry about perfectly smoothing down each frosting swirl. Lastly, gently pull out your strips of wax paper.

Frosting an ombre cake

There you have it! It’s really simple and oh so pretty. I hope you’ll enjoy this frosting technique for an upcoming special celebration!


As I mentioned earlier, BHG and I are giving away a couple of copies of my Frostings books! To enter to win one of 5 copies of Frostings, tell us below: “What is your favorite thing to Frost?”. For another opportunity to win, connect with Better Homes and Gardens on Twitter and re-tweet the giveaway announcement tweet marked with the hashtag #Frostings. We’ll conduct a random drawing from the entries received to select the winners. See the official contest rules here.

Note: This contest has ended. 

Our winners for the blog comments were Alaina who said “I love frosting layer cakes. Then of course cupcakes.” and Amy who said “Definitely cupcakes!” See our Twitter winners here

69 Responses to “ Frosting an Ombre Cake! ”

  1. My favorite thing to Frost is cupcakes, probably only because they turn out way better than when I frost cakes LOL!

  2. Chocolate cake of course!

  3. I love to frost cakes!! You can be extremely creative when you frost them.

  4. My favorite thing to frost is cupcakes because it is easier than frosting a cake :)

  5. Cupcakes with our daughter!

  6. My favorite thing to frost is definitely cupcakes. And my daughter loves to help decorate them with sprinkles after ;)

  7. I love frosting cookies! It always reminds me of the times I used to help my mom with the baking as a child. Nothing beats frosting Christmas sugar cookies as a family!

  8. Beautiful Courtney! Thanks for the lovely tips and congrats on your new book. As for what I like to frost, cakes, cupcakes AND cookies. Cakes are my fav right now though.

  9. cupcakes!

  10. Simple cakes!

  11. I love frosting layer cakes. Then of course cupcakes.

  12. cookies w my 3 yr old daughter:)

  13. Cupcakes mainly because I don’t consider myself a very domestic cake/maker/froster, and cupcakes are smaller and easier. If you don’t get the first one right you still have a dozen other chances, unlike a cake. Thanks for your great article. Love the aqua color.

  14. This is absolutely beautiful! And seems so simple!!

  15. favorite would have to be cupcakes with the kids…we have done cake , cookies and even pancakes… none a pretty as your cake but it was fun

  16. Favorite thing to frost is cupcakes. You can make each one a different design, and you can add all types of garnishments.

  17. Cakes, of course! As far as I’m concerned, they exist to provide support for frosting!

  18. My favorite item to frost is cookies, sometimes themed sometimes random always different always welcome and always brings smiles.

  19. Definitely cupcakes!

  20. Cakes! They can be like an elegant piece of art when you are done.

  21. I enjoy frosting cake/cupcake combinations! I find I can be so much more creative in the designs when I put cupcakes with my cakes! My favorite design is spaghetti and meatballs (all with frosting and candies, of course!).

  22. I love frosting cakes – there is something so therapeutic about it!

  23. Cupcakes! I love the immediate results and can eat one right away!

  24. I like to frost cakes, especially since it is usually for one of my daughters birthdays and I get better at it each year.

  25. My favorite thing to frost would be cupcakes. They turn out so cute and each one is its own little cake.

  26. I like frosting cakes!

  27. My favorite thing to frost is cake. I love coming up with new designs. The Ombre cake looks beautiful!

  28. I have a daughter who is a future cake maker. We love to frost fancy cakes together!

  29. Anything with frosting is my favorite!

  30. I like frosting cakes best, more to work with. I love this ombre look, very pretty and doesn’t seem too hard. Thanks!

  31. I love to make and frost cupcakes. Would love to have a frosting book because I don’t know how to make a good frosting and I have to use the premade frosting.

  32. Mini-cupcakes! They’re so tiny that you can spend less time decorating and more time eating.

  33. I will frost just about anything, cakes, cupcakes, cookies. My favorite is to make cakes for family/friends and I’m always looking for new ideas to make fun and exciting designs. Would love a copy of your book to add to my collection. Thanks!!

  34. My niece is turning Sweet 16 next month and wants to die her hair ombré. This cake will be perfect to tie into that. Thanks for the great idea!!

  35. I love to frost COOKIES. But also cupcakes. And pretzels. :-)

  36. I love to frost cupcakes! They’re so fun to decorate!

  37. I love to frost anything I bake.

  38. Cookies! Love frosting cookies with and for the kids and grandkids!

  39. Any kind of cake.

  40. My favorite thing to frost is cupcakes….

  41. So exciting! My favorite thing to frost is Cupcakes. You can use any kind of tip to make whatever it is you want. :)

  42. I love frosting Italian cream cakes. Well, actually, I love eating the frosting on Italian cream cakes!

  43. My tongue :)

  44. Cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes!!;) this book looks amazing! The perfect addition to my collection!!

  45. I know this sounds weird but, graham crackers. My grandma always had a tub of frosting and graham crackers in the pantry. When my brothers and I would visit, It was a special treat she made for us. So every now and then, I make it for my sons. When they grow up I hope they will remember it as fondly as I do :)

  46. CUPCAKES!!! I love frosting them because you can become so creative for any theme or special occasion.

  47. German chocolate cake!

  48. Cupcakes… chocolate ones!.. or I just eat the icing with a spoon

  49. I have loved baking since I was little. This book looks great and has some awesome ideas.

  50. I love to frost cupcakes. Then pull the tops off and frost the bottoms. i love Frosting!

  51. I can frost cupcakes!! That’s about it….

  52. cupcakes first then cakes. only because that’s what I like to eat in that order!

  53. I love frosting anything, no one is safe if I have a spatula:)

  54. I love to frost cakes!

  55. I love frosting cakes! Each cake provides an opportunity to get creative!

  56. Cupcakes with my kids!

  57. I will frost anything, because frosting is my favorite food. :)

  58. Coconut layer cake !!!

  59. Lately, I would say my favorite thing to frost is cupcakes. My kids love it when we frost cookies, and my husband loves anything frosted with 7-minute frosting. :-)

  60. My favorite thing to frost is whatever comes out of my oven and has cooled…

  61. I love to frost cupcakes the most!

  62. My favorite thing to frost is cupcakes. Recently, especially for larger gatherings, I only frost a few and put out a multitude of bare cupcakes with a variety of toppings. This cupcake bar has proven to be a hit with the adults, younger adults, and kids!! I love seeing the combinations and designs that the kids-of-all-ages create!!

  63. Love making a work of art out of a cake or cupcake.

  64. I love cake and frosting even more than chocolate which is a lot! My favorite edible at weddings and bday parties is the frosted cake, cant get enough.

  65. Cakes, usually chocolate!

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