Antique Ombre Chocolate Buttercream Cake

I feel pretty lucky to work with some lovely ladies. There are seven young women on my team and we are all very close. Literally. Like within 3 feet of each others faces. Besides just sitting close, we are friends too. We come in on Monday and chat about our weekends, eat lunch together at noon on the dot, and are drinking wine by four (just kidding! We save that for Fridays). These ladies keep me sane and are a major part of why I enjoy going to work everyday.

To share my love for said coworkers, I baked the January birthday girls a cake (4 birthdays within 2 weeks!). Ya ya, you know I like baking already so you are wondering how that shows my love? Well, let me tell you. I packed that cake up in my cake carrier, and brought it to work on public transportation. Muni no less! I am scared to hold the cake carrier with the handle, so I held it like a baby and hobbled to the bus stop.  I managed to keep it out of fellow bus riders’ way, but it had a little bit of a rough time sliding around with the SF hills. I got some good stares, worked my arm muscles a bit, and the cake made it safely to the office building.

We had a delish team birthday lunch at Fringale, ate this delicious chocolate buttercream cake, and tried to work through the afternoon food coma.

Antique “Ombre” Chocolate Buttercream Cake

Three Layer Chocolate Cake

Recipe from Cooks.com

  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • 2 squares (1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350°F. Line three 9-inch round cake pans with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Dissolve espresso powder in water; stir in chocolate until melted. Cool. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in bowl. Beat butter and sugars in mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. With mixer at low speed, add dry ingredients alternately with chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, until blended. Spread batter in prepared pans; bake 22 to 25 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 20 minutes. Invert and remove pans; invert cakes again, right side up, on racks and cool.

Buttercream Frosting

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 1 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk

To make the frosting, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Slowly add the sugar one cup at a time while beating on medium speed. Add in the milk one tablespoon at a time and beat until light and fluffy. Make sure to not add too much milk as when you go to decorate, you will need a bit thicker frosting that normal.

Place 3 small pieces of wax paper on the edges of your cake plate to prevent from dirtying your plate while frosting (and so you don’t have to try to transfer a three layer cake!) Place the first layer on your plate, frost the top with a thin layer of frosting. Repeat with the second and third layers, leaving the sides un-frosted.
To create the “ombre” effect (which turned out a little less obvious than I had hoped…), split your frosting into thirds. Dye the first third a dark color, add a little bit of this dyed frosting to the second batch to make a lighter dyed frosting, and then add a little of the lighter frosting to the final batch to create the palest version of the frosting. Fill your cake bag with the darkest color and make small circles all the way around the bottom layer. Repeat with the medium shade on the middle layer. Repeat again with the lightest shade on the top layer.
And now you have your “ombre” cake! I made mine a dusty rose color. Along with my vintage cake stand, it looks antique!

The restaurant sliced and served it for us, and even drizzled some vanilla sauce on top. Mmm good.

The only downside to 4 of  7 work birthdays in one month is that I won’t have as many excuses to make more cake. I think cake decorating might be my new favorite hobby.

Anyone else have an upcoming birthday??

Lovely comments

  1. Cat says

    It was unbelievably delicious! I also loved how Fringale drizzled Vanilla on our slices to make it look extra fancy pants. :)

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