My baby sister just turned 16! Can’t believe how the time flies. I wanted to make her a special cake for her birthday, and so we plopped down on the couch together and scrolled through Pinterest looking for inspiration. At last, she decided on a color palette of burgundy, pink, cream, and gold. We decided to morph the trend of a gradient cake with the crowning of a crescent of buttercream flowers and pearl details.
After preparing and assembling the cake itself and the filling, I whipped up a batch of this delicious buttercream to frost the cake with. I used clear vanilla extract so as to keep the color a nice cream, perfect for coloring as well as using as is.
Next, I divided the buttercream into 3 portions, coloring one third burgundy, one third pink, and leaving the last third as is. The burgundy color was accomplished by using burgundy gel color as well as a bit of red to brighten it up. The pink was done by using only a small bit of the burgundy gel color. Once the colors were all mixed and ready to go, I proceeded to pipe the colors onto the cake in three distinct layers.
Now to smooth it all out to create the gradient effect! I used my icing spatula to begin with, and then moved to a plastic bowl scraper (I ran water over the bowl scraper just before so that it was slightly wet). The bowl scraper really helped to smooth out any bumps and to get that soft, gradient effect.
Last, bust most certainly not least, I used a large open star tip and a small closed star tip to create an array of buttercream flowers in a sort of crescent shape atop the cake. I then added the gold pearls, and this work of art was complete!
This cake would be the perfect centerpiece for a birthday, Valentine party, shower, or pink-themed event!
Pink Floral Gradient Cake
You will need:
- Baked cake (three 8-inch layers)
- Cake filling
- 1 recipe Creamy Buttercream Frosting
- Burgundy and red gel food coloring
- Gold sugar pearls
For the Creamy Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 1/2 cups salted butter, softened
- 2 lbs powdered sugar (about 8 cups)
- 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until pale and smooth, about 5 minutes, and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the powdered sugar a bit at a time, and mix well after each addition. *You may need to continue scraping down the sides of the bowl throughout the process
- Add vanilla and mix, followed by enough milk to reach your desired consistency.
- Prepare cake and filling and assemble.
- Prepare one recipe of Creamy Buttercream Frosting.
- Divide buttercream into 3 equal portions. Use burgundy and a bit of red food coloring to color one third burgundy. Use just a small bit of the burgundy food coloring to color one third pink. Leave the last third as is.
- Pipe the frosting around the cake in three distinct layers, starting with the burgundy at the bottom, pink in the middle, and cream color on top. Using an icing spatula and/or a plastic bowl scraper (slightly wet), smooth the icing together around the cake until you have reached the desired gradient effect.
- Using a large open star tip and a small closed star tip, pipe the remaining burgundy and pink buttercream into an array of flowers on top of the cake. Place the gold pearls around and on top of the flowers.
- Enjoy your completed work of art!