I’m going to have to think of a better way to name my posts – five in and already ending everything with ‘cake’ is making me go cross-eyed.
I made this for my friend & colleague Bree, whose sweet tooth knows no bounds and whose favourite colours are orange, yellow & aqua. It’s an almost direct rip-off of Raspberri Cupcakes purple ombre sprinkle cake, at least visually, but I used my favourite 1-2-3-4 cake recipe for the layers, filled and frosted with whipped white chocolate ganache.
Recipe with detailed instructions after the jump!
Orange Ombre Sprinkle Cake
- 1-2-3-4 Cake
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups white sugar
3 cups self-raising flour, sifted
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/8th tsp orange cream essence (optional)
Orange food colouring, any type
Melted butter, for greasing pans
- Whipped White Chocolate Ganache
375g white chocolate, chopped
1 packet Hundreds & Thousands, to decorate
1. Make chocolate ganache – heat cream in a small heavy saucepan until scalding – don’t let it boil or it will split. Put the chocolate into a bowl, pour the hot cream into the chocolate, whisk gently until totally smooth, cover the bowl with gladwrap and pop into the fridge while you get on with the cake,
2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line the bottoms of your cake tins with baking paper and brush with melted butter. A note on cake tins – I made this cake in 5 layers and used a 20cm springform tin. I would really recommend a springform as it makes it much easier to get the cakes out given the layers are not that thick. In a perfect world I’d have more than one cake tin the right size, but as it happened I baked each layer separately, relining & regreasing the tin in between each layer.
3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter for a few minutes, until fluffy. Add sugar and cream sugar and butter together for at least 5 minutes.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl and beating very well after each addition.
5. Add flour and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Add orange cream flavouring, if you are using it. I was cautioned by the shopkeeper when I bought it to only use a tiny amount, but I hardly tasted it in the finished product. Add just enough food colouring to get a pale shade of orange (this will be the lightest layer in your finished cake).
6. Now, to bake our layers! First of all, weigh your batter. I’ve written the weights of all my (empty) bowls on their bases so I can refer to them, but I know my mixing bowl weighs 400 grams. My bowl, filled with batter, weighed 2,260 grams. So, I subtracted the weight of the bowl, and calculated that my batter weighed 1,860 grams. I wanted to bake five layers, so each layer would have to be baked with 292 grams of batter.
7. With your cake tin on the scale, zero it out, add 292 grams of batter. You will probably need to spread the batter with a spatula as it is not very runny, and 292 grams is not a lot of batter.
8. Add more food colouring to the remaining batter in the mixing bowl and beat well to ensure it’s fully incorporated. Use the batter you already measured out as a comparison to make sure you have enough of a colour difference. I used liquid food colouring and found I needed a lot more than I would have estimated in order to darken the batter sufficiently – next time I’d use gel as it gives a more vibrant colour.
9. When you’re happy with the colour of the batter and no longer need the first batch for comparison, pop the first prepared layer in the oven and bake for 12 minutes (or until done – check with a skewer if you’re unsure).
10. Repeat steps 7 – 9 until you have five layers baked. Cool layers on racks. When they’re totally cool, wrap in gladwrap and chill in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.
12. Whip the ganache – take it out of the fridge and beat until it’s at a piping consistency. Be really careful not to overbeat or it will split. If you’re unsure, stop before you think it’s finished – better to have it a little too soft than grainy, especially as you’ll be covering the whole cake with sprinkles anyway.
13. It’s time to assemble your cake! First, level your chilled cake layers. With a long, serrated knife, cut off the domed tops of your cakes so they are smooth and level.
14. Starting with the palest layer, pop a cake layer on your cake board, levelled side down (putting strips of baking paper underneath will help keep your board neat for later). Add 1/3 cup of frosting and spread out. Add another layer on top, again putting it face-down (e.g. so the levelled surface is down). Add another 1/3 cup of frosting, and so on and so forth until all layers are stacked and filled.
15. Cover the cake in a crumb coat (a very thin layer over top and sides), then pop it in the freezer for at least half an hour so the crumb coat can harden.
16. Use remaining frosting to cover the top and sides. Try to get it as smooth as you can, but remember you’ll be adding sprinkles to the whole thing, so don’t stress over minor imperfections.
17. Once your cake is covered, add the sprinkles. There is no neat way to do this whatsoever and your kitchen floor will be covered in hundreds and thousands. I started by pouring sprinkles on the top of the cake and smoothing them out with my hands. Getting them to stick to the sides of the cake was a lot harder – I ended up just smooshing them on with my hands. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look neat – just keep adding sprinkles and it will look better once the whole cake is covered! Try to keep your hands dry as you work so the sprinkles don’t bleed their colour everywhere.
18. When you’re done, remove the baking paper and admire your handiwork!