Ombre Petal Cake


Bright, pretty, & sweet… all of the things both my niece, and this cake, are.  That is why I knew this should be her birthday cake.  I love happy occasions – it’s always the perfect time for me to try out a new cake  nice to spend quality time with family and friends!  This icing design is called the “Petal Technique.”  Rumor has it (good luck getting Adele out of your head now) it has been around for a long, long time.  I have no idea how long that is, but I can assure you…I did not invent it.

So, here it goes:

B&B (Bake & Build) Your Cake…

Get your cake(s) ready…

3 kiddiefries, sleepless nights, a packed weekend, and “because it’s yummy!” means I went with boxed cake mix. White cake mix is always my go to… delicioso.

This is not a post about cakes, but I like taller cakes, so I baked three boxes (1 for each 8′ cake round).  Colored them with gel coloring, baked and cooled.

Have icing ready. Lots of buttercream icing.  You can go with any icing you choose.  I love the old-fashioned sweet taste of simple buttercream icing, but any is fine.  1 batch of this icing is enough to ice between layers and crumb coat (a very thin coat of icing around the cake to hold in….wait for it….wait for it…. the crumbs).

Chill out.  Literally.  Put your cake, lightly covered in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for a few hours (at least) so the crumb coat solidifies.  This makes the decorating easier as the petals and the crumb coat aren’t mixing. while you are feverishly trying to finish the last 76 rows while your toddlers are doing swan dives off of the coffee table…so relaxing.

Get Petal’ing…

You will need:

  • Pastry Bag(s)
  • Small offset spatula (or a baby spoon, back of a butter knife, small spoon, etc.  Anything you can smudge with)
  • Your coated cake (cold)
  • 2 (more) batches of icing
  1. Take a scoop of icing and color using the color (if any) you would like the top of the cake to be. (I iced with just plain white).  Ice the top of the cake… this is your top layer, so make it look pretty.  (All I hear is Tim Gunn saying “make it work, make it work.”
  2. Divide your remaining icing into the number of colors you would like.  I wanted the “ombre  (french word meaning to shade) effect” using more than one color.  I used three bowls… split the icing into 1/3 each.
  3. In each bowl, place a few drops of one color in and give it a whirl.  Put half of that into a pastry bag.  Add a few more drops of the same color to the remaining icing in that bowl to deepen the color a bit, give it another whirl, then put the rest of that into another pastry bag.  *Repeat for the remaining colors you use.
  4. If you happen to have a bunch of piping tips (all in the same round size) hanging around, with matching piping bags and couplers, set them up.  I do not have these, but DO have a box of disposable pastry bags, so I filled those and just cut the tips off…

On the side of your cake, pipe the first row of dots as follows:


Using your spatula, baby spoon, whatever you have on hand, and starting in the middle of each dot, smear the dots like this…  *wipe the utensil off in between each color to avoid mixing….


Once the entire row has been completed, pipe on the next row of dots…


My colors were graduating around the cake, so I kept the same sequence, yet started each row with the color beneath in the former row… this is where your creativity should carry you in your own direction.   Use all one color, keep the colors in the same pattern all the way around, graduate the colors, mix and match them randomly, etc.  Run with it.

Overall, I loved this and will definitely try again.  It did take a bit of time, but much like raising a herd of wild childs – it’s not hard work, it’s repetetive work.

Here is a video for those (like myself) who prefer to see something in action.

Have a great week~

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