October 30th is my daughter’s birthday. Let me tell you, it made for a pretty crazy Halloween weekend. (Did I mention we also had a church activity and family in town) It was totally crazy but so fun!!
Both my older kids talk about what kind of theme/cake they want for their birthdays months before it actually happens. So, I usually wait until fairly last minute to be SURE that they won’t change their minds.
My daughter picked a butterfly theme probably 4 weeks ago, and has stuck with it since. She also has told me several times that her favorite color is orange. Not pink. Orange. So, that’s what I ran with.
I know that I had this awesome cake in the back of my head somewhere, giving me a jumping off point. Isn’t it cool?
I didn’t frost the cake perfectly for 2 reasons: 1) I thought it was more whimsical and fun for the butterflies 2) hello, insanely easier to frost non-perfectly :)
You can’t really tell from the above picture, but the frosting wasn’t super thick, so you could kind of see the tint of orange from underneath, because the inside looked like this:
Love me some ombre! I wish I had kept the top layer white then graduated more, but oh well. I still think it looks so cool!
Orange Ombre Butterfly Cake makes a 6 layer 8” cake
I used this tried and true white cake recipe. Love it. Then divided it evenly into 6 different bowls. I believe it was approximately 1 C and 2 Tbsp in each bowl.
Then I started adding color. At first I did just one drop in the first bowl, 2 drops in the 2nd etc, but it wasn’t near as vibrant enough as I wanted. So, then I decided to get the darkest color right first. I even added 1 drop of red to the darkest layer. and it turned way more red then I was thinking, so I adding probably 10 more drops of orange (remember it already had 6) to finally get the color I liked. A lot. Wow, I’m totally rambling. Basically, add colors to all of your bowls, until you get the colors that you like! Best part is, the cake cooks up the same color as the batter, so you don’t have to guess. Whatever color it is as batter, that’s how the cake will look.
These layers are not very thick, so it only took about 15-18 minutes to cook.
After I baked the layers, and they cooled completely, I wrapped each one individually with plastic wrap and then put them in the freezer. This is a perfect trick so that you can make your cakes ahead of time. I made them Wednesday, and they stayed in the freezer until I frosted the cake on Sunday! Not having to worry about making the layers Saturday or Sunday was a huge stress relief.
For the frosting, I wanted to continue the orange theme, so I used some orange emulsion. Seriously, this stuff is delicious. Delicious. The smell is so good, and added to the frosting, just made it taste like some fresh orange zesty goodness. Loved it.
Orange Flavored Butter Cream
1 lb butter, room temp (yes, that is 4 cubes……)
6 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tsp Orange Bakery Emulsion, or to taste (I found mine at Hobby Lobby)
3 Tbsp cream or milk
- Beat butter, and then add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing to combine before adding more, scraping sides as needed.
- Add flavoring, and if needed the milk 1 T at a time, to get the desired consistency.
To assemble cake:
Remove layers from freezer, unwrap from plastic, and place bottom layer on desired serving platter.
Spread a thin amount of frosting on layer. Because the layers are frozen, it makes it really easy to spread the frosting thin, without the cake falling apart.
Continue building the cake, alternating between cake and thin frosting layers. After you put the top layer on, use remainder of frosting to frost the rest of the cake!
Even though it might seem like a decent amount frosting, I *barely* had enough frosting to cover the cake. If you plan on decorating the cake with frosting, you’ll need to make more.
To make the butterflies, I rolled out fondant, and used a little fondant cutter that I found at Michael’s. After that, I used a piece of foil to help them get their shape:
I had 3 rows, and I used some orange Wilton Color Mist to get them 3 different shades of orange. *makes these ahead of time so that they have enough time to dry before you use them. Probably around 2-3 days at least.
Thanks for stopping by! have a great day!