Green Ombre Cake Recipe

What's more fun than a plain old cake? An ombré cake, of course. If you love the color green, or if it's your favorite team's color, then we have the perfect recipe for you! This cake would also be a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with loved ones. You could also do this cake in pretty much any color by just swapping the shade of the food coloring. This green ombré cake features an impressive 4 layers and some homemade buttercream frosting that adds extra creaminess to the moist cake. Once you have one slice, you'll want to go back for seconds — trust us!

Recipe developer Jennine Bryant is a pro at coming up with great dessert recipes, and we think that she knocked this one out of the ballpark. "It's not a complicated recipe, but the creative aspect of it is really fun. Mixing the color in and building up the shades feels very arty, and it's so satisfying when you see the ombré icing take effect." Bryant says. "It's definitely a great cake for St Patrick's day. It would also be a great occasion cake for anyone who loves the color green." 

Keep scrolling to find out how to make this tasty cake.

Gather the ingredients for your green ombré cake

Let's do this thing! Start by compiling a list of ingredients that you'll need, then head to the grocery store. To start, you'll need a few cups of butter and some granulated sugar. Then, be sure to pick up a few eggs. The following few items are very common in baking recipes, and you may have them at home already. These include vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, and salt.

You will also need to get green food coloring, powdered sugar, and sprinkles for decoration, although the sprinkles are optional.

Preheat the oven and beat the butter and sugar

This recipe requires the use of an oven, so you can go ahead and preheat it to 340 F. Preheating the oven saves time, so you don't need to wait when you finish all the mixing and prepping.

Next, lightly grease 4 separate 6- or 7-inch cake pans. After you do that, take out a mixing bowl and toss in one cup of butter. It's easiest if the butter is at room temperature. Add the granulated sugar and beat the two until the mixture gets light and fluffy.

Mix up the cake batter

Once you combine the butter and sugar, add the eggs, one at a time. Simply crack them over the side of the bowl and toss in the egg yolk and white. Be sure to mix well after each egg addition and continue mixing until the egg is thoroughly combined with the rest of the batter. Add two teaspoons of vanilla extract, and then mix a little more.

In the meantime, take out a clean bowl and toss in your dry ingredients. This includes flour, baking powder, and salt. Once combined, you can mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones.

Divide the batter and add food coloring

Divide the cake batter into four separate portions for the four layers of cake. Here's where the food coloring comes into play. Add it to each of the bowls of cake batter in increasing amounts to give each portion a different shade of green. "Food coloring comes in so many different forms and strengths. I had thought about trying to give a rough estimate [of how much to add], but my food coloring comes in gel form and it's super strong, whereas I've used other brands before that are much weaker so you need to put much more in," Bryant says. "Due to the huge variety of food colorings (liquid, gel, powder) it's best to just go slowly and build up the color a little at a time, working with the product that you have. Hence the creativity. It feels half like baking and half like an art session!" 

Mix well so that the color is fully incorporated into the batter.

Bake the cakes and start the frosting

When you're happy with the green shades of your batter, transfer the batter into the four separate cake pans. Pop the cakes into the oven for about 25-30 minutes until each is lightly golden on top. You can test doneness by poking the cake to see if they spring back to the touch. Once done, take the cakes out of the oven and place them on a cooling rack.

While you wait for the cakes to cool, add a cup of butter into a clean mixing bowl. Slowly beat in the 4 cups of powdered sugar. Then, add the 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to make your buttercream.

Frost the cakes

Add a little bit of green food coloring to the prepared buttercream until it reaches a very light green tone. Take about ⅓ of the prepared buttercream and layer the cooled cakes on top of one another. Make sure to put the darkest cake at the bottom and the lightest one at the top. Use a heaping spoonful of the separated buttercream between each layer of cake. Use the remaining buttercream from the separated amount to cover the entire cake. This will form the crumb coat.

Stick the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the crumb coat to harden.

Add more food coloring to the frosting

Take the remainder of the buttercream and divide it between four clean bowls. Use the green food coloring and add a little to each bowl, increasing the amount of coloring with each one. This is similar to what you did with the cakes and it will give that ombré effect that we all know and love. 

You should end up with four subtly different shades of green buttercream, going from light green to a stronger tone.

Pipe the cake

Use a piping bag and start at the top of the cake. Pipe the lightest shade of buttercream onto the top of the cake and ¼ down the side of the cake. Then, use the second shade of green to pipe around the cake until you reach the middle. Use the third shade to pipe down to the bottom ¼ of the cake, then finish with the darkest shade of green at the very bottom.

Use a palette knife to gently go around the cake and smooth out the buttercream. This will cause the colors to blend nicely and give that ombré vibe.

Add sprinkles and enjoy

The last thing you need to do is add some sprinkles for decoration. Feel free to be as creative as you would like. If you'd prefer, you can also skip this step. 

There are plenty of ways to serve this cake. "The cake really is a stand-alone type of cake. You could use some pouring cream, but it's already very moist and the sweetness is well-balanced. It would pair well with some champagne or prosecco — perfect for a celebration." Bryant shares. "Or, for more low-key consumption, a cup of tea or coffee would be lovely — that's how we enjoyed it." 

Be sure to the keep leftovers. "The cake is best fresh, but will last up to 3-4 days at room temperature, as long as it is properly covered," Bryant notes.

Green Ombre Cake Recipe
4.9 from 18 ratings
If you're crazy for the color green (or you want a fun way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day), try your hand at this 4-layered green ombre cake recipe.
Prep Time
1.5
hours
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
8
Servings
green ombre cake on plate
Total time: 1.92 hours
Ingredients
  • 2 cups butter, room temperature, divided
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups Powdered sugar
  • 20-30 drops green food coloring
Optional Ingredients
  • sprinkles for decoration
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 340 F and prepare four 6 or 7-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together 1 cup butter and the granulated sugar until it is light and creamy.
  3. Incorporate the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until the egg is thoroughly combined. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and mix once more.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt, before slowly incorporating this into the cake batter.
  5. Divide the prepared cake batter into 4 bowls. This recipe produces approximately 4 cups of cake batter, so an easy way to divide the cake batter is to use a measuring cup. Put each cup of batter in a separate, clean bowl.
  6. Add the green food coloring to each of the bowls of batter in increasing amounts to give each portion a different shade of green. Mix well so the color is fully incorporated through the batter.
  7. Pour the 4 bowls of batter into the 4 separate cake pans. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes, until the cakes are lightly golden on top and they spring back to the touch. Once done, take the cakes out of the oven to cool on a cooling rack.
  8. While the cakes cool, add 1 cup butter to a clean mixing bowl and slowly beat in the 4 cups powdered sugar. Add the 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, to make your buttercream.
  9. Add a little green food coloring to the prepared buttercream, until it reaches a very light green tone. Separate out about ⅓ of the frosting.
  10. Layer the cooled cakes on top of one another, with the darkest sponge at the bottom. Use a heaped spoonful of the separated buttercream to frost between each layer. Then, use any remaining buttercream from the amount separated to cover the entire cake. This will form the crumb coat. Put the cake in the fridge for half an hour to allow the crumb coat to harden.
  11. Take the remaining ⅔ of the buttercream and divide it into four bowls. Using the green food coloring, add a little to each of the bowls in increasing amounts to give each potion a different shade of green. You should end up with 4 subtly different shades of green buttercream, going from light green to a deeper, stronger tone.
  12. Using a piping bag, start at the top of the cake and pipe the buttercream that's the lightest shade of green onto the top of the cake and ¼ of the way down the side of the cake (covering the top layer). Then, switch to the second shade of green and pipe around the cake until you reach the middle of the cake. Use the third shade to pipe down to the bottom ¼ of the cake, then finish off the cake by piping the darkest shade of green to the very bottom.
  13. Using a palette knife, gently go around the cake to smooth out the buttercream. This will cause the colors to blend nicely and create the ombre coloring.
  14. Finish the cake with some fun sprinkles before serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 891
Total Fat 48.7 g
Saturated Fat 30.0 g
Trans Fat 1.9 g
Cholesterol 215.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 109.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 87.2 g
Sodium 207.4 mg
Protein 6.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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