All Natural Ombre Cake

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Edited 8/31/12: See a video tutorial on how to frost a rose ombre cake here.

It was such fun to read all the Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge posts. There were recipes for chocolate chip cookies with bacon to s’mores chocolate chip cookies and everything in between. Honestly, I thought there would be more classic chocolate chip cookie recipes but it’s actually more fun to read about all the interesting variations of the original. I’m pretty satisfied with my perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe anyway, so I’m excited to have some more innovative cookie recipes to try. (P.S. If you haven’t added your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe yet, you still have time to add yours!)

While all the cookie craziness was going on, I quietly slipped away for an amazing adventure in Australia. I hope you didn’t miss my absence – I carefully scheduled guest posts and even updates to Facebook and Twitter so things would continue business as usual. I can’t wait to tell you all about my trip, including photos of the world’s cutest koalas. But I came home to a house full of boxes (we moved 4 days before leaving the country), so things have been a bit busy. I will tell you all about it soon, I promise!

I have had a little time to break in my new oven (which, by the way, is in the biggest kitchen I’ve ever had! I will have to share photos or video soon). My birthday lands right in between my sister’s and sister-in-law’s birthdays, which are spread across mid-August to early September, so we usually celebrate together. I made a cake for the family picnic we had, but I didn’t want it to be just any plain ol’ cake. I thought making an ombre cake would add a special touch.

The ombre trend has been going strong all summer. From hair and nail color to cakes and even wall color, I’ve seen it all over Pinterest. What the heck is ombre? Ombré is a French word that means “having colors or tones that shade into each other — used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark.” (Source: Merriam-Webster)

On a cake, color fading from dark to light is so pretty. Combine that with the rose frosting technique and you get a truly breathtaking cake. This one is a show stopper, and it isn’t that hard to make! I promise a video tutorial very soon, hopefully next week. I’ve been meaning to incorporate video into 52 Kitchen Adventures for a while and this is the perfect opportunity to dive into it.

What’s exciting about this particular ombre frosting is that there is no food coloring in it. How did I make that lovely pink color? Brace yourself, this is going to sound pretty gross…

It’s beet juice!

(Props to Becci Sundberg for being the first to guess the secret ingredient on my Facebook post.)

You can’t even taste the beets, I swear. I didn’t tell my family what was in it until after they all took a bite and no one had an inkling that it wasn’t food coloring. So now you know how to turn frosting pink without any artificial ingredients! I didn’t have much luck dying the cake with beet juice but I’m going to try a different cake recipe and see what happens. I’d love to make an ombre cake inside and out without using food coloring.

All Natural Pink Frosting



  1. Prepare vanilla buttercream frosting (or other white frosting). Open the canned beets and pour the juice into a glass. Add a tablespoon of beet juice to the prepared frosting and stir until thoroughly combined. Continue to add, a tablespoon at time, until you reach the desired color. OR
  2. To create a ombre cake, divide prepared frosting into thirds and pour into 3 separate small bowls. In the first bowl, add 1 teaspoon of beet juice and stir to incorporate (add more if you want it darker). In the second bowl, add 1 tablespoon and stir to incorporate (add more if you want it darker). In the last bowl, add 2 tablespoons and stir to incorporate (add more if you want it darker).

27 Responses to “All Natural Ombre Cake”
  1. Allie writes:

    I wanted to share a site I found about making all natural food coloring – hope this helps.

  2. the wicked noodle writes:

    I am so impressed with this, Steph!! Absolutely stunning!!
    the wicked noodle recently posted Chicken, Potato & Summer Vegetable Pot Pie

  3. Stephanie writes:

    @Allie – thanks! I always appreciate good cooking tips.

  4. Stephanie writes:

    @the wicked noodle – thanks Krisy!

  5. Valerie writes:

    This cake is absolutely stunning! (I love that you used beet juice and kept the colors distinct, yet delicate!)

    Happy (Belated?) Birthday! :-)
    Valerie recently posted Ginger-Peach Popsicles

  6. Stephanie writes:

    @Valerie – thank you! My birthday is next week, so not belated yet :)

  7. Mama's Gotta Bake writes:

    Hi Stephanie, That’s a gorgeous cake, and I am very envious of people who have those frosting skills. I love the color because it’s so girlie! Great job.

  8. Stephanie writes:

    @Mama’s Gotta Bake – thank you! I actually don’t have fantastic frosting skills – this is much easier than it looks. Wait for the video tutorial, you’ll see!

  9. Jill writes:

    What a beautiful, beautiful cake! (And pictures!) I love that you used beet juice. Perfect!
    Jill recently posted Hanky Panky Cupcakes

  10. marla writes:

    Such a stunning cake and I love the use of beets for color!

  11. Stephanie writes:

    @Jill – thank you so much! I love how this cake looks too and the beets gave it just the right pink color.

  12. Stephanie writes:

    @maria – thanks! After making it, I want to experiment more with using natural food coloring. It was so easy, with a beautiful result and no weird added flavors!

  13. Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} writes:

    Wow, that is a gorgeous cake! You’ve obviously got some talent! When I first visited your site I was like OMG… COOKIES! Yeah! :)
    Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} recently posted Quick Pickles

  14. Laura Dembowski writes:

    It’s awesome you used beets to color the frosting! I love all natural ways to do really cool things that typically aren’t so natural.
    Laura Dembowski recently posted Salted Caramel Cupcakes

  15. Annie writes:

    this is one beautiful cake! How do you do the roses?

  16. Stephanie writes:

    @Rachael – you can’t go wrong with cookies and cake, right? :) Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Stephanie writes:

    @Laura – me too! I want to try more colors out now.

  18. Stephanie writes:

    @Annie – you use an open star tip (like Wilton’s 1m) and do a spiral. You can see a gif I made of frosting a cupcake with a rose here. I’m working on a video to show you guys how to make a cake. Aiming to post it next week, so subscribe to my site or check back soon!

  19. Rebecca writes:

    Love the roses, so pretty!
    Rebecca recently posted Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

  20. Stephanie writes:

    @Rebecca – thanks! They add a special touch without that much more extra effort :)

  21. Jen @ Savory SImple writes:

    I just love that you made this cake with beets instead of food coloring! It’s really gorgeous and I’m totally going to try frosting my next cake this way!
    Jen @ Savory SImple recently posted Grapefruit Curd Ice Cream

  22. Stephanie writes:

    @Jen – thanks! I can’t wait to see what you make!

  23. Amanda writes:

    How fun to see you use my Rose Cake technique in a natural way! When I first published my original Rose Cake in January of 2011 I had no idea people would embrace it like they have. I really like the all natural twist… makes eating all that frosting seem a little less indulgent!
    Amanda recently posted Triple Chocolate Sugar Cookies

  24. Rachel @ The Pescetarian and the Pig writes:

    Oh I love this cake! The “i am baker” blog is actually the very blog that inspired me to start a food blog of my own (although so far I’m pretty lacking in any form of confectionary decoration skills). Beet juice is a great natural dye, too, isn’t it? Plus they taste amaaaaazing!
    Rachel @ The Pescetarian and the Pig recently posted Breadless Margherita Pizza on a Portobello

  25. Jennifer writes:

    Hi! Thanks for the tutorial! I made this today with chocolate cake, and it was amazing and looked awesome. Thanks for inspiring me!
    Here’s my version if you ever need a dairy/egg-free version.

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