Ombré strawberry and white chocolate layer cake

Based on 1 ratings

Tracey

Community Member

Difficulty

Hard 💪
120
min.
Preparation
125
min.
Baking
180
min.
Resting

Ingredients

Servings:-24+
-STRAWBERRY REDUCTION INGREDIENTS-
680 g strawberries (frozen)
¾ tsp lemon zest
¾ tbsp lemon juice
1 pinch salt
85 g sugar
-WHITE CHOCOLATE MUD CAKE INGREDIENTS-
180 g white chocolate
350 g unsalted butter (diced)
590 g caster sugar
375 ml milk
300 g flour
100 g self-raising flour
eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp purple gel food coloring (optional)
½ tsp pink gel food coloring
-STRAWBERRY CAKE INGREDIENTS-
170 g whole milk (room temperature)
113 g strawberry reduction (room temperature)
1½ tsp strawberry emulsion
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp lemon extract
lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp pink food coloring
397 g all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
226 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
284 g caster sugar
170 g egg whites (room temperature)
½ tsp red food coloring
-BUTTERCREAM INGREDIENTS-
128 g white chocolate
113 g pasteurised egg whites (room temperature)
454 g confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 dash lemon extract
454 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
¼ tsp salt
43 g strawberry reduction (room temperature)
-WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE INGREDIENTS-
150 g cream
450 g white chocolate
strawberry reduction

Utensils

  • 3 saucepans
  • immersion blender (optional)
  • wooden spoon
  • airtight container (large)
  • 2 ovens
  • 4 cake rings (8 in.)
  • 2 parchment paper
  • saucepan (large)
  • 5 bowls
  • sieve
  • 3 whisks
  • 4 plastic wrap
  • jug
  • 2 heatproof bowls
  • 2 stand mixers with whisks
  • knife
  • 2 rubber spatulas
  • serrated knife
  • cake board
  • cake turntable
  • offset spatula
  • offset spatula (small)
  • icing scraper
  • Step 1/42

    • 680 g strawberries (frozen)
    • saucepan
    • immersion blender (optional)

    It is recommended to make the strawberry reduction two days before frosting. (The reduction is used for strawberry cake and strawberry buttercream.) For the strawberry reduction, place fresh or thawed, frozen strawberries into a medium saucepan. Optional: roughly blend strawberries with an emersion blender beforehand, if you prefer a smoother texture of strawberry reduction.

  • Step 2/42

    Heat on medium-high and add in sugar (if desired), lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
    • ¾ tsp lemon zest
    • ¾ tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 85 g sugar
    • wooden spoon

    Heat on medium-high and add in sugar (if desired), lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

  • Step 3/42

    Once bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low and slowly reduce until berries begin to break up, and the mixture has reduced by half. This will take about 20 minutes. Occasionally stir the mixture to prevent burning. If your mixture has reduced by half and is still watery, continue to cook until all of the liquid is out.

  • Step 4/42

    • airtight container (large)

    You should end up with about 1.5 cups of thick strawberry reduction that has a consistency similar to tomato sauce. Transfer to another container and let cool before use. You will use some of the reduction for the cake batter, some for the frosting and the rest for filling between the cake layers for extra moisture. Leftover reduction can be stored in the fridge for up to one week or frozen for 6 months.

  • Step 5/42

    On the next day, in preparation for the strawberry cake, take your strawberry reduction out of the refrigerator 1 hour before making the cake, so that it comes to room temperature. Take out the butter, milk and egg whites so that they come to room temperature.

  • Step 6/42

    • oven
    • 2 cake rings (8 in.)
    • parchment paper

    Meanwhile for the white chocolate mud cakes, preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) standard / 160°C (320°F) fan-forced. Grease and line two 8-inch round cake tins with baking or parchment paper.

  • Step 7/42

    Combine white chocolate, butter, sugar and milk in a large saucepan; stir over low heat for 5 minutes or until smooth. Pour mixture into a large bowl; cool for 15 minutes.
    • 180 g white chocolate
    • 350 g unsalted butter (diced)
    • 590 g caster sugar
    • 375 ml milk
    • saucepan (large)

    Combine white chocolate, butter, sugar and milk in a large saucepan; stir over low heat for 5 minutes or until smooth. Pour mixture into a large bowl; cool for 15 minutes.

  • Step 8/42

    Sift flours together into a separate bowl. Whisk sifted flours, extract, eggs and purple food coloring into the white chocolate mixture. (The purple food coloring will help to offset the yellow color in the batter.)
    • 300 g flour
    • 100 g self-raising flour
    • eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • ¼ tsp purple gel food coloring (optional)
    • 3 bowls
    • sieve
    • whisk
    • 2 plastic wrap

    Sift flours together into a separate bowl. Whisk sifted flours, extract, eggs and purple food coloring into the white chocolate mixture. (The purple food coloring will help to offset the yellow color in the batter.)

  • Step 9/42

    Divide the cake batter evenly between two bowls. Tint one bowl with pink food coloring and mix until colored.
    • ½ tsp pink gel food coloring

    Divide the cake batter evenly between two bowls. Tint one bowl with pink food coloring and mix until colored.

  • Step 10/42

    Pour batter from the two bowls into each of the two cake tins, and bake in the oven for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

    Pour batter from the two bowls into each of the two cake tins, and bake in the oven for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  • Step 11/42

    • plastic wrap

    Place pans on top of a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Then flip your cakes onto the racks and cool completely. Once cooled, wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate, for assembly on the next day.

  • Step 12/42

    • oven
    • 2 cake rings (8 in.)
    • parchment paper

    Meanwhile, for the strawberry cake, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350ºF/180ºC. Grease and line two 8" (20cm) cake pans.

  • Step 13/42

    In a separate jug or medium bowl, whisk together the milk, strawberry reduction, strawberry emulsion, vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pink food coloring.
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 170 g whole milk (room temperature)
    • 113 g strawberry reduction (room temperature)
    • 1½ tsp strawberry emulsion
    • ½ tsp lemon extract
    • lemon zest
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • ½ tsp pink food coloring
    • jug
    • whisk

    In a separate jug or medium bowl, whisk together the milk, strawberry reduction, strawberry emulsion, vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pink food coloring.

  • Step 14/42

    In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
    • 1½ tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 397 g all-purpose flour
    • whisk

    In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

  • Step 15/42

    • 226 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
    • 284 g caster sugar

    Add room temperature butter to your stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until smooth and shiny, about 30 seconds.

  • Step 16/42

    Gradually sprinkle in the sugar, beat until mixture is fluffy and almost white, about 3-5 minutes.

  • Step 17/42

    • 170 g egg whites (room temperature)

    Add the room temperature egg whites one at a time, beating 15 seconds in between. Your mixture should look cohesive at this point. If it looks curdled and broken, your butter or egg whites were too cold.

  • Step 18/42

    Mix on low speed and add about a third of the flour mixture to the batter, followed immediately by about a third of the milk mixture, and mix until ingredients are almost incorporated into the batter.

    Mix on low speed and add about a third of the flour mixture to the batter, followed immediately by about a third of the milk mixture, and mix until ingredients are almost incorporated into the batter.

  • Step 19/42

    Repeat the process 2 more times with the remaining flour mixture and milk mixture. When the batter appears blended, stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. If it looks like ice cream, you did it right!

    Repeat the process 2 more times with the remaining flour mixture and milk mixture. When the batter appears blended, stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. If it looks like ice cream, you did it right!

  • Step 20/42

    Divide the batter evenly between two bowls. Tint one with red food coloring and mix until colored.
    • ½ tsp red food coloring
    • 2 bowls

    Divide the batter evenly between two bowls. Tint one with red food coloring and mix until colored.

  • Step 21/42

    Pour batter from each bowl into each of the prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

    Pour batter from each bowl into each of the prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

  • Step 22/42

    Bake cakes at 350ºF/180ºC until they feel firm in the center and a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs on it, about 30-35 minutes.

  • Step 23/42

    Place pans on top of a wire rack; let cool for 10 minutes. Then flip your cakes onto racks and cool completely. Once cooled, wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate before assembling your cake the next day.
    • plastic wrap

    Place pans on top of a wire rack; let cool for 10 minutes. Then flip your cakes onto racks and cool completely. Once cooled, wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate before assembling your cake the next day.

  • Step 24/42

    You can leave the cakes to chill for a day before assembling and frosting. To make the white chocolate buttercream, melt white chocolate. Make sure it’s completely smooth! (I used a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, but you can melt it in the microwave too.)
    • 128 g white chocolate
    • heatproof bowl
    • saucepan

    You can leave the cakes to chill for a day before assembling and frosting. To make the white chocolate buttercream, melt white chocolate. Make sure it’s completely smooth! (I used a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, but you can melt it in the microwave too.)

  • Step 25/42

    Place room-temperature pasteurised egg whites and powdered sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Attach the whisk and combine ingredients on low, then whip on high for 5 minutes.
    • 113 g pasteurised egg whites (room temperature)
    • 454 g confectioner’s sugar
    • stand mixer with whisk

    Place room-temperature pasteurised egg whites and powdered sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Attach the whisk and combine ingredients on low, then whip on high for 5 minutes.

  • Step 26/42

    • 454 g unsalted butter (room temperature)

    Add in your softened butter in chunks and whip on high for 8-10 minutes until it's very white, light and shiny. It may look curdled and yellow at first, this is normal. Keep whipping.

  • Step 27/42

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 dash lemon extract
    • ¼ tsp salt

    Add vanilla extract, lemon extract and salt, and continue whipping until incorporated. Take about 1/4 of the buttercream and reserve in another bowl.

  • Step 28/42

    Add melted white chocolate to main buttercream mixture, careful not to touch sides of bowl. You can make a well in the center of the bowl & pour the chocolate into it.

  • Step 29/42

    Start whisk on slow & quickly increase to medium-high. Do not let the white chocolate touch the sides of the bowl, sit for any length of time, or not get mixed in immediately or it will cool into lumps throughout the icing. Scrape it down several times until fully mixed in. Whisk on medium-high for a few minutes, until light, fluffy & white.

  • Step 30/42

    Optional: Switch to a paddle attachment and mix on low for 15-20 minutes to make the buttercream very smooth and remove air bubbles.

    Optional: Switch to a paddle attachment and mix on low for 15-20 minutes to make the buttercream very smooth and remove air bubbles.

  • Step 31/42

    For the strawberry buttercream, add the strawberry reduction to the bowl with the reserved buttercream. Continue whipping until incorporated.
    • 43 g strawberry reduction (room temperature)
    • stand mixer with whisk

    For the strawberry buttercream, add the strawberry reduction to the bowl with the reserved buttercream. Continue whipping until incorporated.

  • Step 32/42

    • 150 g cream
    • 450 g white chocolate
    • saucepan
    • knife
    • heatproof bowl

    To make the white chocolate ganache, finely chop 450g white chocolate and place in a bowl. Bring the cream to the boil in a medium saucepan; remove from the heat.

  • Step 33/42

    • rubber spatula

    Add to the white chocolate, and stir until smooth. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until thick and spreadable.

  • Step 34/42

    • serrated knife
    • cake board
    • cake turntable

    To assemble, use a bread knife to trim dome and edges off cakes. Place a cake board onto a cake turntable. Spread a small amount of strawberry buttercream on cake board.

  • Step 35/42

    Place red strawberry cake on top. Top with a thin layer of strawberry reduction. Then using an offset spatula, top with strawberry buttercream. Repeat with second strawberry cake.
    • strawberry reduction
    • offset spatula

    Place red strawberry cake on top. Top with a thin layer of strawberry reduction. Then using an offset spatula, top with strawberry buttercream. Repeat with second strawberry cake.

  • Step 36/42

    Then place pink white chocolate mud cake on top, and add a layer of white chocolate ganache. Top with the final white chocolate mud cake.

  • Step 37/42

    Coat cake with crumb coat of white chocolate buttercream. Place in fridge for 15 mins.

  • Step 38/42

    • rubber spatula

    Optional: to make an ombré buttercream effect, set up four bowls in a row. Divide the white chocolate buttercream evenly into the first and fourth bowls. Tint the fourth bowl with some pink food coloring, and mix until smooth.

  • Step 39/42

    Put a medium-sized blob of the pink buttercream and a smaller blob of the white buttercream in the third bowl. Then put a medium-sized blob of the white buttercream and a smaller blob of the pink buttercream in the third bowl.

  • Step 40/42

    Mix the buttercream in each of the bowls until smooth.

  • Step 41/42

    • offset spatula (small)

    Using a small offset spatula, roughly spread the pinkest buttercream around the sides of the lowest layer of your cake. Then smooth out. Repeat with the other colours of buttercream for the other layers, slightly smudging the edges of the layers.

  • Step 42/42

    Use an icing scraper or bench scraper to smooth edges, wiping clean in between each use. Decorate as desired. (Here is a picture from the second time I’ve made the cake.)
    • icing scraper

    Use an icing scraper or bench scraper to smooth edges, wiping clean in between each use. Decorate as desired. (Here is a picture from the second time I’ve made the cake.)

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