green ombre cake

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Disclosure: This is a paid post sponsored by McCormick. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Back in 2010 I made a green ombre cake (although I called it a graduated layer cake because I didnt know the word ombre existed and it was before the trend started).  I have always felt like that cake is ugly.  Seriously ugly.

Green Ombre Layer Cake

Wouldn’t you know, it’s one of my post popular posts to this day.  So today I am offering up a new and improved model.  Same general idea, but slightly better photography.

I also switched things up and used McCormick Green Food Coloring.  A 1 ounce bottle was the perfect amount for this cake.

How to Make a Green Ombre Layer Cake!


I made one white cake recipe (you can certainly use a box mix here!) and divided it into six bowls.

The first bowl I left plain, the second I used 2-3 drops, the third was 4-5 drops, the fourth was 1/4 teaspoon, the fifth was 1/2 teaspoon, and the sixth was about 1 teaspoon. (I just poured out the rest of the bottle.)  However, McCormick has this amazing Green Tinting Guide that is the perfect way to know exactly what colors you are making!

McCormick Green Tinting Guide

I love this great chart!  You really can’t go wrong when it’s laid out so simply and beautifully.

How to Make a Green Ombre Layer Cake!


It should look roughly like this after you have added food coloring and thoroughly mixed the coloring into the cake batter.

I then poured the batter into prepared 6-inch round cake pans.  I only have three, so I baked the cakes three at a time for about 18 minutes at 350 degrees.  Be sure to start checking your cakes at 15 minutes and remove when an inserted toothpick is removed clean.

How to Make a Green Ombre Layer Cake!


After the cakes have cooked and cooled, I stack them on my cake stand.  Start with the darkest layer, and cover it in about 1/4 cup of white frosting. (This buttercream recipe works well because it is so white)

Place the next darkest layer on top and add more frosting.  Repeat until you have stacked every layer and be sure to end with the white layer on top.

Cover the cake in a crumb coat of buttercream, chill for about 30 minutes in fridge, and then cover in a final smooth coat of buttercream.

Green Ombre Layer Cake covered in Green Sprinkles


For the outside decoration I pressed three different color green sprinkles into the upper edge of the cake.  I tried to get the darkest color at the very edge, then the medium green in the middle, then a lightest green trickling down a bit.

A nod to the ombre interior.

Green Ombre Layer Cake covered in Green Sprinkles

Do you ever want to get really clean cuts when presenting a cake?  Here is my trick.

VERY chilled cake.  VERY hot knife.

I will freeze my cake for at least 2 hours before serving.  I will then place a very sharp knife into a glass of boiling water.  Remove the knife, wipe dry and make your first cut, then dip back into the boiling water to clean and re-heat.

Green Ombre Layer Cake covered in Green Sprinkles

When the cake is kept chilled it also decreases the chances of color bleeding.

Don’t you love fun tips that make our lives easier???

Green Ombre Layer Cake

McCormick also has a great recipe for a Green Ombre Cake that is three layers.  They take it a step further and add extra vanilla for a punch of flavor.  Love that!

This cake is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.  Wouldn’t it be fun covered in rainbow sprinkles??  And maybe you can add vodka to the frosting?  Like that new Cake flavored vodka?  HOW AMAZING WOULD THAT BE?!?

Sorry.  I will stop yelling now.  I dont’ know what it is about St. Patrick’s Day that makes me want to consume massive amounts of colorful sweets and booze! 😉






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  1. Lenita says

    This is a stunning cake. I made a red one for Christmas but my “frosting” was actually whipped cream. It was totally white on the outside & every one was surprised to see the graduated colors. I am going to save this blog for this cake though because it’s so gorgeous!

  2. kaye says

    Beautiful gorgeous cake !! Looks delish too!

    One question though.. you mentioned you freeze the cake for 2 hours prior to serving? Do you put it in the freezer with the ice cream etc?? Or just the normal fridge to chill it for 2 hours?

    Thank you!

  3. Stephanie says

    I love this cake, I just wish there was a cake pan out there for this type of baking we could put in the oven at once! I think I going to try the mini shamrock cake you made for our St.Pat?

  4. Lois says

    I LOVE this cake. How do you do get the beautiful sprinkles to stick on the sides without them spilling all over everything?
    You are such an inspiration. I am putting your book on my wish list and hoping someone will buy it for me Mother’s Day!

    • says

      Hi Lois! I hope someone not only buys you the book, but makes you a cake! I was pretty careful when adding the sprinkles… they can get away from ya pretty fast right? :)

  5. Kari Christiansen says

    I always admire how perfectly sliced your cakes appear in the photos you post. What type of knife do you use specifically? Maybe you could post a photo? Thank you….

  6. Sarah says

    Hi! I absolutely love this cake! I was wondering if you think that this particular color scheme would work with a yellow cake? If not, is there another ombré color scheme that you think would work better with a yellow cake? Thanks!

  7. says

    I must appreciate the effort of making such a nice creative cake. Being a cake designer I know how much effort does this need to execute. I also have some good creations like this.

  8. Zsoka says

    Hi Amanda, we dont have box cakes here…do you have a scratch white cake recipe that you tried and works well (and looks this good!). I tried a white cake recipe once but it wasn’t white and the crust was all discolored – any tips that would prevent this from happening? Thanks!


  1. […] And an ombre cake needn’t be only for big occasions; it’s something you can replicate with time and maybe a little practice. Amanda Rettke, author of Surprise-Inside Cakes, has a wonderful how-to on her blog. […]