Green Ombre Cake

filed under: Surprise Inside Cakes on March 12, 2014

Back in 2010, I made a green ombre cake (although I called it a graduated layer cake because I didn’t know the word ‘ombre’ existed and it was before the trend started). I happen to think this version is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or for anyone who loves the color green!

Ombre Cake

Ombre 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.  The same general idea, but slightly better photography.

I also switched things up and used McCormick Green Food Coloring.

Ombre Layer Cake

How to Make a Green Ombre 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 an Ombre 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°F.  Be sure to start checking your cakes at 15 minutes and remove when an inserted toothpick is removed mostly clean.

Naked Ombre 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 the fridge, and then cover in a final smooth coat of buttercream.

Ombre Cake with 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.

Ombre Cake Recipe


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 Cake

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

This cake is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.  Wouldn’t it be fun covered in rainbow sprinkles??

It was an absolute delight to create this Green Ombre Cake with McCormick. Thank you so, so much for supporting the brands that support this blog. I only work with the best, and am thankful that McCormick is willing to partner with me! <3


Green Ombre Cake!

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  • 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!

    • Amanda says:

      Sounds lovely Lenita!

  • 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!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Kaye… yes, I put it right into the freezer. Your cake will not become frozen in 2 hours. It will just be very chilled. 🙂

  • 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?

    • Amanda says:

      Wouldnt that be neat?!? 🙂

      • Christine says:

        Wilton now makes a 5 layer 6 inch cake pan set. Sold through Sur La Table for $16. You use one cake mix for the whole cake.

    • Bev Glaspey says:

      Tupperware has a stacked cooker that does three layers at a time in microwave!

  • 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!

    • Amanda 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? 🙂

  • 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….

  • 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!

  • Deborah Feltham 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.

  • Kate Omega says:

    So pretty! Thanks for the link to that colour guide.

  • 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!

  • maria says:

    Freeze cake in the freezer or the fridge before using the hot knife

  • Eden Passante says:

    Wow! This is so beautiful! Love this!

  • Pamela StJohn says:

    Wow….I’m definitely going to try this..looks fun!

  • Patrice says:

    Hey Amanda — is this your “perfect white cake” recipe? I’m having a hard time finding a great white cake recipe that doesn’t form too much of a crust — since I’m using it for an naked ombré cake. Would you mind sharing the recipe you used for this cake? I love the perfect colors of the layers — no crust!! 🙂

  • Holly says:

    If I were to used boxed cake mix (I’m pretty lazy), how many boxes do you think I would need to use to make this cake? Thanks!

    • Eve says:

      In the directions it says this:

      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!

  • Cathy says:

    Take note, they are 6 inch layers!! I ran to the store in the middle of mixing and could not find them, If making regular 9 inch layers you are going to need a lot more cake mix.

  • Florence says:

    I would like to know what brand and colors you used for the sprinkles ?

  • Nadine Holder says:

    Thumb good very surprise happy beautiful pretty says to yes new cookbooks Nadine same smile me OK.

  • Emily says:

    A question about freezing/cutting: do you freeze it, cut it, put it on plates and thaw to have the plates ready for people to eat later? We are having people over for dinner, so I am wondering about the logistics of when to freeze, cut, etc to avoid a frozen cake. Serving on plates ahead of time seems funny though.
    Looks delicious and beautiful though!

  • Kim says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful idea. It was perfect for the Baby Shower /SPD party we are having tomorrow!!

  • Deborah says:

    Need a desert recipes for St Patrick’s day green and white

  • judy Beatrice ayson says:

    Your cake looks awesome! I might try to make it for St.Patricks day.Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Pam says:

    Beautiful looking cake. I love all the colors. Thanks again for a yummy recipe ❤️❤️

  • Jenny says:

    Would also be great for Valentine’s Day pink to red!

  • Skeezix says:

    While I would probably never go to the trouble of making this cake, I have to say that it would make a beautiful, showy dessert for any occasion.