Rhiannon, our wonderful barista at Cafe Werks in Brighton has been extremely busy during this lock down. With her own cake & brownie business, she made us a step-by-step guide to making the perfect pink ruffle cake!
Below is a step by step guide on how to achieve this pink ruffle cake! To begin all you need is to pick your favourite cake recipe and bake 3 layers of sponge. I baked a 6″ chocolate cake but you can bake whatever flavour and size you fancy! Allow your cake layers to cool and make the buttercream – again use your favourite buttercream recipe/flavour and the appropriate amount to cover whatever size you have chosen to make. The last thing you will need to do to prepare is level your cakes. You can do this with a cake leveller or if you don’t have one then any sharp knife will do the job, simply trim the rounded top off the cake so that you have a flat top to work with.
Top Tip! – To achieve smooth buttercream soften your butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds before beating it for at least 5 minutes to get it as white and smooth as possible.
Use your pallet knife ( if you don’t own a pallet knife you can use a cutlery knife instead) to put a small amount of buttercream onto your cake board or plate and place your first layer of cake on the board/plate. This will prevent your cake from sliding around! Then add a generous amount of buttercream on top of the first layer and evenly spread it out using your palette/cutlery knife. Place the next layer of cake on top and repeat this step.
Next you need to apply a ‘crumb coat’. A crumb coat is key to any cake as its job is to lock in all the crumbs from your sponge so that when you come to adding the final coat of buttercream you won’t see any little crumbs showing through.
To achieve your crumb coat, all you need to do is add a thin layer of buttercream on top of your cake and all around the sides, then smooth it out. This doesn’t need to be perfect as you won’t see this once you have finished your cake! To smooth out your buttercream on top you can use your palette/cutlery knife and for the sides I used a ‘cake smoother’. If you don’t own one of these you can try and achieve it with your knife – remember it doesn’t need to be perfect.
Now put your cake in a fridge for 15-20 minutes so the crumb coat can set and do it’s job!
Once your crumb coat has set, take it out of the fridge. Now for the fun part! Add a small amount of buttercream into a separate bowl and add a little amount of food colouring. I have chosen pink and am using Wilton gel paste but any food colouring will do and you can buy them from most supermarkets.
Add a decent amount of your coloured buttercream on top of your cake and allow it to go onto the sides of the cake. Cover roughly one third of the cake using your palette/cutlery knife, applying the buttercream to the sides of the cake. Add more buttercream into your bowl and this time add a little bit more food colouring to make it a bit darker. Repeat as before and cover one third of the cake (the middle section) with this colour starting from where the first colour ends.
Lastly add some more buttercream to your bowl and add even more food colouring so that this time the colour will be the darkest shade. Using your palette/cutlery knife, add this to the last one third of your cake.
Next, you need to roughly smooth out the three different colours and this will create the ‘ombre’ effect. I achieved this using a ‘cake smoother’. If you don’t own one of these then you can do this with a palette/cutlery knife. This only needs to be done roughly, so don’t worry about getting it too smooth.
Now to create the ‘ruffle’ effect. This is achieved by taking your palette/cutlery knife and holding it at the very bottom of the cake horizontally and applying a small amount of pressure as you hold it and turn the cake. As you turn the cake, slowly move your palette knife up the cake all the way to the top creating the ‘ruffle’ effect. You can also create a swirl on the top of your cake by using the same technique, working your way from the edge of the cake into the centre.
Now for the finishing touches. Using a piping bag, or a sandwich bag if you have no piping bags, cut across the bottom corner to create a small hole. I used a nozzle to pipe on top of my cake but you don’t have to. If you do not have any nozzles, you can create blob/meringue kisses shape from where you have cut the corner.
Open your sandwich or piping bag and fill it up with the remaining buttercream. I mixed both white and pink buttercream to create a two tone effect. I decided to pipe small rosettes around the edge to create a border both on the top and on the bottom of the cake. Lastly I added sprinkles and a little bit of edible glitter for that finishing touch!
Thanks to Rhiannon for creating this great step-by-step guide for us. Be sure to check out her Postal Brownie Business website & Instagram as well as her celebration cake businesses website & Instagram.
If you recreate this cake, please tag us on Instagram @werksgroup, we would love to see your creations!