I set out on a mission: to create a totally impressive July 4th dessert without having to purchase any special tools or equipment. This red, white, and blue ombre petal cake is where we ended up. To achieve deeper colors use gel paste. The store bought food coloring will give you want I have been calling “Nantucket” red, white and blue–I still think it’s pretty!
All you need is cake and icing ingredients, standard round cake pans, some ziptop baggies, and a little time. Yes, while this cake is easy on the eyes, it does take some effort. Set aside at least one hour to decorate it — just think of it as art therapy.
STEP 1: Gather your equipment
• 5 (1-gallon) ziptop bags
• 1 dinner fork
• Rubber spatula
• Scotch tape
• 2 boxes white cake mix (plus, water, egg or oil as the mix directs)
• 6 containers white frosting (important that it is white and not vanilla or your colors will be off)
• Red and blue food coloring
• Large offset spatula, optional for crumb layer
STEP 2: Bake cakes
Follow directions on cake mix box for mixing. Divide batter evenly between three 9-inch cake rounds and bake according to manufacturer’s directions. Let cakes cool completely.
STEP 3: Color frosting
Divide frosting into five separate bowls, one container per bowl. Mix food coloring as follows leaving one bowl white. Be sure to mix thoroughly.
• Pink: 6 drops of red
• Red: 60 drops of red
• Light Blue: 8 drops of blue
• Blue: 50 drops of blue
STEP 4: Make piping bags
Snip approximately 1/8 inch off the end of a ziptop bag. Place tape on the corner of the bag so that the edges of the tape and corner of the bag are parallel. Turn bag over and repeat on the other side so that the entire edge of the bag is covered with tape. This will help keep the tip in tact. Add one color of frosting to each bag, squeeze out all the air, and push frosting down to the tip.
STEP 5: Stack cakes and add a crumb layer of frosting
Cover your workstation in foil to make for an easy cleanup. Place one cake round on a cake stand or serving platter. Frost the top of the cake using the sixth frosting container then, top with the second cake and repeat with the last cake. Frost a thin layer over all three of the cakes.
STEP 6: Get piping!
Starting at the bottom of your layer cake, pipe one dollop of blue frosting. Place the end of a fork in the middle of the dollop and swipe. Pipe another dollop in the center of the swipe and swipe again. Repeat all the way around the cake. Continue with a row of light blue, then two rows of white, light pink, and finish with red. Continue onto the top of the cake with a color pattern of your liking. We eliminated the swipe on top of ours and stuck with the dollop.
STEP 7: Garnish
Print out an image of an American flag (or something patriotic). Tape to a toothpick and insert into cake.