thirty before i am thirty: {ombre 4th of july cake}

number twenty-nine: bake a cake.

it is hard to believe but i made it to 28 without ever baking a cake. seriously. it is something that i have always wanted to do, but i just never found the time. when i was flipping through my new InStyle mag last month & saw a nine layer ombre cake in blue & red, i knew i had to make this cake! #gobigorgohome ideally i would have wanted to make the cake & frosting from scratch, but let’s be honest, the ombre colors & nine layers more than made up for that!

we were attending a fourth of july party at our friend jerry’s house which was lucky since this cake turned out enormous. seriously. it was 9 inches wide & eleven inches tall. such a beaut! i knew this would be a lot to take on being my first cake and everything, but it was fun & i had such a great support system thanks to aaron & local friends cheering me on!


{ingredient prep. see the full list & recipe below.}



{dying three sets of cakes.}


{baking, frosting, & stacking.}

{two other things: my sister taught me a trick years ago to use pieces of parchment paper underneath the first cake layer to keep the plate or cake stand clean – at the end you carefully pull the papers out. also, i didn’t cut any of the layers flat before stacking since they were all thin; as i built up the layers there was some curve on the tops of the top layers & i used a little extra frosting as glue.}


{that is my “hey i made a cake & i am super excited” face. & that is our wonderful friend jerry behind me – thanks for hosting a fab party jerry!}

ombre cake – recipe from InStyle magazine July 2013

makes one 9-inch cake {stands 11 inches tall}


  • 3 boxes white cake mix
  • 6 egg whites
  • 4 1/2 cups Sprite
  • Blue gel food coloring {i used Americolor gel pastes from Amazon – royal blue}
  • Red gel food coloring {i used Americolor gel pastes from Amazon – super red}
  • 5 12 oz. tubs of whipped vanilla frosting
  • cooking spray/butter
  • parchment paper
  • 3 9-inch cake pans

one. preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

two. mix one box of cake mix with 2 egg whites and 1 1/2 cups Sprite; divide evenly among 3 bowls.

three. create three shares of blue: add 2 drops of coloring to one bowl, four to the second, and 8 to the third.

four. coat three 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray {i rubbed butter on the edges of the pan instead}; line bottoms with parchment paper cut to size. pour each batter into its own pan.

five. bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. let layers cool; remove from pans. if needed, use a serrated knife to trim tops so they are level.

six. place darkest blue layer on a plate {or cake stand!}; cover with a thin layer of frosting. repeat with remaining layers, from darkest to lightest. chill cake in fridge. {definitely put the cake in the fridge every three layers, this helps tremendously with the cake stability!}

seven. repeat step two.

eight. add one drop of blue coloring to one bowl and one drop of red to another. do not tint the last bowl.

nine. repeat steps four and five.

ten. keep building cake with blue, then white, then red layers, frosting after each. chill cake in fridge.

eleven. repeat steps two to fie using red coloring instead of blue.

twelve. keep building cake with red layers, going from lightest to darkest, frosting after each

thirteen. coat outside of cake with thin layer of frosting. chill for 15 minutes.

fourteen. use remaining frosting to generously coat outside of cake. chill for at least one hour before cutting.

have you baked anything recently? anything ombre or layered?


4 thoughts on “thirty before i am thirty: {ombre 4th of july cake}

  1. Do you add the other ingredients the cake mix like eggs, butter, milk in addition to the egg whites and Sprite or do the egg white and Sprite replace these ingredients?

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