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Pretty Ombre Cupcakes: Cupcake Monday

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Ombre Cupcakes from Somewhere Splendid via the Tomkat Studio.

Happy Monday, everyone! There’s probably no better way to start my posts at TomKat than with a Cupcake Monday, especially if I kick it off with a cupcake recipe I created for Somewhere Splendid! For my husband’s birthday last year, I wanted to do something extra special because it was his first year celebrating as a father. I created these very pretty ombre vanilla cupcakes especially for him, and they turned out beautifully. They can be replicated with any white cake recipe, but definitely do a test run before using these for a party, particularly with out of the box cake mixes. A lot of “white” cake mixes still have quite a bit of yellow to them. Even this recipe adds a yellow cast to your final color, so you’ll want to compensate accordingly. In the case of these cupcakes, I wanted a Tiffany aqua blue, so I used a food color that was cooler than I wanted (a sky blue shade). If I had used a Tiffany blue, it would have become too green.

On to the recipe! Have a great week, everyone! – xo, Maddy


  • 2¾ cups cake flour
  • 1⅔ cups sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) softened unsalted butter, cut into ½ sticks
  • 4 large egg whites, plus 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • food coloring

FROSTING, adapted from Sweetapolita’s Whipped Vanilla Frosting

  • 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) softened unsalted butter
  • 3½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Add the dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine on a slow speed until well blended.

Add the softened butter, one half stick at a time, allowing the butter to combine before adding the next. With the mixer set at slow, add one egg white at a time, followed by the whole egg, scraping down the sides and ensuring each egg white is completely incorporated before the next addition.

In a small separate bowl, whisk to combine the milk and vanilla extract. Add the milk and vanilla mixture to bowl of the mixer in small portions, allowing the mixer to combine the liquid completely before continuing. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, and continue to beat for an additional minute or two until the batter is fluffy.

Divide the batter into three equal, smaller batches. Add food coloring as desired, blending well between each drop, until you have three separate color tones (my batches used 4, 7, and 11 drops of food coloring). Spoon a small amount of your darkest batter into each liner, repeating with the middle and then lightest batter until each cupcake liner is filled ⅔ of the way up.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Bake for 16 – 18 minutes, or until a toothpick just comes out clean, so as not to overbake. Set aside to cool.

Whip softened butter in the bowl of your stand mixer on medium speed until it is light and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients, then mix on low speed for one minute and medium for six minutes until the frosting is creamy and fluffy.

Yields approximately 24 cupcakes.

April 8, 2013

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  1. Tina Dahl says:

    These are SO pretty! Yesterday was my daughter’s mermaid party and the inside layers of her birthday cake were aqua blue ombre…love the look!!

  2. Lucy says:

    These look wonderful!

  3. Linda says:

    These are SO pretty. And the blue shades makes them even prettier. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Michele P says:

    love those cupcakes they look delicious… blue is my fave color and love how they turned out.

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