Ruffle Layer Cake

A while ago the very lovely Kaitlin from Kaitlin Chapman Hair and Makeup asked me to make a cake for her birthday yesterday, I was so honoured and incredibly flattered to have been asked, all she wanted was a vanilla cake that had pink in it. So I made her a pink ombre ruffled layer cake – she had no idea that there was going to be different colored layers inside and it was so lovely to be able to surprise her on her birthday! It was such a honour to have made this cake for her and I am so excited to be able to show off my very first ruffle layer cake, I hope you enjoy it as much as Kaitlin and her lovely family did! x

Click read more for the recipe.

Ruffled Layer Cake

2 x quantities of Vanilla Cake – see below

2 x quantities of Vanilla Buttercream Icing, for the layers between the cakes – see below

2 x quantities of Swiss Meringue Buttercream, for the ruffle – see below

Vanilla Cake

2 1/2 cups (365g) plain flour, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 3/4 cups (385g) caster sugar

250g butter, melted

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

pink food coloring

Preheat oven to 160°C. Line the base of a 20cm round cake tin and butter and flour the sides. Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl, add in the sugar and whisk to combine then make a well. Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave, make sure it doesn’t separate (you don’t want the oil to rise) Add the vanilla to the milk and then pour into the flour mixture. Add the eggs and then the butter. Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 30-35min or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10min before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Follow the vanilla cake recipe. Divide the cake mixture evenly between four bowls – 770g of cake mixture per bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of pink coloring to the first bowl and mix until combined, 1/2 teaspoon to the second, 1/4 teaspoon to the third and leave the fourth bowl uncolored. Pour each cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and follow the instructions below.
If you are like me and only have one cake tin (not four of the same size) make sure you throughly clean the cake tin after each use and run it under cold water to cool it down between uses – you will also have to prepare the cake tin each time for each cake.

Once all four cakes have been cooked and they are completely cool. Using a bread knife gently cut the top of the cake off so that it is level.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

115g butter, softened

60ml milk

3 teaspoons vanilla essence

500g icing sugar

Beat together the butter, milk, vanilla essence and half of the icing sugar until combined. Gradually add in the remaining icing and beat until smooth and creamy – the longer you mix it the whiter it will get.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

From the wonderful Rosie at Sweetapolita

5 large egg whites (30g each–total 150g)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar

500g butter, cut into cubes to soften

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

Pink food coloring gel

Wipe the bowl and beater of an electric mixer with paper towel and vinegar, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar,  place over a pot of simmer water (not boiling). Whisking constantly, until temperature reaches 140 degrees F, if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.

With a whisk attachment on a electric mixer mixer, begin to whip on a medium speed until the mixture is thick, glossy, and the bowl is cool to touch. Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on continuous medium speed, gradually add softened butter until combined, mix until it is silky smooth – if it start to curdle, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth.  Add the vanilla and pink coloring and mix well.

* I used wilton petal rose and pink – you only need the smallest amount possible so be careful. I dipped a dessert fork into the coloring and that was all I needed.

You can keep the buttercream in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed and rewhipping in mixer for 5 minutes. It can also freeze for up to 6-8 weeks.

Assembling your cake

Layer cakes are all about being patient and having all your ingredients ready to use. While your cakes are baking, I suggest making the both icings during that time – otherwise you can make them the day before to save on time. Layer your cakes from darkest to lightest –  I ended up using three of the four cakes as I didn’t want it too high, but you are most welcome to use all four cakes.

Using the Vanilla Buttercream Icing, lightly crumb coat the first cake and place in the fridge for 10min to cool. Add a thick layer of buttercream to the top of the cake, leaving the sides lightly iced, place in the fridge again for another 10min. Repeat until you have either three or four layers with a light crumb coat. Refrigerate your cake while you are getting ready to make the ruffle.

Using a wilton 104 tip or petal tip (one that tapers from big to small) fill your icing bag half full with the swiss meringue butter cream and follow this video on how to create a beautiful frilly ruffle cake where the inside is just as pretty as the outside. x


It helps to keep your hands cool while you are icing so that you don’t melt the butter – every other time you re-fil the icing bag run your hands under cold water… or if you are like me and have naturally cold hands you can skip this step.

Don’t over fill your bag with icing, it will become a lot harder to handle – half full is perfect.

When you fill your icing bag, pipe a little back into the bowl, this helps to push the icing down and get rid of any air bubbles.

Most importantly have fun, this is one cake you will be incredibly proud of once finished. x

Categories: cakes, eat

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  • Laura

    THIS IS INCREDIBLE!! Looks SO professional! I love it :) Well done!! x

    • Made From Scratch

      Aw Laura, you are so lovely! Thank you so much for your comment, I love it. x

  • Josie

    Mini glitter hearts! They have finally appeared and look divine. I love this idea!

    • Made From Scratch

      Aw Josie, you are so sweet. Hehe yes I’m so exited to be able to show them off finally, they’re so cute and the perfect topper for any cake. Oh love your shop and blog, so so cute. x

  • 139184062882898

    The sparkly hearts look super cute on this. Great idea!

  • Kirsty

    I saw this on Facebook and it looks amaaazing (and delicious)!! Well done you, it’s very professional! :) xo Kirsty

    • Made From Scratch

      Kirsty, thank you so much for your lovely comment you are so kind! Hehe I’m so flattered that you like the cake so much, it was so much fun to make I’d love to make more. x

  • Kate@MagnoliaRouge

    Ohmigoodness… you are crazy talented!! Amazing job!! And what a lucky girl Kaitlin is!!

    • Made From Scratch

      Aw Kate, you are far too kind, thank you! Hehe it was so lovely to make this ruffly sparkly cake for her. x

  • Laura

    This is amazing! I’m am quite sure I don’t have the patience for such an undertaking so I must instead just admire your beautiful creation :)
    I have been following the news of your baking classes both here and on facebook, I hope it all goes well for you :) I am, I have to say fairly gutted that I’m on the other side of the world, I think it would be a little far to come otherwise my name would have ben first on the list! xxx

    • Made From Scratch

      Oh Laura, thank you so much for your incredibly lovely comment! I’m so flattered that you enjoy the blog so much, it would be so so lovely if you were able to make it to a class – where is home for you? It class will be well documented on Facebook and the blog, I can’t wait to share it. x

      • Laura

        Home is England, so a fair trek! :) but on the other hand you never know, I do love to travel and NZ is fairly high up on my places to visit list. I look forward to hearing and seeing how it goes :) xx

        • Made From Scratch

          Oh wow, that is a long way away. I LOVE England, we lived and traveled there for just over a year a couple of years ago – it was so much fun. You would love NZ, it’s so beautiful and has some of the most stunning landscapes. I can’t wait to share how the class goes, who knows one day you might just be able to attend one. x

  • Alana

    AMAZING – I wouldn’t have the patience for that type of thing. Well done.

    • Made From Scratch

      Aw thank you so much Alana for your lovely message. Hehe it does take quite a bit of time this cake, but the end result is totally worth it! x

  • Eva

    Omg! As my daughter would say, how did you do those ruffles!
    Please post a picture of the inside ombre layers! I always make a rainbow layer cake for birthdays, very pretty inside but I never know how to ice it! Perhaps I will give ruffles a go next time!

    • Made From Scratch

      Aw Eva, you are too kind! I’ve just added a little photo of the inside, it really is just as pretty as the outside. When icing between layers its all about being patient and giving the icing time to cool in the fridge before adding the next layer – it does take some time, but the end result is so worth it. You should defiantly try ruffles next time, it’s so fun. x

      • Eva

        The inside is gorgeous!!! thanks for posting a pic. Going to give ruffles a go!

        • Made From Scratch

          Hehe thank you :) You are more than welcome, I’d love to hear how it turns out. x

  • 602126180

    This is SO pretty and yummy looking. Thankyou for sharing and thankyou for the recipe (-: <3.

    • Made From Scratch

      My pleasure, I’m so glad that you like it! x

  • 602126180

    This is SO pretty and yummy looking. Thankyou for sharing and thankyou for the recipe (-: <3.

  • Carrie @ Bakeaholic mama

    This cake is stunning!! I’m jealous of your talent!

    • Made From Scratch

      Oh Carrie, thank you so much for your lovely comment. I just had a look at your blog, oh my you make so many delicious goodies! x

  • Michelle

    I just made this! Its so yummy but its HUGE!!!! I will have to find someone tomorrow to take it off my hands! :) x

    • Made From Scratch

      Michelle, WOW I am so proud of you that you made it! Hehe yes it is a very large cake, I’m sure who ever you give this too won’t mind at all. I’d love to see photos of it if you have any. x

  • Jenna

    Any tips on the swiss meringue icing? I’ve just made my second flop, curdled, soup mess and am rather disheartened. I was trying a slightly different variation than your recipe though! Perhaps I could try again..though time is not on my side of course! I don’t have a paddle attachment for beater so perhaps I should give up?

    • Made From Scratch

      Oh no! Are you using a hand blender? If you are thats totally ok, you just need to keep whipping and whipping the eggswhites until they’re beyond what you would do for meringue. Then add the butter in piece by piece (if you put it all in at once it won’t work) and then just keep whipping the mixture until it combines, it will curdle along the way but it should some back to being smooth if you keep whipping/beating it. Hopefully that helps. Maybe try only making one batch at at time, it might be a little easier then doing two at once. x

      • Jenna

        The third batch was a success luckily but it took 1.5 hours of beating! Thank-you for the advice:) Am thinking that perhaps our kitchen was actually too cold for it. I love the taste of the icing but I’m not sure if I’d be bothered to go through the effort again. Maybe I could give it a whirl in summer. Cheers!

        • Made From Scratch

          Oh my goodness, you are amazing! I feel terrible that it took so long. You could be right with the kitchen being too cold, I’ve found some recipes work better in summer not winter and vice versa. It really is delicious icing. x

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  • Elysia

    Thank you so much for this step-by-step recipe and instructions. I made this on Saturday for my daughters 1st birthday. I didn’t do the ruffle icing as I didn’t have the right piping tip, so did rosettes instead. I am incredibly proud of my effort – and so were all the guests at the party! :-)

    • Made From Scratch

      Elysia, thank you so so much for your lovely comment. I’m beyond thrilled and so proud of you that the cake was such a hit, the rosette icing sounds gorgeous! I’m so glad that you like the recipe you are so sweet. x

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  • Sacha

    I LOVE this cake and I’m planning on making it for my daughter’s 5th birthday this month.
    I was just wondering when you say 2 x vanilla cake mix. Can I just double the ingredients in the above recipe or are you better off doing one lot at a time. Does it effect how the cakes turn out?
    Roughly how long did it take you to finish the cake with all the time in fridge between icing etc?
    Also, once you have done the ruffle icing, can you place the cake back in the fridge? I’m worried if I do it in the morning and it is a hot day it might start melting off the cake!!
    Sorry for all the questions!

    • Made From Scratch

      Hi Sacha,

      So lovely to hear from you! I’m beyond flattered that you like the cake so much and that you’ll make it for your daughters birthday, it will be so lovely!

      Yes you can make a double batch at once, the results are the same and will work out perfectly. It took me around 2 hours to ice (including the crumb coat) you need to let it cool in the fridge for around 10-15min between each layer for the crumb coat.
      Yes you can place the cake once finished in the fridge, it will be more than fine, be sure to bring it out of the fridge about 45min to an hour before you want to sever it so that it comes back to room temperature – it will be perfect! I can’t wait to hear how it turns out. x

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  • Toni

    I am so so inspired by your creations! I have made a chocolate cake for the bottom layer of my baby’s first birthday cake and didn’t know what to do for the top layer – but you have helped me make up my mind!

    I have made a wee practice one following your recipe above but it has turned out very very oily. I did make a little cupcake sampler to play around with the amount of food coloring to get the right colour and the cupcakes are particularly buttery – they almost taste deep fried! The cake is a lot better but still very oily. Do you have any tips for me please or is this just what it is meant to be like?

    I will post a pic of the finished cake and link back to it after the weekend so you can see it! The icing won’t be as fancy as yours! But I am definitely going to have to give this a go once I have done some more practice with icing!

    Thank you for sharing all of your beautiful work.


    • Made From Scratch

      Aw Toni, thank you so much for you lovely comment I’m so honoured that you enjoy the blog so much!

      Oh the cake you’ve made sounds divine, I’m so pleased that I was able to help out with the decisions for it :) It’s funny, I have that trouble from time to time too, I’ve found this cake doesn’t work very well as a cupcake, is much better as a cake. You have to be very careful when melting the butter that you don’t separate the ghee, otherwise it will make the cake a little oilier than normal. You want the melted butter to be very smooth, the easiest way to do that is to melt it over a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon – you can also add a little vanilla essence in to enhance the flavour.

      Oh goodness, I’m sure that you’re icing was stunning – you’ll quickly pick up the technique, but yes a little practice is needed :)

      Again thank you so much, so very lovely of you. x

      • Toni

        Rachael, the finished cake was fabulous! I ended up using the Edmonds Butter Cake recipe – just because I was running out of time!

        I have popped a couple of my pictures on my blog – It was my first attempt at making marshmallow fondant and surprisingly it worked very well!

        Thank you for all of your tips and ideas!



        • Made From Scratch

          Oh Toni, I just had a look at the post and cake – oh my goodness, it’s amazing! You did such a wonderful job, it’s perfect! Oh goodness, no trouble re the cake, edmonds is just to good to go past when in a hurry :) You’re more than welcome, thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous cake. xo

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