Mint Berry Ombre Layer Cake
Celebrate Father's Day with a handsome blue-green ombre cake, colored with fresh blueberries and flavored with fresh mint.
Ombre Layer Cake
Looking for a unique dessert to make this Father's Day with ingredients fresh from the garden? This naked ombre layer cake combines the flavor of fresh mint, sweetness of bananas and the color of ripe blueberries into the perfect cake! It's delicious, easily customizable and looks fantastic.
Step one is gathering ingredients. You'll need cake batter and icing as well as bananas, blueberries, fresh mint leaves and a lemon. You can use store bought cake mix and icing, or make your own (this cake can even be made with your favorite gluten-free recipe). A traditional yellow or white cake works the best, especially if the cake is a little heavy. Double the recipe so you can make all those beautiful layers!
Creating the Dye
Before you begin mixing your cake batter, you'll need to make the blueberry dye. Place about half a cup of blueberries in a small saucepan and just cover them with water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the water turns a deep blue/purple. When the dye mixes with the cake batter it tends to turn green, so add a teaspoon of lemon juice if you want your cake to be bluer. Or leave as is if you want a greener cake. Set aside to cool and whip up your cake batter.
Pour a half-inch thick layer of undyed cake batter into your greased cake pan and bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Clean and reuse the pan, or use multiple pans of the same size. Add 1 tablespoon of dye to the remaining batter, mix, pour a half inch into the clean pan and bake. Repeat, adding 1 tablespoon of dye before pouring each new layer. (If you want a stronger color, add more dye, for a lighter color add less.) When all layers are baked and cool, stack them and trim the edges so they are even and the color of each layer shows.
Mixing the Icing
When all your layers are baked, cooled and trimmed, it's time to add the icing. Buttercream frosting works best for this step and you can make your own or buy several containers of ready-made. You'll need roughly double the amount of icing you would use to frost a standard cake. Chop up approximately half a cup of mint leaves and gently fold them into the frosting. This will create a nice rich mint flavor, but if you aren't fond of the strong flavor you can use fewer leaves for a more subtle effect.
Layering the Cake
Separate your trimmed cake layers and begin working with the darkest dyed layer first. Spread a layer of mint frosting over the top of this first layer, making sure it's extra thick along the edges. Lay thin slices of banana on top of the frosting and then carefully place the next layer of cake on top. Make sure all of the edges line up, then frost the top of the next layer and cover with slices of banana. Continue until you've used up every layer. Our cake had 6 layers, but you can make more or less depending on the time you want to spend.
The final step is decorating. Begin by spreading a generous layer of frosting on the top of your cake. Press sprigs of fresh mint leaves into the frosting along the top and between the layers. This part is great for kids to help with. You can also slice bananas into little triangles to create decorative patterns. Spritz the slices with a bit of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. If you have extra blueberries you can add those too.
Slice and Serve
Serve your beautiful cake immediately, or store it in the fridge to keep the mint and bananas fresh. Celebrate Dad and the beautiful days of summer with beautiful slices of blue-green and fresh mint and berries.