Mother Mary Ombré Rosette Cake

Before we get into today’s recipe, I ask that you respect my beliefs. If you are offended by Catholic teachings, that’s okay. This isn’t the forum for argument. You need not read further. We will be getting back to non-religious cooking soon enough. If you want to learn more or simply want to bake a pretty cake, stick around.

For Catholics with a deep love for Mary, September is an awesome time. Since the 16th Century, the Church has set aside the entire month to honor Our Lady. While there are other feasts days within September, none has greater devotion than those dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.

We begin with the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. While no one knows with absolute certainty the exact date of Mary’s birth, the Church recognizes September 8th based upon 2nd century writings known as The Protoevangelium of James. Although not canonical, these writings tell of Anne and Joachim, who grieved over their childless union, and prayed to God for a child. Their prayers were answered with the birth of a daughter, Mary.

The Feast of the Nativity of The Blessed Virgin originated somewhere in Syria or Palestine at the beginning of the 6th century. After the Council of Ephesus, the devotion to the Mother of God was greatly intensified, especially in Syria. The selection of September as the month of her birth may have been influenced by the fact that during September, the Eastern Church begins its liturgical year.

September 12th is The Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary, and the 15th is The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Three days that are set aside to honor and give thanks to Mary, the Mother of God.

mother mary2

The color blue is often associated with Our Blessed Mother, as are roses.  A beautiful blue Ombré Cake with swirls of rosettes was the perfect cake to celebrate this day.

Mother Mary Ombré Cake with Rosettes
The Cake
2 Boxes French Vanilla White Cake Mix
6 Eggs
½ Cup Vegetable Oil
½ Cup Butter, melted
2 Cups Water
Blue Food Coloring Gel as needed

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare four 8-inch round cakes with Wilson’s Cake Release or brush with butter, then dust with flour. Set aside until ready to use.

In a mixing bowl, beat vegetable oil, butter and water until blended. Add eggs, one at a time and incorporate into liquid.

Add cake mix, beat 30 seconds on low, then slowly increase speed and beat 2 minutes on medium, until well blended.

Divide the batter evenly into four bowl. Leave one bowl without coloring, set aside.

To the second bowl, add 20 drops of blue food coloring. This is the bottom layer. To the third bowl, add 10 drops of blue food coloring, and to the remaining bowl at 5 drops. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Tap the pans lightly on the counter to release any air bubbles that may have gathered in the batter.

Place cake in oven and bake until just done, about 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes and continue to cook until cake is just cooked, checking often to avoid over-cooking.

Remove the cakes from oven, cool in pan 10 minutes.

Remove cakes from pan one at a time, invert onto a cutting board, then invert again onto a cooling rack is right-side up. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

While the cake cools, make the Vanilla Filling and Buttercream Frosting.

French Vanilla Filling
2 Boxes Instant Vanilla Pudding
6 cups Cold Milk
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Empty vanilla pudding mix into a large bowl. Add milk, whisking until the pudding begins to thicken. Add vanilla extract, continue to whisk until pudding is thick, about 3 or 4 minutes.

Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down lightly on the pudding.

Refrigerate to chill and allow pudding to fully set.

The Buttercream Frosting
1 Cup Solid Vegetable Shortening such as Crisco
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
8 Cups Sifted Powdered Sugar
6 Tablespoons Heavy Cream (approximately)
Blue Food Coloring Gel as needed

Cream vegetable shortening and butter in a mixing bowl. Add Vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, sift powdered sugar. Add sugar to creamed butter mixture 1 cup at a time.

Whip, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, until all the sugar has been added. Frosting will appear dry and stiff.

Add cream, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Reserve 1 cup of frosting and set aside. Divide the remaining frosting into three bowls. To the first bowl add food coloring to achieve a deep blue. To the second, add less for a lighter color. To the third, even less for just a hint of blue.

To Decorate The Cake:
Beginning with the deepest blue cake, place the cake on a cake board or serving platter. Trim the crown so that the cake is flat. Pipe a small ring of the plain white frosting around the edge. This will prevent the filling from dripping down the side of the cake. Fill the center of the cake with 1/3 of the French Vanilla filling.

Place the next deepest blue cake on top. Trim the crown so that the second layer of cake is flat. Repeat with a ring of frosting around the edge, filling the center with French Vanilla. Repeat with the third cake layer.

Top with the cake layer that was left plain. Trim the crown as before. Spread a crumb layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill well for about 1 hour. This will stabilize the cake and make it easier to work with.

Place the cake on a rotating cake stand. Starting at the bottom, pipe a row of roses along the cake using the darkest frosting color. You’re going to pipe three rows of roses, so make sure they cover about 1/3 the height of the cake.

Continue with a second row of roses in the next lighter shade of frosting. Place the roses directly above the bottom layer.

Finish with one last row of roses in the lightest color. Next, decorate the top of the cake by piping a ring of roses at the edge of the cake, and continue in a circular pattern. The roses can be made from any of the colors or a combination, depending upon desired look. Some pearls and candy sprinkled on the top are also a nice touch.

If there are any large spaces between roses, you can pipe small stars into them to fill the space.

To quote a famous Beatle about another Mary . . .

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, “let it be”
And in my hour of darkness, she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, “let it be”

Mary with children1

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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