Rose Ombre Cake (for Valentine’s Day!)

When I was in seventh grade, I wrote a pretty impassioned essay for my English class about how Valentine’s Day was a corporate holiday maintained by companies like Hallmark and Hershey’s to provide a predictable source of revenue year after year. Pretty original and incendiary stuff for a middle schooler, I know. I remember my classmates glaring at me as I read my essay out loud, as they clutched the mandatory valentines and candies that we had been forced to exchange earlier that day. Shut up Michelle, I could hear them think. What’s wrong with an excuse for free candy?

My seventh grade self would be disappointed to know that these days, I’m firmly in the camp of my old peers. Any special occasion or holiday is an excuse for me to bake something elaborate and excessive. Like this rose ombre cake for Valentine’s Day:

In the case of this cake, it was a double whammy — built and baked for both the upcoming Valentine’s day holiday and during a special occasion. The special occasion was of course, the fact that a rare snowstorm had hit Portland, delivering us a good seven inches of snow. I know that doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but believe me, for Portland, it is. Snow is such a rare occasion that the city is rumored to only own 2 snow plows for the entire city! As a result, absolutely everything gets cancelled and shut down.

This cake was conceived during Day 3 of being snowed in, just around the time cabin fever was starting to hit me and my housemates pretty hard. I’ve always admired the pretty ombre cakes floating around on Pinterest, but could never justify the time to devote making one. Until now:

Each cake layer, tinted with varying shades of pink and lavender, is flavored with rose water and layered between a healthy portion of vanilla whipped cream.  I know that the cake itself looks a little bit rustic and rough around the edges, but the sides of the cake are left unfrosted to really let the colors shine. This is the cake that I presented to my Valentine, and hopefully it’ll be the one you present yours as well. Happy Valentine’s Day!
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