My in-laws live in Chicago, but once or twice a year they drive to Vermont to visit extended family in the Barre area. On there way home, they like to swing by and visit us for a weekend. This time, they were joined by my brother-in-law and his partner. With a household full of family, the visit was a perfect opportunity to try making one of the ombre cakes I'd been obsessively pinning to my Pinterest cake board for the past few months.
Since I wanted a lot of room for the ombre effect, I chose to make a very tall cake. Javier helped me make four 9 inch cakes. We used the old-fashioned chocolate layer cake from Cooks Illustrated.
After the cakes were baked, and stacked, we made a big batch of icing, and using food coloring, we died the icing into three different shades of green. (Professional cake bakers recommend using Americolor food coloring, and I've really liked using it.)
I iced the bottom of the cake with the dark green, the middle of the cake with the medium shade, and the top with the lightest green.
With one hand rotating the cake stand, and the other holding an offset palette knife, I pulled the icing up, blending the three colors. I think it turned out rather pretty.