Vegan Mini Cherry Ombré Birthday Cakes

Saturday 22 September 2018

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Today is the very last post in my birthday recipe mini-series because, today is my birthday!! Woohoo!

I have turned the prime (???) age of 28 and to celebrate, I’ve put together this bake inspired by me:

  1. It's pink
  2. It's flavoured in my favourite fruit - cherries
  3. It's covered in sprinkles and glitters
  4. They are small and super cute!

These are my mini cherry ombré birthday cakes; four layers of succulent vanilla ombré sponge, sandwiched with a sweet almond and maraschino cherry buttercream, decorated with even more buttercream, sprinkles and glitters. They’re super tasty and rich in flavour. A must for any cherry lover!

vegan mini cherry ombre birthday cakes

This is my first attempt at an ombré cake. It’s one of those things I didn’t like doing as I had no idea of knowing the outcome until it’s cooked. Even watching the oven (yes, I do place my chair in full view of the oven and watch during those 20 minutes), all you can see is the dark browning on top. It’s definitely nerve-racking trimming the top layer to reveal the final colour. Not bad for my first go right? You, of course, can pick any colours you like (but just go for pink). The first and last layers are easy to do, as the first has no colour, and the last is to put as much colouring in. The middle layers are more of a guess.

You can call me sad, I can take it, but another thing I loved about this recipe is that it splits equally into four bowls. I would recommend weighing your mixture so you can have four equal bakes. I would have given you a rough idea of how much mine came to, but I have lost my notes. I’m usually so organised, I’ve let myself down this time.

vegan mini cherry ombre birthday cakes

Now for the buttercream! I have used my standard buttercream recipe, but instead of vanilla, used almond extracts, and also the juice from the maraschino cherries. I was originally going to stick to that, but the taste wasn’t as strong as I would like. If you don’t like a strong cherry taste, maybe leave the almond extracts out. I chopped up the cherries and added that to the buttercream to add another texture. I do love cherries! Another great thing about the maraschino juice is the natural pink colouring. I did add a little colouring, but only to the top decoration, as I wanted even more shades of pink.

.@helloaycan is sharing her vegan mini cherry ombre birthday cake recipe!

To put your cakes together, using a round cookie cutter, cut out four rounds from each cake. (It’s so important to make sure your cakes are completely cool!) Trim the top and bottom of any dark colour and layer these between your buttercream. You can trim before you cut your cakes, but I felt like I had more control when they're smaller. Another great thing about these cakes is the leftover sponge! You can turn them into cake pops, cut them into shapes to decorate your cakes, or you can eat them as a snack. Baking is very hungry work!

Don’t forget to check out my other recipes in this series:

Galaxy birthday blondie traybake.

Strawberry party macarons.

Having individual cakes is a way of creating something so personal and delicious. If you have an event coming up, or are in charge of the birthday cake, here is an idea for you. Theme them however you like and let the cake eating commence!

vegan mini cherry ombre birthday cakes


This recipe makes 4 mini cherry delights!


  • 2 cup / 450ml non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp/40ml cider vinegar
  • 3 cups / 440g self-raising flour
  • 2 cup / 350g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup / 116 ml flavourless oil
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extracts
  • Food gel colouring of your choice
  • Sprinkles + glitter
  • 1/3 cup / 63g dairy-free butter
  • 1/2 cup / 100g vegetable shortening
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tsp juice from a jar of maraschino cherry
  • 12 chopped maraschino cherries


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 160 degrees C (fan) / 350F / gas mark 4. Line and grease 4 cake tins.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the dairy-free milk and cider vinegar. Leave for 10 minutes to curdle.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients; flour, caster sugar, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder. Mix together with a spoon.
  4. Into the dry ingredients, add the dairy-free milk and cider vinegar mix, flavourless oil, and vanilla extract. Split the mixture into four equal bowls. I would recommend weighing the mixture first to make sure they're all equal.
  5. Leave one bowl to one side as that needs no colouring. Add food dye to the other three, increasing the amount of colour you add to create your ombre layers.
  6. Place into a pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes.
  7. To prepare the buttercream, leave the butter and vegetable shortening at room temperature for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, beat together using a hand or standing whisk, the vegetable shortening and butter until it's light and creamy. Add the almond extract and maraschino cherry juice and mix again.
  8. Gradually pour in the sifted icing sugar, half a cup at a time. You may want to add more, depending on the texture you like. Add in the chopped cherries and mix until they're equally distributed.
  9. Once your cakes have completely cooled, cut out four pieces and carefully trim the top and bottom.
  10. Scoop your buttercream into a piping bag and snip the end off. Cover the top of the darkest layer and place the next colour on top. Continue with the other two layers
  11. Add a little pink food dye to the remaining buttercream, and using a star nozzle, pipe around the top of your cakes. Decorate with glitter, sprinkles and cherries.
vegan mini cherry ombre birthday cakes

In case you’re wondering, I’m going to be spending my birthday eating cake (this is a given) and seeing Halsey live in London. Could there be a better birthday? I think not! Let me know in the comments below how you would flavour, colour and decorate a cake especially for you.