September 12: Feast Day of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Our Lady inspires us to create special cakes in her honor. Last year, we posted our version of a “Stella Maris (Mary, Star of the Sea) Cake.” This year, we made a “Mystical Rosette Ombré Cake,” since one of Mary’s nicknames is the “Mystical Rose.” The name is meaningful to us as we were married at the Mystical Rose Chapel, which overlooks iconic Diamond Head, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
For this particular cake, we used two techniques that are quite trendy today—ombré to create color gradations inside of the cake and rosette piping to decorate and texturize the outside of the cake. The cake has a pretty presentation on its own but when sliced, it reveals the subtle surprise of a blue hue!
Make a “Mystical Rosette Ombré Cake” for the Feast Day of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
For the blue ombré cake
- 2 boxes of white cake mix (for 3 8-inch round cakes) or 3 boxes (for 3 12-inch round cakes)
- egg whites
- blue food coloring
- rose water flavoring (optional to taste; see Notes)
Grease and flour 3 round cake pans. Prepare the cake mix according to the package instructions, adding a few drops of rose water to flavor the batter (optional). Divide the batter into 3 equal portions. Use the food coloring for each portion, doubling or tripling the amount of the drops to create distinct color gradations.
Pour the batter into the pans (be sure to remember which pan contains light, medium and darker colors). Bake according to the package instructions. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool completely.
For the frosting
(Adapted from Wilton)
- 1 cup vegetable shortening (we used Crisco brand all-vegetable shortening baking sticks)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (we recommend clear vanilla extract)
- pinch of salt
- 4-6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 4+ tablespoons of cream, milk or water
Make 2-3 quantities of the frosting recipe (enough to frost the 3-layered 8- or 12-inch round cakes). In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening with the vanilla and salt. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Pour a little bit of liquid to thin it out until the frosting reaches spreadable and piping consistency. Smear a little frosting on the bottom of a cake board and invert the darkest color cake onto it to secure in place. Generously spread frosting on top of this cake.
Layer with the medium color cake on top. Spread frosting on top of this cake. Finally add the lightest color cake on top. Spread frosting on top of this cake and crumbcoat the sides until completely covered.
Outfit a pastry bag with Wilton tip 1M. About an inch from the bottom of the cake, make a rosette by swirling a circle from the center outward. Space an inch apart and repeat until the bottom row of the cake is covered with rosettes. Continue making rosettes on the side of the cake and on top. Refrigerate to set the frosting. Bring the cake to room temperature about half an hour before serving.
Place on a cake pedestal and top with a Mary figurine (optional). Slice to reveal the ombré coloring inside the cake. Use a sharp knife to make the first cut deep into the cake. Wipe the frosting off the knife. Make a second cut into a wedge shape. Serve on plates. Always wipe the frosting off for each cut to make clean slices and showcase the ombré.
- Rose water may be found in the specialty baking aisle of grocery stores or at Indian and Middle Eastern food markets. Be careful not to add too much to the cake batter or else the floral flavor will be overpowering.
- We actually made a “Mystical Rosette Ombré Cake” for a student prayer social to celebrate the Vigil of Mary, Queen of the Apostles (September 5). We made another one for a parish potluck at our church to observe the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8).
- Make a Mary cake for her birthday or one of her many feast days. Search our blog for other cake recipes for inspiration and ideas.