Mich Turner of the Little Venice Cake Co. demonstrated decorating a Swiss Meringue Ombre Cake at the recent Cake International Show at Birmingham NEC.

The cake is made using Swiss meringue buttercream. This relies on heating together the sugar and egg whites to make a meringue into which butter is beaten to thicken and stabilise it. This buttercream has a silky, velvety light texture. It handles well for piping onto cupcakes and larger cakes and holds it shape well.

Because the meringue is heat treated the buttercream is stable at room temperature.

For the Swiss Meringue Ombre Cake you require 2 batches of the recipe below - one vanilla and one chocolate. These are then used the amounts to fill, cover and decorate two 6" vanilla cakes.



Step 1: Preparing the buttercream

Place the egg whites and the sugar in a large clean bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Whisk with an electric hand whisk until the meringue is silky and not grainy when a little is rubbed between your finger and thumb - a temperature of 190F or 88C. This will take approximately 10 minutes.

Remove the meringue from the heat but continue to whisk until the meringue cools to room temperature and has thickened.

Add the butter in small batches and beat well between each addition Add the vanilla and whisk until well combined.

TIP: Allow the meringue to cool to room temperature before adding the butter otherwise it could split. If this happens continue to whisk well and allow to cool. Because the meringue is cooked it is stable at room temperature.

Chocolate Meringue Buttercream

Add 190g melted, cooled dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids chocolate) to the Swiss meringue buttercream.

Whisk in with an electric hand whisk until the buttercream is silky and smooth.

Step 2: Decorating the cake

Split 2 x 6 inch round cakes in half and sandwich with the buttercream.

Cover the cake with the same chocolate buttercream. Half fill a large disposable piping bag with the buttercream fitted with a 2D nozzle. Massage the buttercream in the piping bag to ensure it flows well.

Pipe a ring of rosettes around the base of the cake. Start in the middle of the rosette and work outwards.

Repeat with a paler colour above and a paler row to arrive at the top.

Finally, pipe the top of the cake with vanilla Swiss Meringue buttercream rosettes.

TIP: place the cake on a pretty cake stand before decorating so it does not need to be moved. 

Recipe for Buttercream

  • 5 egg whites at room temperature (medium eggs)
  •  275g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 450g unsalted butter
  • This recipe yields 1Kg 

You will also need two 6 inch vanilla cakes

Little Venice Cake Company was founded in 1999 by Mich Turner (MBE) and is renowned having created cakes for celebrities and royalty including Her Majesty The Queen, Madonna, Pierce Brosnan, Sharon & Ozzy Osbourne, Cheryl Cole, Gordon Ramsay and David Beckham.

>> Find out more about the Little Venice Cake Company