We're all about natural color—and lots of it—in frosting right now.
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ombre frosting
Credit: Raymond Hom

While the unicorn trend wasn't really up our alley, we're all for striking, colorful desserts for birthdays, parties, and just because. Enter ombré frosting, our new go-to method for embellishing cookies, cakes, and more. It's also a great way to experiment with natural, plant-based food colors, which are more accessible to the home cook than ever before. Our test kitchen's favorite is McCormick Nature's Inspiration Food Colors ($5.98, amazon.com).

A couple of tips for getting this watercolor ombré effect just right: First, always start with softened butter (that means room temperature!) for buttercream. Second, don't be afraid to color outside the lines a little when decorating. What's so fun about this technique is that you're supposed to blend colors to make something that looks organic and a little random. The less you think about it, the more beautiful it tends to turn out!

Ombrè Frosting

Finally a way to get gorgeous color with plant-based food dyes. Tint this easy American buttercream frosting, and be sure to mix the colors for more shades—why, the possibilities are endless. Try our two favorite ways to use this frosting below.

ombre cookies
Credit: Raymond Hom

Ombrè Cookies

Like a painter's palette only tastier, these sugar cookies are rich with color. Start by mixing four hues of buttercream and go ombré from there.

ombre frosting sheetcake
Credit: Raymond Hom

Ombrè Sheet Cake

A sheet cake is easy, but when it's dressed up in stripes of our new favorite frosting, it's a total showstopper.


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