I am absolutely ecstatic to make a cake for my sister’s gender reveal! She is hosting a family zoom to share the news, and this gender reveal cake will let everyone know if she’s having a boy or a girl.
With that in mind, I wanted it to be super evident what color was inside the cake as soon as it was sliced. To achieve this, I used colorful ombre cake layers and filled the cake matching sprinkles and candy.
Just to make things clear, this is gender-assigned-at-birth-until-my-kid-tells-me-otherwise-in-which-case-I’ll-still-love-and-accept-them-for-who-they-are-cake!
I don’t love the societal expectations that come along with gender reveals, but I do think finding out the assigned gender of a baby is a big milestone and special moment to share with your loved ones.
How to Fill the Center of This Gender Reveal Cake with Sprinkles
Filling a cake with a sprinkle center is surprisingly easy!
The first step is to use a 2-inch circle cutter to remove the center from the two middle cake layers. If you’re making ombre cake layers, this means you should leave the darkest and lightest cake layer uncut.
As you stack and frost your cake layers, you should have a nice little cavity in the center of your cake after adding the third layer.
Fill the opening with a matching pink or blue sprinkle blend. Then seal all that goodness in by topping the cake with the lightest, uncut cake layer.
You can also fill the cake with other matching candies like jelly beans, skittles, or gummy candy. It does take a bit of time to separate the candy, but I love the look it gives the filling.
Let’s be real – I also love eating the leftover candy!!
The Easiest Way to Make Ombre Cake Layers
If you want to color the layers in an ombre fashion like I did, I’m going to share my favorite (and the easiest) way to do it!
Rather than dividing the batter into four bowls and making loads of dishes, you can color the batter right in your mixing bowl!
Add a small squirt of either pink or blue gel food coloring in the bowl and stir just until the batter is evenly colored. Scoop 440 grams of batter into one of the prepared pans.
Repeat this process 3 more times, creating increasingly deeper colored cake batter as you add in more gel food coloring.
Substitutions and Swaps in this Gender Reveal Cake
While I love making this gender reveal cake following the recipe below, I know you might not have all of the ingredients on hand. Or if you have food allergies or restrictions, I’ve got you covered.
Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe.
- All-Purpose Flour – This recipe works best with all-purpose flour, but you can use cake flour or a gluten free flour blend if needed.
- Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand you can use it in place of the salted butter and omit the salt in this recipe. You can also use vegan butter in its place!
- Egg Whites – You can also use 4 large eggs or if you have an egg allergy you can use an egg replacer like this.
- Sour cream – You can also use full fat yogurt, buttermilk, whole milk, or an alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat) if you’re dairy free.
- Heavy Cream – You can also use whipping cream or coconut cream.
Making This Gender Reveal Cake in Different Sizes
This recipe can also be used to make different sized cakes. You can also half or double the ingredients to make a half or double batch!
You can make four 6″ cake layers with one batch of batter.
Bake the cake layers at 350F for 34-36 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
One batch of batter can be also be used to make one 9×13-inch sheet cake. Bake it at 325 F for 40-50 minutes and use flower nails or heating cores to help the cake bake evenly.
You can also use this recipe to make a Bundt cake! Bake time can vary based on the size and type of pan you use, and can take anywhere from 45-75 minutes.
I recommend using a toothpick to test for doneness and checking on it every 5-10 minutes once it’s been in the oven for 45 minutes.
The final variation of this recipe is cupcakes!! This recipe makes about 36 regular sized cupcakes. Fill 3/4 full and bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Tips for Making the Best Gender Reveal Cake
- Be sure to properly measure your flour (spoon into the cup measure, then level) or use a kitchen scale.
- Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature to help them mix together better.
- Don’t overmix your batter, stir until the flour is just combined.
- Don’t level your cake layers until they are completely cooled.
- Make sure your buttercream is the right consistency. This will help give your cake proper structure and make it easier to decorate.
- If your cake layers turn out less than perfect, read my cake troubleshooting guide to see where things might’ve gone awry.
Making this Gender Reveal Cake in Advance and Storage Tips
- Make your cake layers in advance and freeze them. It breaks the process up and makes it more approachable.
- Make your frosting ahead of time too or save any leftover frosting! Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for a month or the freezer for 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
- A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!
- If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.
Let Me Know What You Think
If you make this gender reveal cake, please tag me @chelsweets and use the #chelsweets so I can see your amazing creations!
Also leave a comment below and a rating to let me know your thoughts.
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Vanilla Cake Recipe
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (390 grams)
- 3 cups granulated sugar (600 grams)
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder (10 grams)
- 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226 grams) - 2 sticks
- 1 cup pasteurized egg whites from a carton (or about 7 egg whites) (235 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream, room temperature (380 grams)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (8 grams)
- gel food coloring (if desired)
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (454 grams)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (12 grams)
- 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
- 7 cups powdered sugar - or a 2 lb. bag (904 grams)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream) (80 grams)
- pink and blue gel food coloring
Optional Decorations & Surprise Inside Sprinkle Filling
Ombre Vanilla Cake Layers:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line four 8" pans or four 7" pans with parchment rounds and non-stick baking spray.
- Mix together 3 cups all purpose flour, 3 cups sugar, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer until fully combined.
- Mix in 1 cup of unsalted butter slowly into the dry ingredients on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain and the mixture looks crumbly.
- Pour in 1 cup of egg whites and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in 1 1/2 cups sour cream in two installments, on a low speed.
- Add in 2 tsp of vanilla extract and mix at a low speed until incorporated.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then mix on a low speed for a few more seconds to make sure everything is properly mixed together.
- If you want to color the layers in an ombre fashion, add a small squirt of either pink or blue gel food coloring in the bowl and stir just until evenly colored. Scoop 440 grams of batter into one of the pans. Repeat 3 more times, creating increasingly deeper colored cake batter as you add in more gel food coloring.
- Bake for 32-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Allow the pans to cool for 10 minutes, then run a small offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
- Place cake layers into the freezer for 30 minutes to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers.
- Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers before you plan to assemble your cake. Use a 2 inch circle cutter to remove the center from the two middle cake layers, leaving the darkest and lightest cake layers full. If you're making these in advance, wrap and freeze them at this point.
- If you make these cake layers in advance and freeze them, let them thaw for about 20 minutes before making your cake. The cake layers should still be slightly cold to the touch, which will make it easier to assemble your cake.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
- While the cake layers bake and cool, make the buttercream frosting.
- Beat 2 cups of unsalted butter on a medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes with a paddle attachment, until smooth. It should become slightly lighter in color.
- Mix in 1 tbsp of vanilla extract and 1 tsp salt on a low speed.
- Slowly mix in 7 cups of powdered sugar on a low speed. Half way through add in 1/3 cup of heavy cream to make the frosting easier to mix.
- Continue to mix on low speed for a few minutes, until the desired consistency is reached.
- If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 Tbsp at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
- Cover the frosting with plastic wrap to prevent crusting and set aside.
Assembling This Gender Reveal Cake:
- Stack and frost cake layers on a greaseproof cake board, using a dab of frosting to help stick the first cake layer to the board. Start with the darkest cake layer and work your way up to the lightest.
- Add an even layer of buttercream between each cake layer with a large offset spatula.
- Once you've stacked your third cake layer, you should have a nice little cavity in the center of your cake. Fill the opening with a matching sprinkle blend. Top with the lightest, uncut cake layer.
- Add a thin coat of frosting around the cake, fully covering the cake layers.
- Smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake in the fridge (20 minutes) or freezer (5 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.
- Place 1/4 of the buttercream into a small bowl and set aside. Divide the remaining buttercream into two bowls. Use gel food coloring to color one pink and one blue.
- Spread the pink frosting on the bottom half of the cake, followed by white buttercream in the middle. Cover the top of the cake with blue frosting on the top half of the cake. Blend the colors together with a small offset spatula, then smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake.
- Decorate as desired! I chose to top my cake with a white chocolate ganache drip, some pink and blue macarons, frosting swirls and some matching candy.
Make your cake layers in advance and freeze them. It breaks the process up and make it more approachable.
Make your frosting ahead of time too, or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!
If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.
Amount Per Serving Calories 595Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 78mgSodium 290mgCarbohydrates 81gFiber 0gSugar 67gProtein 4g