Archive for November, 2020

20 Holiday Traditions to Start with Your Family This Year

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Don’t let the crazy of 2020 mess up your holidays. Create new Christmas and holiday traditions with these easy and inexpensive ideas!


Holiday Family Traditions from

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

“Can you imagine a COVID Christmas?”

“Are we really not getting together for Thanksgiving?”

“The holidays just won’t be the same.”

I’ve heard all those things, more than once, over the past several weeks.

I’m sure you have too.

It’s hard.

Many of our holiday traditions won’t be practical or even possible this year, and even when we hold those beloved customs loosely and know we’re making hard choices for good reasons, we still feel sad.

So, this year, when everything is different and uncertain and just plain weird, it’s the perfect time to create new family traditions with your family!

And take note: Some of these traditions will translate to any year, so you truly can start now and continue year after year.

But others are specific for a season when you’re separated from loved ones and family members or unable to get out and about as much as normal.

While I’m hopeful we won’t have another pandemic holiday season, other things can keep us at home.

So maybe keep some of these ideas in your back pocket for the next time family is out of town, money is short, the weather doesn’t cooperate, or someone is sick during the holidays.

Even though things aren’t the same as usual doesn’t mean you can’t experience something special.


20 New Holiday Traditions for Your Family

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Give each other homemade gifts.

You don’t have to be super crafty or artistic for this one.

A “homemade Christmas gift” could be anything from a jar of cocoa mix to a personalized playlist to a decorated frame to hold family photos.

Remember to give everyone involved plenty of notice (and you could even start a group Pinterest board or slack channel for sharing ideas).


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Get—and play—a new board game or card game each year.

My family loves playing Yahtzee and UNO, but I think we’re about due to add a new game to the mix.

We’ll be adding this tradition in 2020.


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Let the kids have a Christmas Eve slumber party under (or near) the Christmas tree.

Or the grownups.

You do you.


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Celebrate with a “reverse Advent calendar,” filling up a box with a new item to donate each day.

Simply search “reverse Advent” on Google, and you’ll find plenty of suggested calendars and lists to follow.


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Go old-school with a red and green paper countdown chain.

Sometimes the classics are classics for a reason!

This might seem like a little kid activity, but I suspect even older kids or adults appreciate the anticipation built by breaking one ring each day before Christmas.


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Get outside! Bundle up and take a walk together after a big meal.

Depending on what’s safe and best for your family and community, this might be a way you can see local friends and family without cramming into one home for the meal.

Meet at the park after eating in your own homes.

Wear layers and bring your own thermos of hot cider or hot chocolate!


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Buy a new ornament each year. 

This would be a great way to support small businesses.

Shop for your annual Christmas ornaments on Etsy or in local boutiques.

Pick something personal or something that reflects the past year, or simply select something lovely to hang on your tree for years to come.


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Take time to journal answers to yearly reflection questions or make an annual time capsule.

I know several families who do this each New Year’s Eve, asking their kids and each other about the most significant parts of the year and what they’re hoping for in the next year.

If you created a time capsule instead, you could start a tradition of opening last year’s or perhaps only open every five years for a bigger surprise and walk down memory lane!


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Buy—and read—a new holiday book each year.

Or, collect 25 holiday books from the library and your own collection, wrap them, open and read one each day in December.


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Have a gingerbread house contest via Zoom or FaceTime with your friends or family.

Don’t forget the prizes!


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Buy a new Christmas mug each year.

Display your collection in a special spot.



Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Host a virtual movie night with friends and family. 

With the free Teleparty extension in your Chrome browser (formerly the Netflix Party extension), the host shares a custom link with each participant.

Then, you all watch the same Christmas movie at the same time, discussing the movie (or whatever you want!) in a chat box while watching.

Teleparty works with Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and HBO. (Amazon Prime has its own free app that does the same thing.)


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Practice Jolabokaflod.

This Icelandic holiday involves exchanging book gifts, chocolate, and an evening spent reading. Doesn’t that sound lovely? (Read more about it here.)


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Put together a puzzle together.

If separated, send same puzzle to each person/family and have a contest to see who can complete it first. The winner must provide a photo as proof!


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Watch a holiday movie or special each year.

Some families watch Elf or It’s a Wonderful Life , or Polar Express together each year. Many of us probably watch the Peanuts Christmas special.

My family is a little quirky and since my brother and I were little, we have made time to watch The California Raisins’ Claymation Christmas Special every single year.

Whatever your tastes, it’s fun to have something you watch together each year.


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Declutter and donate.

Before adding lots of stuff (aka, gifts) to your house, make room and make a difference while you’re at it.


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Drive around and look at Christmas lights.

It’s a classic for a reason!

Put on PJs if you want, take along bags of Christmas cookies, crank up your favorite holiday tunes, and cruise through those neighborhoods that are famously festive! (Or, drive around a new town or neighborhood and try to spot the best-decorated homes.)


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Buy—and listen to—a new holiday album each year.

Speaking of tunes…!

It’s always fun to hear our favorite musicians sing or play holiday music, but this could also be a way to support indie or up-and-coming artists as well. Who doesn’t love Christmas music?


Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

Cook (or buy)—and eat, of course!—a special food. 

This could be a family favorite (I always make my late mother-in-law’s apple cake for my husband and his family at the holidays, and my mom makes her mother’s pound cake for family gatherings.).

But it could also be a food that reminds you of your family’s heritage or simply something you love eating together. (Popular foods showing up in my informal poll were fondue, tamales, and Chinese food.)


How to Make Homeless Care Packages from

Give back.

No matter what kind of year you’ve had or what the holidays will look like, you can find a way to give back—and that will enrich your holiday like possibly nothing else can.

Sponsor a family in need with gifts or a meal, purchase gifts for foster children or children whose parents are imprisoned, take breakfast to a fire station on Christmas morning, mail cards to a nursing home, or purchase and hand out holiday care packages to the homeless in your community.


Holiday Family Traditions from

Will you be creating any new traditions this holiday season? If so, share them with us in the comments or over in the Facebook group!


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Holiday Traditions to Start with Family /

You will love these other great Holiday ideas!


How to Make Homeless Care Packages from

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October and November 2020 Must-Reads

Monday, November 16th, 2020

Looking for your next great read? Today I’m sharing 13 incredible books I read this fall. Find your perfect memoir, thriller, YA, or romance read in this month’s stack. Be sure to bookmark this post for your next library day!

How the heck are you? For those that have joined my Patreon community, I have been so good about updating you all on what I’m reading.

Unfortunately, there appear to be only so many hours in the day to keep up with all the new duties of being a mother in a pandemic so the blog has just been a difficult place to keep maintained.

Please tell me I’m not the only mom on the struggle bus? 

I was planning to hold onto these reviews until the end of the month, but I fear that the more I get behind the less likely you will see any updates from me. 

2020 is kicking my tail. 

Sending big virtual hugs to anyone who can sympathize? We will get through this.

If you haven’t joined the Patreon community yet, you are in for such a treat! This month you will receive a HUGE 24-page make-ahead holiday cookbook and a fun playlist to get those holiday chores done

Want to Connect With Me In Our NEW Book Gang Patreon Community?

I am so thankful to have so many of you in the MomAdvice Book Club. Not only do I love finding the book deals for you & sharing in our monthly discussions, I’m even more thankful for the community and friendships we have created there.

Why We Need Your Financial Support

COVID-19 has greatly impacted my business, just as it has for many other online creators. Our community will always be free to you, but your financial support can offset some of the numerous administrative expenses that are required to keep up our community.

There is so much that goes into our community and that will always be there for you. I don’t want to bore you with the minutiae of all the things that are required to run our community, but know that they are numerous (web hosting, digital memberships for creation, newsletter services, administrative help, graphic designers, etc..).  The financial support will allow me more time to devote to continue cultivating the kind of community that you want to be part of. 

Please know how much your support means and how much each of you are appreciated in these crazy times! 

What Are the Patreon Benefits For Bookish Friends?

Patreon subscribers will receive a monthly bonus (on the 20th of every month, beginning September 20th), as a thank you for your continued support to keep the book club blossoming.

Not only that, but here’s the scoop on the fun bonuses you will receive, every dang month! 

  • Exclusive Monthly Bookish Newsletter- Get the book reviews TEN DAYS early, get all the latest book to movie news, and get ideas around the month’s chosen theme (this month we are talking about Storytellers). The idea is that you can print this newsletter out with no ads and no need to click to different pages to get everything you need.
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Join Us for Our November MomAdvice Book Club Discussion:

November Road by Lou Berney

snag this month’s incredible book club book

Did you know that I offer a free virtual book club? Be sure to join the MomAdvice Book Club and you will never be without a book again!

You can check out the full list of 2020 MomAdvice Book Club picks over here

Don’t forget to send me a friend request over on GoodReads for more great book reviews.

here is what is on sale today- don’t miss it!

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I try to post a daily book deal list for you to keep your Kindle fully stocked!

Check this list daily here or you can sign up for my daily deal newsletter and I will send them right to your inbox!

Get a Free Book Just for Being a Prime Member

Did you know Prime members get a read for free every single month? 

Yup, I always try to remind you of this amazing little Prime perk!

Grab YOUR FREE BOOK FOR November over here.

June 2020 Book of the Month

Check out the November Book of the Month Club Selections:

Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman

Memorial by Bryan Washington 

Now let’s talk about this month’s stack!

October and November 2020 Must-Reads

Leaving the Witness by Amber Scorah

It may be my own upbringing, but I do find myself drawn to stories about church and faith.

Moving to Shanghai, and newly married, Amber finds herself thrown into a world that she never thought she would be part of.

A third-generation Jehovah’s Witness, Amber has devoted her entire life to the ministry. Although she had freedom, in the states, to share about God, in Shanghai she finds herself in a secret society where her preaching is illegal and punishable.

There is nothing like moving away, honestly, to help you find yourself. This is a coming-of-age story to realizing that there were so many ways to see the world and the people in it. A blossoming friendship, with someone outside the faith, leads her to an awareness of how many different ways one can find God.

The decision to explore this though comes with serious consequences, including being shunned by her own church community, the one place where she finds identity. 

I learned so much about customs and culture, in China, that I couldn’t put this one down. Amber’s story of finding herself was absolutely gorgeous and really made me reflect on my own time growing up in church, in a completely different way.

5 out of 5 Stars

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Imagine that you have an identical twin and one day she chooses to lead a completely different life, including embracing a completely different racial identity.

Identity is exactly what Bennett explores in this phenomenal novel that just BLEW ME AWAY.

This journey takes you through their different experiences, as they each fall into two very different communities.

The book covers the 1950s to the 1990s, allowing the reader to experience this family story in such a riveting way.

It’s the kind of meaty novel that you just don’t want to end, as the reader longs for the two girls to come together and find their commonalities again.

I really enjoyed Bennett’s first book, but this book is next level writing. Read it right away!

5 out of 5 Stars

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I know many of us are reading pandemic books, as a way to cope with our current circumstance. Donoghue is most notable for her novel, Room, so I was excited to see how she told the story of the 1918 pandemic, through the eyes of a nurse.

Donoghue notes, in the end, that she had submitted her draft prior to COVID, so some of those eerie similarities feel more weighted knowing that they were not influenced by this situation.

Set in Ireland, Nurse Julia powers works at an understaffed hospital, in a ward dedicated to expectant mothers. 

Powers is constantly confronted with, truly emergency situations as many of the women battle the deadly flu with very few tools, in her arsenal, to help in recovery.

When Bridie Sweeney volunteers to help, Julia sets aside the fact that she not a trained nurse, and allows her to shadow her work and assist in procedures.

Raised in a home for orphans, Bridie is naïve to the experience of mothers (or mothering) and becomes Julia’s most faithful companion as they battle these cases. It’s a beautiful friendship that blossoms on these pages.

If you have ever wanted a guide to midwifery in these days, you will be astounded at how well Donoghue writes on these complicated procedures.

It also showcases the same issues we are struggling with today which begs us to realize just how little we have learned.

Just like today, they are short-staffed, struggling with supplies, having difficulties convincing others to take the necessary steps to reduce transmission, have distrust in their government, and how this disease impacts the lower income communities, at a disproportionate rate.

I found this book to be very hard to put down!

Trigger warnings: not recommended for pregnant women or those who want to avoid books on pandemics right now. 

5 out of 5 Stars

When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you are looking for a book with a memorable character, I have a feeling that you will fall in love with Zelda.

Zelda is an older teenager on the fetal alcohol syndrome spectrum, who happens to see herself as a modern-day Viking.

Her obsession with being a Viking is what fuels her quest to accomplish many things in life and helps her identify the heroes and the villains in life.

Raised by her older brother, Gert, they struggle with mounting financial issues that lead to selling drugs and putting them both in dangerous situations. 

As each of them is struggling to navigate the world, in their own ways, they both hope to find love and security in some unlikely places.

You can’t help but to fall in love with Zelda, as she struggles to navigate social cues, her sex life with her boyfriend (who struggles cognitively more than she does), the tribe of warriors who teach her to navigate the world, and how she finds identity in the legendary Vikings.

I found the first half to be stronger than the second, but I absolutely adored this story. 

I loved it so much that I finished it in a day, it was that enjoyable.

The bonus?

You learn a heck of a lot about Vikings in the process of this one.

4 out of 5 Stars

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thrillers tend to follow the same formulas and are, rarely if ever, meaty enough for a book club discussion. That is not the case at all with this phenomenal read.

Rachel Krall runs a true-crime podcast, very similar to Serial, where she explores a case each season to help seek rectify injustices that may have occurred. This makes her a target of fandom, but also a target of frustration, for those who may be involved in these cases.

In the new season, Rachel is investigating a rape trial, where an Olympic-hopeful athlete has been accused of committing this crime. The family is well-known, wealthy, and connected in the town so he has the best people involved to represent him.

As Rachel settles into this town, for her investigation, she begins to receive letters from a woman who is begging her to reopen an investigation into the death of hers sister.

As these cases share many parallels, Rachel learns more about the dark side of this town and the people in it.

Goldin does an incredible job building out sympathy for these women, in each case, and exploring really important themes about these #metoo stories and how wealth and power allow men to not be punished for their crimes.

I want to say, this one comes with major trigger warnings and I would not recommend it, if sexual assault is triggering to you. 

It’s graphic and disturbing, in these scenes, but also does a good job of not glossing over the crimes. 

5 out of 5 Stars

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’m a read-it-before-you-watch-it person and have been dying to see the Hulu series that was adapted from this book.  I had heard such mixed reviews on this that I’ve, honesty, been unmotivated to read it.

It seems that people either fall in the camp of loving it or loathing it. 

For me, this one is a hard one to really review, because the writing was so descriptive and well-done.

This complicated love story is set in a small town in Ireland.

Connell and Marianne attend high school together and they are the perfect, “opposites attract,” love story. She comes from a wealthy family, but struggles to fit in at her school. Connell is popular, but has to work for his success.

The reader takes a journey, with Rooney, from the  beginning days of their relationship. No matter how badly they seem to want to start new identities and lives, they always seem to be pulled back into one another’s gravity.

This unrequited love story sounded like a winner, but was really dull. 

The jumpy timeline, the big focus on how ugly she was, and the moodiness of the whole thing just didn’t work for me.

The plot felt shallow, the ending abrupt, and the psychological exploration felt forced. 

I wouldn’t say that I fell in the “hate it camp,” but I definitely did not get the hype. 

3 out of 5 Stars

Millicent Glenn’s Last Wish by Tori Whitaker

Thank you to the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Mother and daughter relationships are some of the most complex and this novel really explores these hurdles around a tragedy that has rippling effects throughout these generations.

Millicent will soon be celebrating her ninety-first birthday and has been holding onto a personal tragedy that she hopes to share one day with her daughter and granddaughter.

Although this is on her agenda someday, her daughter stumbles upon a box filled with mementos of a time that she never knew about that opens all her old wounds.

The reader gets to learn about Millicent’s early married days her infertility struggles, and her strong feminist views that were frowned upon by other women in her life.

Millicent bucks these traditions though by assisting her husband in the successful sales of Sears model kit homes, in a time when women were only expected to care for kids and their home.

While juggling these duties she is forced to deal with a private matter in a public arena, challenging her own mental health and marriage.

If you like Jodi Picoult’s earlier novels, I think you will appreciate this novel that explores a woman’s personal tragedy in the 1950’s, in particular, how women’s fertility and births were treated.

It is infuriating, heartbreaking, and creates a twist that causes one to audibly gasp.

Trigger warnings: not recommended for pregnant women or women who struggle with infertility. 

4 out of 5 Stars

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

This gorgeous novel absolutely blew me away and will be making my, “best of 2020 list.”

I can’t rave enough and encourage you to pick this one up as soon as possible.

In 1714, a woman strikes a deal with a dark god to get her out of a promised marriage to a man that she does not love.

She is given immortality, but she is always forgotten.

She can end her immortal life, at any time, by surrendering her soul to the dark god- a compromise she isn’t willing to make.

This takes you through 1714 all the way to 2014 and hops around through Addie’s scrappy life of survival as she tries to navigate life where she is always forgotten.

When she meets a boy that really can remember her though, she finds just the peace she has always been desiring in her immortal life.

The question is, will the god let her have it?

Honestly, this is the kind of book that transports a reader into an entirely different world.

I was teary-eyed and couldn’t stop turning the pages to see how Addie’s life would work out.

There were some really smart twists that would not have seen coming.

This book is just the kind of book you need right now to escape the realities of pandemic life. 

10 out of 5 Stars

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

If there is one book in my stack that really got me out of my reading slump it is, for sure, this one. 

The Kingdom is a very Disney-inspired theme park that relies on robots to keep the magic alive.

Each of the princesses is a robot and has been programmed to make the day magical for their guests.

All hell breaks loose though when these carefully programmed robot princesses start malfunctioning, threatening the lives of guests and the staff. 

The readers gets to follow along as one princess is accused of murdering a staff member and the clues are slowly leaked to the reader.

This is the kind of suck-you-right-in page turner that will get you back to reading again.

As a fan of Westworld it had that robots behaving badly aspect and really drove home what happens when rely a little too much on technology to do life for us. Get this book ASAP!

5 out of 5 Stars

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

I’m so thankful for our book club because I would have never picked up this book, on my own, had a member not raved so much about it. 

I will say, it is the kind of book that I think you need a twisted sense of humor to appreciate and so it was an easy sell for this reader.

The premise is that the zombie apocalypse has occurred and it is told through the perspective of their pets and other animals that are observing this bizarre behavior.

In fact, the main perspective we get is from a crow. It sounds bizarre, but it was one of the most unique reading experiences that I’ve had in a long time.

I don’t remember the last time that I have laughed out loud at a book, but this was worthy of loud laughter and I found myself sharing passages with my kids and husband as I read it.

I can’t rave enough about what a treat this book was and a perfect Halloween read. All the zombie fun (a little gore), with a whole lot of humor. 

5 out of 5 Stars

The Bright Lands by John Fram

Friday Night Lights meets Stephen King is how this novel was described and why I decided to pick it up.

Who doesn’t love a little horror mixed in with their football?

Joel Whitley was shamed for being gay, in his conservative hometown, and now has made a life for himself in New York. 

He had no plans to return until the disappearance of his brother and now he finds himself back in a town and haunted by memories that he would rather not face.

He finds an unlikely ally in the high school’s star cheerleader. The two begin to unravel an underground secret that the town has kept hidden for years and must team up to bring justice for Joel’s brother.

The book is graphic, particularly some of the sex scenes, but I can see how they helped to move the story.

I  listened to this as an audiobook and thought the narration was great and the story was well-written. 

It’s a solid debut and I look forward to what Fram has in store for us next.

3 out of 5 Stars

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

William Kent Krueger’s, “Ordinary Grace,” quickly became one my favorite books of all-time.

Krueger is a gifted storyteller and his latest novel really showcases how beautifully he can tell a coming-of-age story.

Fans of Huck Finn are sure to love this adventure story where four orphans run away from the Lincoln Indian Training School after one of the boys commits a terrible crime.

They decide to steal away in a canoe and head out on the Mississippi to find a place of their own after a harrowing experience at the school.

The kids narrowly escape meeting their fate more than once and find love within some very unlikely places.

This story will really pull at your heartstrings and is the kind of novel that a reader can really get swept away in.

Krueger includes some information about these training schools and his research at the end of the book which is, definitely, worth noting. 

5 out of 5 Stars

The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr

Fans of Mexican Gothic are sure to appreciate this creepy ghost tale that would be the perfect little winter read.

Robert Highstead is a postmortem photographer and receives a rather strange request to transport his famous cousin, Hugh, to a chapel to be buried.

Hugh was an author that developed a cult-following around a novel that he wrote called, The Lost History of Dreams.

Robert is used to dealing with the dead though and even is visited often by the ghost of his wife, Sida, on a regular basis.

Between that and his work, he keeps the post-mortem life quite busy.

What should have been a quick trip though, ends up becoming a more difficult one as Robert discovers that he is unable to get into the castle.

Luckily, Hugh’s niece holds the keys to getting back in the chapel, but she will only give these if she can the love story of Ada & Hugh to Robert.

This is a bit of a book within a book experience where you have two storylines that are beautifully built and keep the reader flipping the pages.

It had some smart twists and also a lot of interesting historical information that I would not have stumbled upon had I not read it.

If you like a good gothic historical fiction novel, this is one you might really enjoy! 

4 out of 5 Stars

Read With Me This Year

January 2020 Must-Reads

February 2020 Must-Reads

March- SKIPPED (pandemic brain)

April 2020 Must-Reads

May 2020 Must-Reads

June 2020 Must-Reads

Pandemic Hiatus for eLearning

September 2020 Must-Reads

Sign up for the MomAdvice Daily Book Deals Newsletter

Join Our FREE Book Club

Visit ALL my Book Reviews

enjoy these reviews? here are a few other reads you’ll enjoy this year!

The Best Books of 2019 from the best books of 2019

53 historical fiction novels to escape with 53 historical fiction novels to escape with

19 thrillers to keep you up all night 19 thrillers to keep you up all night

Happy Reading!


How to Make an Ombre Cake

Thursday, November 12th, 2020

How to Make an Ombre Cake from

No need to make a fancy layer cake with this easy ombre icing technique for your sheet pan cakes. This cake tutorial couldn’t be easier with a simple white cake recipe topped with a simple buttercream frosting. Check out today’s tutorial for your next birthday cake!

This post is sponsored by Clarkson Potter. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!

How to Make an Ombre Cake from

Looking for the perfect baking escape? You are in luck! Martha Stewart is back with a brand new cookbook that helps novice bakers master beautiful cakes with a few of her favorite tips and tricks.

Martha Stewart’s Cake Perfection is a step-by-step cookbook that teaches you how to wow your friends and family with inspiring cake ideas and couldn’t come at a better time, with the upcoming celebration seasons.

Since my kids were small, I have made cakes for all their special occasions. Bakery cakes are expensive so learning to make our own cakes has saved us hundreds of dollars over the years.

Now that I have teenagers, it is a treat to be able to do these kinds of projects with them and today’s ombre sheet cake was so fun to create together.

Let’s go through the easy steps to make this cake that would be perfect for any occasion from a baby shower to a birthday bash!

How to Make an Ombre Cake

How to Make an Ombre Cake from

To begin today’s recipe, you will need to bake this easy vanilla sheet pan cake recipe.

Once the cake is cooked, transfer it to a wire rack and allow it to cool for 30 minutes. Once your half hour is up, simply turn the cake out, from the cake pan, and allow it to cool completely on your wire rack.

How to Make an Ombre Cake from

Once the cake is cool, you will cover it in white buttercream frosting.

This first layer is often referred to as the “crumb coat,” because it helps trap the crumbs so they aren’t visible in your final product. I find an offset spatula is the easiest way to spread icing on the top and sides of the cake.

How to Make an Ombre Cake from

Now, divide your remaining frosting into three or four bowls (depending on how many colors you would like for the top of your cake). We will be placing these in piping bags for making our beautiful ombre stripes.

You have creative liberty on what colors you want to use, but we used Martha’s suggestion to mimic the gorgeous hues of a sunset, in our personal color scheme.

Who couldn’t use a pretty sunset right now?

How to Make an Ombre Cake from

Lucky for us, our cookbook came with this fun decorating set from iGourmet so we had everything we needed right on hand for our cakes. The best part about this decorating set  is that Martha Stewart and her team of editors picked out everything you need to make her fabulous cakes at home so no need to visit a fancy shop to get all the pretty essentials. This kit has everything you need from gold and silver sparkles to natural food colorings.

How to Make an Ombre Cake from

How to Make an Ombre Cake from

How to Make an Ombre Cake from

Now we just add a color horizontally across the top of the cake in your desired order. Lightly drag the offset spatula or bench scraper end to end to create a blended effect to your cake. Be sure to just wipe off the bench scraper completely between each stroke of color to keep your lines beautifully clean.

How to Make an Ombre Cake from

Looking for a more abstract design? Don’t be afraid to get creative and randomly scatter dollops of colored frosting around your cake and blend as directed. My daughter had a great time being a cake decorator and making her own design with toothpicks and all these vibrant colors.

How easy is that?

Vanilla Buttercream
Author: Martha Stewart’s Cake Perfection
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 cups
This easy buttercream frosting is just what you need for all of your cake recipes!
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted (4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  1. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add confectioners’ sugar ½ cup at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, milk, and salt and beat until buttercream is smooth.

How to Make an Ombre Cake from

Looking for more cake ideas? Grab this cookbook for 125 recipes for all occasions- from those little everyday moments to gorgeous wedding cakes. What a fun way to make the most of these days at home together.

Ombre Sheet Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Martha Stewart’s Cake Perfection
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12-16 servings
No need to make a fancy layer cake with this easy ombre icing technique for your sheet pan cakes. This cake tutorial couldn’t be easier with a simple white cake recipe topped with a simple buttercream frosting. Check out today’s tutorial for your next birthday cake!
  • 1 stick (½ cup) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 2 ¼ cup unbeached all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • Vanilla Buttercream (recipe below)
  • Natural food dyes in Berry and Sunflower (or your favorite shades)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Dust the pan with flour. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar, until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with buttermilk, and beginning and ending with your flour mixture.
  3. Transfer batter to prepared baking pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until cake is golden and puffed and a cake tester comes out clean, 22-25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Spread 2 ½ cups buttercream over top of cake with an offset spatula. Divide remaining buttercream among four small bowls (about ⅓ cup each). Use food dyes to create desired shades. Let stand 10 minutes to allow dyes to fully saturate.
  5. Transfer frostings into pastry bags (no tip required) and pipe a line of each color horizontally across top of cake in the desired order. Lightly drag a large offset spatula or bench scraper end to end across cake to create a blended effect. Add more frosting as desired . Be sure to wipe off the spatula or bench scraper completely between strokes.

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How to Make an Ombre Cake from