|A Ghoulish Halloween Cake|
As a kid, I was so frustrated when my mental images didn’t come to life with paint and paper, but my problem was that I wasn’t using the right medium. When I started playing around with cakes and frosting, I realized that I’d found my true canvas.
Now I make cakes for every occasion. In fact, I’ll use any excuse to go all out on a cake, and my favorite non-birthday occasion is Halloween. With ghosts, skeletons, blood and gore, there’s just so much fun to be had in creating a really ghoulish yet delicious cake. My kids have been nagging me to get our Halloween decorations up since early September, so I’m kicking things off with a Halloween-themed cake.
To make this terrifyingly yummy haunted house, I didn’t need much equipment. In addition to my little helper, I used a couple of decorating tips to pipe the frosting, I only used a Wilton generic house cake pan, a Wilton Halloween candy making kit, and a Wilton skeleton candy making kit. The candy molds are inexpensive ($9.99 for the set and $2 for the skeleton set) and they are a great craft to do with the kids. Such a fun way to decorate a cake.
The Halloween candy making kit came with 4 chocolate disk colors: white, brown, red, and orange. I didn’t feel like finding a craft store in my new hometown, so I put some food coloring in some white chocolate chips to get some additional color options. I would not recommend that. I had to add a lot of canola oil to get the chocolate to melt and it didn’t smoothly blend with the food coloring, resulting in a lumpy gray which actually worked well for the tombstones, but was a lot of hassle. The chocolate wafers supplied with the kit melt much more quickly and are easier to work with. Craft stores sell them in large quantities and they keep for at least a year.
To make the candies, you simply melt the chocolate in the microwave in a piping bag and then pipe it into the molds. To add additional details, you can paint chocolate of a different color onto the mold, put it in the fridge for 5 minutes, and then fill in the rest with the other chocolate color. Rather than piping, I actually prefer to use a frosting spatula to scoop the melted chocolate into the mold and push it in. You could also use a spoon. Once the chocolate is in the molds, just put them in the fridge for a couple of hours to harden. Your decorations are ready to use, and after a quick wash with warm water in the sink (not the dishwasher!), your molds are ready to make more candies.
Once I had the decorations ready, I baked the house cake, using my kids’ favorite Funfetti cake mix. To make sure the cake easily came out, I used the Wilton cake release liquid and sprinkled some flour all over the pan. Then I ran a knife around the cooked cake 3 or 4 times, really pushing against the cake to make sure it released from the sides. I then inverted it onto a platter and vigorously patted it all over. It came out with all the door and window detail of the pan.
Once the cake was out, I made a pan of shallow brownies, also from a mix to make my life easier so I could focus on the frosting and decorating. The grass is 3/4 of a bag of coconut dyed with some green food coloring.
Then the fun began. After deciding what colors I wanted to make the house (orange roof, black siding, orange trim on the windows and door) I added food coloring to tubs of white frosting I bought at the supermarket to get the right hues. Once I had all the colors i would be using, I spooned the frosting into piping bags and got to work frosting the house. I used a regular tip to do the door and windows and a flat tip with a wavy side to do the siding and roof. Depending on whether I wanted it to look like wood for the siding, or shingles for the roof, I flipped it around. Frosting is like writing, you just need to hold your bag and just keep moving.
Once the house was frosted and standing up, I added a few of the chocolate decorations. And declared the cake a Trick or Treat masterpiece!
|organized by Kitchen Play|
This Halloween cake was prepared as part of a SideCar Series at Kitchen Play. Wilton was the sponsor of this online event and generously donated $100 in Wilton equipment of their choice to each participating blogger. I had so much fun choosing all the Wilton products to play with, and I’m especially thrilled that I’ll be able to use items such as the house cake pan and the spinning cake stand for many other occasions after Halloween.