Can’t believe its already Halloween again, where has the last year gone? After last years brain cake went down so well I thought I’d try something again this year and set my heart on a jack o’lantern themed cake. I did have to buy a lot of new equipment in to make it but I’m sure I’ll re-use it in the future. For the cake I went for a chocolate cake with orange buttercream baked in two 10″ bundt pans but you could go for anything from a Victoria sponge to a pumpkin spice cake.
For the cakes:
Ingredients for each cake:
- 225g Unsalted butter
- 225g Caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 200g self raising flour
- 25g Cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease two 10″ bundt tins. I went for these as they help give you a good initial shape for the pumpkin and because they are a ring shape you have a nice pre-made hole to fill with trick or treats.
- As this is quite a lot of cake mix I made each cake separately but if you have a large enough bowl feel free to double the ingredients above and make in one go.
- Beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time.
- Add the flour, baking powder and cocoa and fold in gently.
- Add the mix to the bundt pan and put in the oven for around 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. If making in two batches add the second cake once the first cake has come out of the oven otherwise put both cakes in the oven at once.
- After around 10 minutes cooling remove from the tins and leave to cool before decorating.
Now for the fun bit, the decorating and making this look more like a jack o’lantern.
Tools & Ingredients:
- Fondant sculpting tools – I used the Wilton Fondant and Gum Paste Tool set
- Cake decorating brushes
- 1-1.25kg Orange fondant
- 250g Green fondant
- 500g Unsalted butter
- 400g Icing sugar
- Black food colouring
- Orange colouring
- 2-3 tsp Orange flavouring
- 1/2-1 tsp Vanilla flavouring
- Orange zest from one orange
- Prepare the buttercream by beating the butter and icing sugar together to a spreadable or pipeable consistency.
- Mix in the orange flavouring, orange zest and vanilla (and optionally orange colouring) until you’re happy with the flavour and colour.
- To start building this cake cut the cakes in to two height-wise, I used a wire cutter but it broke cutting the first cake so I ended up only being able to halve one cake unfortunately.
- To help the cake stick while decorating I piped a small circle of the buttercream on to my cake board and took the top of one of my cakes and flipped it over to create the rounded bottom.
- Apply a layer of buttercream on each cake and stack them until all four layers have been used. You should end up with something looking like this.
- Next step is to apply a crumb coat the rest of the cake with the remaining buttercream to seal it and then place it in the fridge for an hour or so.
- Now its time to do some cake carving. I used the knife sculpting tool to define the pumpkin shape more using the bumps already there as a base and just taking a thin slit out all the way down the cake on either side of each bump.
- I then marked out my pumpkins face with a cocktail stick and used the sculpting knife to carve out his eyes and mouth, you can be as creative as you want here.
- Next roll out your orange fondant so that its big enough to cover the cake and go around with the round sculpting tool tucking it in to the ridges and features, cutting off any excess along the way. If you find it difficult like I did to do the fondant in one go, I covered the cake in two halves so that the fondant was easier to handle.
- Once I was happy with the look I used some green fondant to create a stalk for the top of the cake and stuck it on with a little vodka.
- Then mixing a small amount of vodka with some black food colouring I painted the eyes and mouth and added some shading to the ridges, heres the finished article. Feel free to send me pictures of your Jack O’lanterns.
If you’re looking for another great idea for a Halloween pumpkin cake, check out my friend KatiePix’s recipe here for a Pumpkin Piñata cake.