Chocolate Halloween Cake
My intention for this final Halloween dessert was to replicate a jack o’lantern cake that I had made several years ago. I baked the chocolate cake and finished it with a creamy buttercream. In the past I colored the buttercream with orange food coloring, so it resembled a pumpkin.
This year Samuel and his friend, Aron, were going to decorate the cake. I decided to give them a completely ‘blank’ slate and leave the buttercream white.
I used to have very specific candies for the eyes, nose, mouth and sides of the jack o’lantern. This year, I bought a bunch of different kinds of candies and let the boys decide how they wanted to decorate the cake.
Samuel and Aron spent time talking about where they wanted to place each piece of candy and the patterns they wanted to make. It was adorable watching them take the time to do this.
How did they do? I will let you be the judge, but suffice to say, I will let them decorate my cakes anytime!
AN ADDITIONAL NOTE….
Today, we all have the added pleasure of having my friend, Tom Brodigan (who happens to be Aron’s father), serve as my photographer for the featured image. I hope you have enjoyed viewing his beautiful and artistic work over the past five blog posts as much as I. Today´s photos of the Halloween Cake are but a few examples of his creativity. Please click over to Tom’s personal website, brodiganphotography.com, to see more of his wonderful work.
|Halloween Cake|| |
- Chocolate cake:
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1¼ cups sour cream
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons water
- Vanilla buttercream:
- 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 4½ - 6 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4-7 tablespoons whole milk
- Any Halloween candy you want. I used gummy spiders, jelly beans, gum drops, licorice sticks and candy corn.
- For the chocolate cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease two 10” baking pans. Line with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
- Beat the butter, brown sugar and sugar on medium-high speed in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time and scrape the bowl down in between additions.
- Add ½ of the dry ingredients followed by the sour cream, milk and vanilla. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Blend in the melted unsweetened chocolate. Lastly, add the water and mix just until smooth.
- Divide the batter between the two pans and bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before flipping the cakes onto a cooling rack (and then right them using a second cooling rack). Cool completely before frosting.
- For the vanilla buttercream:
- Place the butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla and 4 tablespoons of milk into a large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed initially and then beat on medium high speed for about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl down a couple of times. If the mixture is too stiff, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- To decorate the cake:
- Place one cake layer on a 10” cake board or a serving plate and top with ¾ cup of buttercream. Top with the remaining cake layer. Spread the remaining buttercream over the top and sides of the cake.
- Decorate the cake using the selected candies. Be as creative as you like….total carte blanche!
- Betsy's tidbits:
- In terms of decorating this cake, the possibilities are endless. You may use food coloring to tint the buttercream and/or select other non-candy items to decorate the cake.
- If you do not have time to bake and finish a cake, buy a plain cake and let the kids have a blast decorating it. Win/win situation.