Friday, November 4, 2011

Jack-O-Lantern Cake

When it comes to cakes, I have a little bit of an addiction with surprise cakes. I think it is actually the reaction that people have when someone cuts into a cake to find a picture or other design on the inside that I love. Putting a smile on someone's face is priceless! I have done a few of these cakes in the past, and eventually I'll blog about those too, but for today I'm talking about the jack-o-lantern cake!

I found this cake on a blog that I absolutely adore (i am baker) and had to try it out for myself! It was fun to make, but the amount of cake that was left over was ridiculous! Good thing I had someone to give the cake away to, otherwise I would have ended up wasting tons of perfectly good cake!

I followed the blogs instructions and used boxed cake mix for this one. I did, however, make my own icing as I am not a huge fan of premade icing and it is so easy to make it homemade!

For the entire cake I used:
1 box of white cake mix
2 boxes of devils food cake mix
1 recipe Wilton icing (tripled)
Food coloring (yellow, orange, green, and black)
a small round cookie cutter

First, I made the white cake mix into 2 dozen cupcakes. I needed 2 white cupcakes and 2 yellow cupcakes. Since I wasn't going to use the remaining cupcakes for anything other than freezing and eventually eating, I went ahead and made 1 dozen white and 1 dozen yellow (using yellow food coloring) in case I messed anything up.

While those were cooling I baked the other 2 boxes of cake mix into 4- 8 in. cakes. After everything was baked, I covered it all and put in the fridge overnight. It worked out well since cake is much easier to work with once chilled. When I started the next day everything was ready to go!

Next, I made the 3 batches of icing.
Single batch of icing (makes 2 1/2 C.):
1 C. solid white vegetable shortening
1tsp. Wilton flovoring (vanilla, almond, or butter) (I usually use 2 tsp. and sometimes mix the flavors)
7-8 tsp. milk or water
1 lb. pure cane confectioners' sugar
1 T. Wilton Meringue Powder
Pinch of salt (optional)

I could have gotten away with making 2 batches, but I wanted to be on the safe side. I split it up in the amounts I figured I would need, making the most orange and then equal amounts of green and black.
I stacked 3 of the layers of devils food cake and dirty iced them. Then I took my handy dandy small cookie cutter and cut a hole directly down the center. I cut 3 cupcakes to push into the center of the cake. Then I cut a V shape out of the top of the fourth layer and set it on top of the other 3 layers. I cut the top of the yellow cupcake into a point so that it fit inside of the V shape. The base of the yellow cupcake became the stem of the pumpkin.
I then iced over the stem and the rest of the cake again to do a final layer of orange icing. The stem was then iced green and I piped a vine with leaves going down the side of the pumpkin and some green around the base of it.
The next step was to make a face for the jack-o-lantern. I did one on each side. One was happy and one was kind of sad.

I gave this cake away so I missed the big reveal, but I did get pictures! So here they are:

That's right! There is a candle inside! Pretty neat, huh? It definitely didn't turn out as good looking as where I got the recipe from, but I am still learning. I am very pleased with the finished product!

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