If you are looking for some Halloween cake ideas, a pumpkin cake is a fun and (almost) easy project to do. I always like to simplify my life as much a possible and honestly, I'm not feeling like carving cakes nowadays, so I made this 3D pumpkin cake without hacking away into a cake.
This cake was made by baking two bundt cakes and "gluing" them together with buttercream to make a pumkin-ish shape. See, the bundt cake pan is perfect because of its rounded and fluted shape. There is a 3D pumpkin cake pan available and I love it too because it will bake a whole cake instead of having a hole in the middle as with a bundt cake pan. Most of us would have already owned a bundt cake pan and it is easier (and cheaper!) to find one if you don't have it.
I apologize for not posting any pictures of this process; my camera's battery died and I really wanted to get going with this cake. What I did was ice the cakes as smooth as possible with buttercream. I paid special attention to the part where the cake would meet and tried to make it look seamless. Then I placed the cake in the fridge to harden the frosting a bit, this way it will be easier to put on the fondant.
I used white fondant because 1) I did not feel like coloring the fondant and, 2) I got myself a new toy - an airbrush (still doing the happy dance whenever I think about it :). I've finally bought one after lusting for many a years. And I was not disappointed. Not only did I saved time from coloring the fondant, the end result was fantastic, the orange color was deep and vibrant. And it was such a breeze to apply.
Here is my set-up for airbrushing. I placed paper underneath the cake so I won't mess up my table. And I took 2 foamcore boards (you can also use any carton or box, I happen to have tons foamcore in storage) and taped them on one side and placed it behind the cake to catch the overspray. I placed the cake in a lazy susan and just sprayed away. I sprayed in a vertical motion, going up and down the cake while at the same time turning the cake a bit at a time.
After airbrushing, I placed it back to the fridge to dry a little bit. I then started working on the face. I printed the Jack pattern template from this site and cut out the gray areas or the face. I rolled out black fondant thin and flat, traced and cut the pattern using an exacto knife. I smoothed the edges of the cutouts with my finger and carfully placed it on the pumpkin. For the mouth, I originally wanted to use black thin licorice but I could not find it in the stores near me. So, what I did was I just rolled the fondant in to a very thin log and cut little strips to make the "stitches" on the mouth.
To achieve a high sheen on the face, I painted it with black gel color mixed with lemon extract. See the before and after. I just love the after, the pumpkin seems to come into life.
I also made a stump with fondant and air sprayed it yellow, brown and green, placed it on top of the pumpkin head and voila a spooky pumpkin cake.
And this is my kind of carving a pumpkin.
The real surprise is when you cut into the cake. Alternating layers of 2 versions of pumpkin cake recipe, one regular and one chocolate, are revealed when you cut into the cake. I did this by cutting the bundt cake in half and alternated the regular and the chocolate cakes. It actually came out pretty spiffy, don't you think?
Boo ya! It does kinda look creepy in the dark.
Happy Halloween everyone!