Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Halloween Cake Time

Hello, dear blog readers! It's time for another cake!

My fabulous friends from Etsy and I have been talking about this crazy device that cooks little balls of cake. You can insert a lollipop stick, decorate, and have a cake pop, similar to confections you can buy at bakeries and coffee shops.

The more we talked about this device, the more several of us needed to acquire one. We learned they carried them at Bed Bath and Beyond and Kohls. One of my friends went to BB&B and found them sold out so she had to order it. I went to the BB&B not far from my office and they were also sold out. They told me of another store that had twelve in stock according to their computer, but that one is impossible to get to in evening rush hour. The next day, I went to a different BB&B and they had three on the shelf! Yay! My first batch with my new cake pop maker was apple cider doughnut holes, a recipe included with the manual.

Since we had been talking so much about cake pops, my friend came across this site that features an awesome Monster Cake. I got my maker the Thursday before Halloween, and as soon as she posted about that cake, I knew I had to make it for a party Saturday.

The first step was easy. I picked a vanilla cake ball recipe from the manual and ended up with a little more than three dozen cake balls.

Little balls of vanilla cake

I didn't take any pictures of baking the cake, but it was not complex. When I was making the spice cake for my mother's birthday cake, I thought it would taste amazing with pumpkin. Pumpkin is the flavor of the season, so I used a box spice cake mix made with about 15 oz of pumpkin (no eggs or oil or anything, just mix and pumpkin). I was a little worried that my cake would not rise, and it did not. It cooked fine, but both layers ended up lumpy. since I was making a monster, it did not have to be perfect.

The next step is to make my cake ball eyeballs. I got some candy melts from the craft store, melted them in the microwave, and got to dipping. Candy melts come in a variety of colors. The store was out of orange, so I went with a light chocolate.

It's something like chocolate.

The trick to dipping cake balls is to dip the stick first, skewer the ball that has been chilled in the fridge or freezer, and then dunk and swirl it in the melty candy. You want to get a nice, thin, even coat but, I have to admit, after the first dozen, I was less stingy with my dip.

It looks good!

My cake pop maker came with a stand that holds a dozen pops. When you have more than three to work with, it makes it a slow process. Also, I've learned from previous work with these candy melts that once you melt them, they want to stay melted, so I had to keep the dipped pops in the freezer until it was time to decorate them.

Delicious chocolate-covered balls

Decorating the cake balls to look like eyes was easy. I put some white candy melts in a plastic bottle, melted them, and piped a circle on to one side of my coated cake pops. A chocolate chip for the pupil was the finishing touch. I used long and short lollipop sticks to give my monster a different look.

Eye see you

Now it's time to ice the cake. I used cream cheese icing because it pairs so well with a spice cake. I colored the icing with brown gel food coloring. The first layer was way too light.

Start with a yummy, lumpy cake

The purpose of the dirty icing layer is to glue the layers of cake together (with icing between the two) and to tame the crumbs on the outer surfaces of the cake. This step is more important when your icing is light colored and your cake is really crumbly.

Cover it with icing

I dyed the second layer of icing much darker, but not the same color as the chocolate on my pops. I was running out of dye, so I just left it as is.

Nice and smooth

Smooth icing does not look like a hairy monster, so I took a shell tool and gave it some wispy texture.

Quick strokes make a furry cake

It looks fuzzy to me

The lumpy cake gave me a nice surface for the face of my monster. I used decorator icing with a piping tip to pipe on a black mouth line and some white teeth.


I baked the cake and cake balls on Thursday and decorated the mess on Friday, but I could not place the eyestalks until I was at the party, because they would not fit in my cake carrier.

When it was time to bring out the cake, I put seven of my three dozen eyestalks in and brought it out.

Ta-da! The Completed Monster Cake!

Doesn't it look delicious among all that yummy food? The remaining eyestalks made for a yummy treat as well.

Good stuff to eat

The death of a Monster Cake.

The pumpkin spice combination was just as tasty as I thought it would be.

I really love my cake pop maker. The appliance was very easy to use and the cake balls are so fun to decorate. I think the next monster cake should be purple. I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

1 comment :

Vintage Whimsy said...

Your cake turned out so cute!! Love it!