Here's the perfect cake for a kids' Halloween party. And it isn't as hard to make as you might think. I followed the cake recipe below, but to save time you can skip the cake portion of the recipe and use a packaged chocolate cake mix, following the directions on the package. The cake can be made the night before and decorated the next day.
Be sure to read the directions completely before you begin.
-- Arlene Burnett
- Shortening for greasing pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup baking cocoa
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 16-ounce container vanilla frosting
- 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup (Hershey's)
- 4-ounce package waffle ice cream bowls (10 bowls)
- 4.5 ounce package chewy fruit strips in 3-foot rolls (6 rolls)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 12-cup Bundt pan with shortening; lightly flour. Place cake ingredients in a large bowl and beat with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.
Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.
Cool completely, for about 2 hours.
Place cake on serving plate.
Stir together frosting and syrup, reserve 1/4 cup of the frosting. Spread remaining frosting over cake (I used a butter knife to make ridges in the frosting to resemble a pumpkin).
For straw hat, place 1 waffle bowl upside down in the center of cake. Stack 5 more bowls on first bowl.
Cut fruit strips into 14 6-inch strips and 14 5-inch strips. Cut each strip lengthwise to within 1 inch of top of strip. Place a 6-inch strip and a 5-inch strip together, pressing together at uncut ends. Repeat with remaining strips.
Randomly press pairs of strips onto two-thirds of cake, overlapping as needed and allowing strips to hang over side of cake. Spread reserved 1/4 cup frosting over top of hair.
Break remaining waffle bowls into 5 or 6 pieces each. Randomly press waffle pieces on top of cake, overlapping and tucking pieces as needed. Allow waffle pieces to hang over side of cake and over fruit strips.
Cut pieces of remaining fruit rolls for eyes and nose. Press on cake.
-- "Betty Crocker, Celebrate!" (General Mills, 2004)