- I'm really a demon. Makes sense. I've never taken a flash photo without red eye. This would clear a lot of things up for me, really.
- I enjoy the thought of being scared but not actually being scared. Horror movies, cheesy blood and gore, it's all good during Halloween. But pop out from around the corner in front of me the rest of the year, and I will deck you.
- As someone with intense OCD, being able to organize and create a theme for my food is an utter delight. I enjoy coming up with creepy desserts more than normal people enjoy eating them. I also really enjoyed creating this list.
This bewitching swirl cake with "poisoned" roses (don't worry, poison is code for Baileys) is a stellar food rendition of the best parts of Halloween: macabre and death with a delightful color scheme! What? That's not why you like Halloween? Well, you weirdo, you can still make this cake yourself to be the hit of your costume parties. It looks really hard to make, but trust me, even if you don't know your way around the kitchen, I can guide you. Think of me as your fairy cakemother, or whatever the evil equivalent of that might be. Soul-sucking pastry demon? Either way, I'm here to help. I had a blast making and decorating this cake and turned half my fingers black in the process. If I want to go as a decaying zombie for Halloween, I'm already set! This is actually a cake and a half, chocolate and vanilla mix, with salted caramel Baileys chocolate buttercream. It is to die for.
|Yes, I snuck pumpkin into this. No surprise.|
- One white cake mix
- You can make this with box ingredients, but to get a moister, richer cake, use melted butter in place of oil and milk instead of water. Extra egg for density not needed since the chocolate cake is heavy.
- Half a box of chocolate cake mix
- I tried a thing here: replacing eggs with pumpkin puree. Since the recipe is halved, three eggs is not a thing I'm willing or sure how to cut in half. Instead, use 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree per egg, so in this case, 1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup. This cuts about 20 calories per egg, and you cannot taste an ounce of pumpkin, I promise.
- Also, use melted butter in place of oil and milk for water.
- Gel dyes in black, bright purple, and neon green
|Also needed, more spoons than you'd use in the average week.|
|So it should look like a hodgepodge of Playdough, really.|
To even out your layers, tap each pan on the counter firmly until everything looks smooth. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. My two 8x8 pans took 39 minutes to cook since this is more batter than usual.
|*Cue evil laughter and/or cackling*|
Trust me, things may look like the world's strangest camouflage right now, but the inside of this cake is BRIGHT. Let your cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to finish cooling. When you remove these cakes from the pan, take an angled spatula and separate the edges of the cake from the side of the pan by scraping the edges gently in a sawing, circular motion. Then use your spatula to gently push the sides of the cake away from the edge. This is a heavy cake with so much batter, so getting the edges free will ensure your whole cake makes it out of the pan, and you don't end up with some deformed monstrosity you have to try to pass off to your family or coworkers as "melted Frankenstein's monster."
|And then you'd just get drunk on the Baileys and cry. There's no winners in that situation.|
While your cakes are cooling, FULLY, in the fridge or freezer for an hour or thirty minutes respectively, it's time to make the frosting. I haven't baked with Baileys in ages, and the lid was nearly glued on. I was moments away from desperately trying to gnaw the lid off or breaking the neck off bar-fight style on the counter. Thankfully, tapping the lid with a spoon worked. Who knew I'd get so much use out of spoons today? To make the Baileys salted caramel chocolate buttercream, gather up:
- 2 sticks of room temperature butter
- 1 2lb. bag of powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa poweder
- 1 TBS vanilla extract
- 6-8 TBS Baileys salted caramel flavor
- Literally the rest of your bottle of black gel dye.
|I wanted this cake to be as black as my soul.|
|While your crumb coat sets, place the remaining frosting into two bags loaded with a 2D tip. 1M tips will also work, but won't yield as detailed of a rose.|
|Guess who needs a tall cake stand because she's tired of MacGyvering kitchen utensils?|
|Honestly, another way to not use SO much frosting would be to layer the top of the cake in orange or black sprinkles when the frosting layer is still wet. But I like what is traditionally known as a "buttload" of frosting on my cake.|
|Buttloads never looked so good.|
|Just call me Wednesday Addams 'cause I would love a bouquet of roses this color.|
|IT'S ALIVE! ...with color.|
|...Frankenstein's monster, is that...is that, you?|
Oh hush, don't be surprised the English teacher obsessed with Halloween knows Frankenstein was the doctor and not the monster. I told you, you need to read more...