In the last section, we discussed how to make a fast and easy Tombstone cake. Now we are going to look at how to create one or more attractive pumpkin cakes to add to your holiday buffet spread or potluck.
Your round pans will be perfect for making a pumpkin face. You can then use the wedges left over from the tombstone cake to make stems for two pumpkin cakes by frosting them green and positioning them over the round cakes. (If you have not made a tombstone cake already, not to worry. We will tell you what to do when it comes time to decorate and assemble the cake.)
For the pumpkin faces, once your round layer cakes are completely cool, you will be ready to frost. First dye your white frosting orange, or use ready-made orange frosting. (We recommend trying to make your own natural food colorings rather than buying commercial products. There are many recipes online that can help.)
If you need to create a stem, cut off about an inch of one side of the cake and then cut it in half or into a stem shape and position it on top of the cake. Frost it green and set aside until it is time to assemble the cake.
Frost the whole cake ‘face’ with your orange frosting, and then decide how you wish to create the features of the pumpkin face.
There are a number of options for creating the faces. Again, if you are a green mom, you might want to create these as naturally as possible. If you are calorie or sugar conscious, this will also help you select the right choice for your whole family and any guests you might be serving cake.
You can draw eyes, nose and mouth with frosting gel or make some very dark black frosting with red and blue drops of color and create triangles for the eyes and nose and some jagged ‘teeth’ for the mouth.
You can also make the facial features using a number of pieces of candy corn. Make two triangles pointing downwards for the eyes and one triangle pointing upwards for the nose by positioning the candy corn as needed. The mouth can be as jagged and snaggle-toothed as you like, positioned in the center of the cake under the nose.
You can add the lines of the pumpkin down the cake in slightly curved lines parallel to each other like parentheses, starting on either side of the face, with the left-hand-side lines curving out to the left, and the right-hand side line curving out towards the right like this: ((*^*))
You can also use icing gel, sprinkles and so on to fill in the features. Don’t forget to color green the stems of the ‘pumpkins’ (your leftover cake wedges from the tombstone cake) using some green frosting or green sprinkles or colored green sugar.
These are quick and easy cake ideas that will feed a large number of people for gathering at a school, church hall or other community group . An attractive cake also works very well as the centerpiece for a Halloween buffet table. Best of all, you can use any recipe you like, so you can be sure of how wholesome the ingredients are. You can even make your own buttercream frosting or a festive-colored cake glaze using natural ingredients, without a lot of fat and sugar or food coloring, in order to avoid gaining weight or feeding your family and friends too many unhealthy items.
If you are really in a hurry, you can resort to boxed mixes, pre-prepared frosting, and food color, but remember that one drop of color can go a long way and use it sparingly.
If you make a mistake frosting your cake, just scoop it off and start again. If the worst comes to the worst, you can even cut off one part of the cake and start again or use it for cake pops and bake another one.
And no matter what it looks like, there is no such thing as a bad cake as long as you follow instructions for the recipe you are using or the mix you are making. Don’t burn your cake/s, time everything carefully, and test it for doneness according to the package instructions.
Note to beginner bakers:
Your oven may vary in terms of temperature, so always check for doneness about 5 minutes before the lowest recommended time. For example, if it says Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, check its progress at the end of 25 minutes. Our oven is so good that if it says 350 for 30 minutes, it will be done to perfection in 30 minutes. 35 would be overdone.
We once had an oven that was 100 degrees cooler than it should have been and one that was 75 degrees hotter than it should have been. If you want to save a lot of money and calories by learning to make and decorate cakes yourself, it is a fun hobby the whole family will love, but you might want to invest in an inexpensive oven thermometer just to check your oven so all your cakes will come out great.