Easy Jack-O-Lantern Cake
My daughter's birthday is near the end of October, so Halloween-themed parties are common. When my daughter was 10 years old, I decided to make her a Jack-O-Lantern cake. I've made it for subsequent birthdays since then.
This can also be used for any Halloween party or even at Thanksgiving (just omit the Jack-O-Lantern decorations and have a Pumpkin-shaped cake).
If you want, you can use a pumpkin-nut bread recipe (may need to be doubled), but a boxed spice cake mix works just fine. I've also made this using a boxed chocolate cake mix and other varieties.
You will need:
A Bundt pan (the type with the vertical ridges)
A box of cake mix (your choice)
Yellow and Red food coloring
One Tootsie Roll
For decorating: You can choose to use a chocolate candy bar, or candy corn, or reserve a small amount of the vanilla frosting.
Bake the cake in the Bundt pan, according to the directions on the box. Invert the cake on to a plate. Allow the cake to cool for at least an hour.
Reserve a small amount of the frosting, if using for decoration. Mix the remaining frosting with one drop of yellow & one drop of red food coloring. Continue adding the food coloring until you are satisfied with the orange color. Remember, your goal is to make it look like a pumpkin.
Frost the cake completely. Unwrap the Tootsie Roll, bend it slightly without breaking it, and gently push into the top front of the cake (this is the "stem" of the pumpkin).
To decorate the "face", carefully slice or carve the chocolate bar into triangles for the eyes and nose. Creating the "mouth" can be done in a series of triangles or other "odd" shapes.
Alternatively, you can use candy corn, pressed into the frosting to create a "face" for your Jack-O-Lantern. Another method is to use the reserved frosting, with a tiny amount of yellow food coloring to create the "face."
Tip: To make a quick piping bag for the frosting: Place the frosting in a sandwich baggie, snip a tiny bit off one corner of the baggie and squeeze the frosting on the cake.
Small "leaves" cut from construction paper, and scattered around the cake plate adds a bit of whimsy to your finished creation.