Activities | Gruesome Halloween baking

**WARNING** – this cake looks totally gross, but it’s Halloween so that’s ok right!? BUT it tasted amazing!

This Halloween we made a cake of two tales. When we started pocketnannies we wanted our posts to be a true reflection of activities we do with our charges at work and be easy for you to replicate at home. This bake definitely compliments this idea….it’s perfectly imperfect!

I firstly planned to make an iced red velvet cake, covered in ‘blood’ with eyes bulging out.

We used Jaclyn’s recipe from Cooking Classy to form our cake and frosting. I found this recipe really easy and the cake was perfect….after one of the three layers fell out the oven, the second was perfect, and the third I forgot about and somehow it still managed to come out great (after I whipped the top off of it!)…..but who said cooking with children was straight forward!

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

2 3/4 cups (365g) all-purpose flour (whisk flour before measuring)
1/4 cup (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups (403g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 oz liquid red food coloring
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
340g cream cheese, softened
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
6 Tbsp salted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups (560g) powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 3 9-inch round baking pans then line bottom of each with a round of parchment paper and butter parchment, set aside.
To a mixing bowl add flour, baking soda and salt. Sift in cocoa powder then whisk mixture for 20 seconds, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (if using an attachment that doesn’t constantly scrape bowl, then stop mixture occasionally throughout entire mixing process and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl), whip together sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Mix in vegetable oil. Blend in eggs one at a time, mixing just until combined after each addition. Mix in egg yolks then red food coloring.
In a liquid measuring cup, measure out buttermilk then whisk in vanilla extract and vinegar. Working in four separate stages, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure everything is incorporated. Divide mixture evenly among three prepared baking pans. Spread into an even layer and bake in preheated oven 26 – 30 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool in cake pan 10 minutes then run knife around edges of cake to loosen and invert onto wire racks to cool completely. Once cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Store cake in an airtight container in refrigerator.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy (at this point I recommend freezing or chilling frosting in refrigerator for a bit, returning to mixer and mixing occasionally, for a more stable consistency).

I also made a white chocolate ganache by melting 300g white chocolate and mixed in 150g cream on a very low heat. I then added red food colouring and put the mixture into a tall squeezy bottle ready for icing the cake.

This is where the cake took a different turn. As I said the cake was meant to be covered in ‘blood’. My food colouring was called ‘Christmas Red’ so the ganache was a fairly bright red but a bit too light for blood. I also decided it wasn’t runny enough to run down the side of the cake so topped it up in the squeezy bottle with a bit more cream and mixed it briefly with a fork.

When we squeezed out that ganache on the cake it was quite marbled in coloured and coming out in wiggly worm type shapes……a perfect look for an exploded brain!

So onto a cake with an exploded brain then we dropped eye chocolates onto the top. The kitchen was warm for the icing and one eye slid down the cake…it looked truely grusome, but once we cut into it and all tried a slice, it was delicious!


🎃🎃 Have a Happy Halloween 🎃🎃

© pocketnannies 2016

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