Hallowe’ en has arrived and everybody is frantically buying their last-minute pumpkins to carve as jack o’ lanterns and decorate their houses and gardens… Jack o’ lanterns are named after carved pumpkins, squashes, turnips and other root vegetables of the sort and are associated with the strange lights flickering over peat bogs. They are a yearly Hallowe’en tradition in America that originally came from the Irish legends of Stingy Jack and are used in many different kinds of folklore stories. The headless Horseman, for instance ( from ” The legend of sleepy Hollow” written by Washington Irving), is often depicted with a pumpkin or jack o’ lantern in lieu of a severed head…
Here is another unique way to spread magic this Hallowe’en: wow your friends and family by making this amazingly realistic pumpkin cake… Fun guaranteed!
For this ambitious creation, I suggest you use either the basic yogurt cake or the pumpkin spice cake recipe, both having been seen in previous posts and are relatively easy to make. It’s important not to add too much work or difficulty as the icing and decorating of the cake will take quite a bit of time. TIP: It’s easier if you bake your cakes in two or three different layers and assemble them once they’re cooked. I used a pumpkin shaped mold which I ordered on Amazon. This made my work considerably easier as I didn’t need to carve the shape of the pumpkin as well as the rest.
Icing and decorating techniques
- 500G mascarpone
- 150g icing sugar
- A few drops of passion fruit syrup
- Orange food colouring
- 1kg orange sugar paste (vanilla flavoured)
- A few teaspoons of maïzena
- Sugar paste utensils
- Different sized paint brushes
- Cocoa powder
- Powdered brown food colouring
- Powdered orange food colouring
- Powdered red food colouring
Once you’ve baked your cakes (two or three depending on your cake mould), leave to cool for at least 1h at room temperature. Meanwhile, prepare the orange icing by beat the mascarpone with the icing sugar and orange food colouring. Add a few drops of passionfruit flavouring or any other flavour of your choice.
With a long metal spatula, fill the middle of the cake with a thick coat of icing and then add some on the top and sides so that the sugar paste will stick properly.
Once the cake is iced, roll out your orange sugar paste using a spoon of maïzena so that it won’t stick to the table. TIP: Maïzena is better than icing sugar because it keeps the sugar paste souple and easier to work. Then, form a large rounded shape with the sugar paste, which must be at least 0,5 cm to 1cm thick. Pat it down on top of the cake and smooth it with your fingertips over and around every ridge. Use your sugar paste tools to help form the large and smaller ridges of the pumpkin.
With a paintbrush and different coloured powdered food colouring (browns, yellows, oranges, and reds), softly paint every ridge, the large ones first then the smaller, thinner ones.
Once your pumpkin is finished and you are satisfied with the result, take out the green sugar paste and start working on the stalk and leaves. Roll our a large piece of green sugar paste for the main stalk and work it with your fingertips.
With the aid of sugar paste tools, cut little ridges into the stalk to make it more realistic. This is actually quite fun and easy to do! Then use a toothpick to curl the end and maintain this position until it dries.
Once this is done curl smaller, thinner pieces of green sugar paste and insert a small toothpick into each one so they will stay in place once on the cake.
Place the stalks and smaller stems in the center on the pumpkin cake by piercing the orange sugar paste with the toothpicks.
Once your pumkin cake is finished set it on a tree stump platter and surround it with leaves and real pumpkins for a magical Hallowe’en effect!
I hope to see you here next week for my first Winter season recipe until then take care and have fun! HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL!!!!!