Ghostly Party Cake + Tips for Layered Cakes

Ghost cakeHere's a super simple idea for an impressive Halloween party cake. Create ghost cake toppers from wooden skewers, cotton balls, cheese cloth or burlap and thread. Simply cut small squares of fabric to cover the cotton ball and tie onto the top of the skewer. Ta-da: mini ghosts!White cake recipeAdd interest (and flavor) with a special frosting inside. I chose dark chocolate frosting to contrast with my white vanilla frosting. But you could instead fill your cake with red frosting (blood!) or green frosting (monster blood!?) or dark purple (???). I'm not totally sure what dark purple has to do with Halloween, but it seems to be a color that is strongly represented during this season. Maybe it's witch's blood. I dunno… Just get into it, guys. It's Halloween!Halloween cakeWhen you are planning to make a layered cake, I recommend using a cake recipe that can withstand some weight. My usual go-to vanilla cake recipe is super moist, which is delicious, but not the best option for a layered cake, as it's just too soft. Instead it's best to find a recipe that is firm enough to withstand some added weight (like layers of added cake and frosting). Here's my current favorite:

Vanilla Cake, makes four thin layers

Needed: 2 cups + 4 tablespoons flour, 4 tablespoons corn starch, 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1-1/2 cups sugar, 4 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil and 1 cup milk.

In a bowl combine the flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. In a another bowl cream together the sugar and softened butter. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and stir until just combined. Mix in the dry ingredients. Stir in the oil and milk until nearly no lumps remain in the batter. Pour batter into 4 prepared* round cake pans and bake at 350 F for 20-24 minutes. Until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before use.How to make a layered cakeVanilla Butter Cream Frosting, makes about 5 cups

Needed: 3/4 cup softened butter, 5 cups powder sugar, 4 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Cream together the butter and extract until smooth. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and a tablespoon of milk—cream until smooth. Repeat until you achieve the consistency you prefer.

For the dark chocolate frosting in this cake I totally cheated and used a store bought kind. 🙂Ghost cake toppersTips for Layered Cakes:

-I always prepare my baking pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper. To do, simply lay out a large piece of parchment paper, lay your pan over it, and trace around the edge. Cut out and lay in the pan. This makes the cake layer super easy to remove from the pan after baking.

-Use a large sharp knife to remove excess cake between each layer. You want your cake layers to be perfectly flat in order to layer them easily. So use a knife to trim off the slight dome that each layer will naturally have.

-Use cardboard cake circles to easily transfer and move layers of cake. I usually use two circles for every cake. I flip the layers out of their pans onto a circle and I will gently push each additional layer off it's circle onto the base as I am building up my layers. It might seem annoying to go to the trouble of purchases cake circles but they truly do make layered cakes so much easier.

Have fun making your own spooky party cake this season! xo. Emma

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