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Halloween cake with striped layers of cake and buttercream in candy corn colors, decorated with candy.

Candy Corn Striped Halloween Cake

Heather Smoke
A fun and festive Halloween cake with striped layers of cake and buttercream in candy corn colors.
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer

Ingredients
  

Chocolate Cake

  • cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 1 large egg
  • cup vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup boiling water

Vanilla Cake (for Orange, Yellow and White Layers)

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites (save the extra yolks for another use)
  • 1 ¾ cup whole buttermilk, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • vanilla, almond and coconut extracts
  • orange and yellow gel food coloring

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 1 tsp meringue powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp milk or cream, if needed

Vanilla Buttercream (for Orange, Yellow and White Stripes)

  • 2 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 1 tbsp meringue powder (optional)
  • 2 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp milk or cream, if needed

Ganache Drip

  • 2 oz semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 oz heavy whipping cream
  • assorted Halloween candy and sprinkles

Instructions
 

Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 and grease one 8-inch pan with non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients and whisk vigorously until smooth.  Pour into one pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Vanilla Cake (for Orange, Yellow and White Layers)

  • Preheat the oven to 350 and grease three 8-inch pans with non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the eggs, egg whites, milk, vinegar and oil and whisk until smooth.  Divide equally into three bowls.
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a few drops of yellow food coloring to one bowl of batter.
  • Add 1 teaspoon almond extract and a few drops of orange food coloring to the second bowl of batter.
  • Add 1 teaspoon coconut extract to the third bowl of batter; this one should remain white.
  • Pour into the three pans and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes on cooling racks, covered with clean kitchen towels, until completely cool.

Chocolate Buttercream.

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute until smooth.
  • With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, meringue powder and vanilla. Increase speed to medium and whip for 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally, until very light and fluffy. Add the milk or cream as needed for desired consistency.

Vanilla Buttercream

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute until smooth.
  • With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar, salt, meringue powder and vanilla. Increase speed to medium and whip for 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally, until very light and fluffy. Add the milk or cream as needed for desired consistency.
  • Divide into 3 bowls. Use gel food coloring to tint one bowl yellow, one orange, and keep the third white.

Ganache

  • For the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.  Warm the cream in a saucepan over medium low heat, just until simmering around the edges, the pour over the chocolate.  Stir until smooth and pour over the cake, letting it drip over the edges.
  • Note, don't make the ganache until you have the cake assembled and frosted.

Assembly

  • Remove the cooled cakes from the pans. Have all of your buttercreams mixed, tinted and ready to go.
  • Set a cake board on a turntable. Set the chocolate cake on the cake board. Frost the top of the cake with approximately 1/2 cup of chocolate buttercream, then frost the sides with a thin crumb coat of chocolate buttercream.
  • Set the orange cake layer on top of the chocolate. Frost the top of the cake with approximately 1/2 cup of orange buttercream, then frost the sides with a thin crumb coat of orange buttercream, trying not to mix it into the chocolate buttercream on the layer beneath.
  • Set the yellow cake layer on top of the orange. Frost the top of the cake with approximately 1/2 cup of yellow buttercream, then frost the sides with a thin crumb coat of yellow buttercream, trying not to mix it into the orange buttercream on the layer beneath.
  • Set the white cake layer on top of the yellow. Frost the top of the cake with approximately 1/2 cup of white buttercream, then frost the sides with a thin crumb coat of white buttercream, trying not to mix it into the yellow buttercream on the layer beneath.
  • Place the crumb-coated cake in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
  • Fit four piping bags with a medium-sized round piping tip (such as Wilton #12). Fill the bags with the remainder of the chocolate, orange, yellow and white buttercream.
  • Set your chilled cake back on the turntable.
  • Starting at the bottom, pipe the chocolate buttercream around the cake in even rows, all the way around the cake, making sure each row touches the next. Continue piping around 1/4 of the way up the cake.
  • Repeat with the orange, then the yellow, and lastly the white buttercream.
  • Now, take a bench scraper or pastry scraper, hold it at about a 45-degree angle to the cake and lightly sweep it around the sides of the cake on a continuous motion – this is where it is extremely beneficial to decorate your cake on a turntable so that you can turn it with one hand while you smooth the buttercream with the other.  Without a turntable, this step will be difficult for you.  You are not trying to remove much frosting, so use a light hand – you are simply smoothing out any air bubbles and blending the colors together.  Sweep around the cake several times, wiping the bench scraper clean with a paper towel each time around, until you’re satisfied with the result.  Smooth out the top.
  • Make the ganache, then let it cool for several minutes until it's the right pourable consistency. You don't want it to be too warm so that it melts your buttercream, but too cool and it will thicken up to much to pour. Pour it on top of the cake, lightly spreading it towards the edges with an offset spatula and letting it drip down the sides.
  • Let the ganache set for about an hour, then decorate with candy.
Keyword Cake, Candy Corn, Halloween, High Altitude