Slashing Pumpkins at Baltimore's Charm City Cakes

Food Network Magazine showed up at Baltimore's Charm City Cakes with a bunch of pumpkins and a mission for the Ace of Cakes gang: Carve some cool jack-o'-lanterns!

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D ©Copyright Hearst Commmunications Inc., 2008

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D ©Copyright Hearst Commmunications Inc., 2008

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D ©Copyright Hearst Commmunications Inc., 2008

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D ©Copyright Hearst Commmunications Inc., 2008

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D ©Copyright Hearst Commmunications Inc., 2008

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D ©Copyright Hearst Commmunications Inc., 2008

The carving took place in the middle of the bakery.

Duff plans his design with a careful eye.

Pumpkin Duff

Duff's Side Act: For this design, Duff scraped eyes and a mouth with an X-Acto knife and used toothpicks to "nail" in toasted pumpkin seeds.

Duff takes the time to enhance his pumpkin seeds.

Elena cleans out her pumpkin before she gets down to business.

Pumpkin Mary Elena

Elena's Cute Cat: Cake decorator Elena Fox didn't let her pumpkin scraps go to waste: She repurposed the eye punch-outs as ears and attached them with toothpicks.

Pumpkin Erica

Erica's Wise Owl: Erica sketched the owl with a pencil, then shaved off layers of pumpkin without cutting through to give the bird a translucent glow. The eyes are punched out, so they really shine.

Mary Alice sketches her idea before making her pumpkin masterpiece.

Pumpkin Mary Alice

Mary Alice's Laughing Jack: Bakery manager Mary Alice Yeskey grabbed a box of toothpicks (always on hand in bakeries, for testing a cake's doneness) and snapped dozens of them in half to make jagged teeth.

Pumpkin Mary Anna

Anna's Bat Girl: Anna Ellison, the bakery's artistic director, gave her pumpkin a bat-shaped mouth. She chose the flat back side of the pumpkin for the face and used an orange marker to hide the sketch lines.

Pumpkin Geof

Geoff's Evil Bunny: Geoff Manthorne, Duff's executive sous chef, snapped off the pumpkin stem and cut it into thin strips, then broke out the bakery's belt sander to smooth down each piece.

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Slashing Pumpkins

We showed up at Baltimore's Charm City Cakes with a bunch of pumpkins and a mission for the Ace of Cakes gang: Carve us some cool jack-o'-lanterns!