Recipe courtesy of Heather Baird

Witch Cauldron Cake

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 8 hr 45 min (including cooling and chilling times)
  • Active: 2 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 24 servings
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Ingredients

Bottom Cake:

Top Cake:

Green Buttercream:

Black Chocolate Buttercream:

Decorations:

Directions

Special equipment:
10-inch fluted tube pan; a piping bag fitted with a small star tip (no. 14); Styrofoam block
  1. For the bottom cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine granulated sugar and oil until blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves. Add to egg mixture alternating with pumpkin, beating well after each addition.  
  3. Evenly coat a 10-inch fluted tube pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fill pan three-quarters full with cake batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Remove pan and let cake cool completely.
  4. For the top cake: When the tube pan has completely cooled, repeat making the cake batter, baking and cooling a second cake. Trim the bottom of each cake flat. 
  5. For the green buttercream: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and confectioners' sugar. Mix on low speed until crumbly. Add milk or cream a little at a time while mixing on low speed until mixture is of spreading consistency. Increase speed to high and whip until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and food color. Beat until the buttercream is consistently green with no white streaks remaining. 
  6. Place a bundt cake cut-side up on a cake board or serving plate. Place 1 cup of green buttercream on top of the cake and spread evenly. Top with the second cake cut-side down. Press gently to adhere. Cover remaining green buttercream with a damp towel so it doesn't dry out.
  7. For the black chocolate buttercream: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, confectioners' sugar and dark cocoa powder. Mix on low speed until crumbly. Add milk or cream a little at a time while mixing on low speed until mixture is of spreading consistency. Increase speed to high and whip until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and food color. Beat until the buttercream is consistently black with no white streaks remaining.
  8. Frost the entire cake with dark chocolate buttercream. Spread as evenly as possible. Use a folded 6-inch square piece of parchment paper to smooth the buttercream on the sides of the cake. Hold the paper with both hands and place the edge at the bottom of the cake and smooth upward into a round shape. Use fresh parchment squares as needed. Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Transfer the remaining black buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a small star tip (#14). Set aside for later use.  
  9. For the decorations: Remove the cake from the refrigerator and fill the middle with green buttercream. Add additional green buttercream to the top of the cake and spread some over one side, as if the buttercream is cascading off the side of the cauldron. Immediately cover the green buttercream with the green ball-shaped candies. Add the green sugar pearls and allow them to fall into the cracks between the larger ball-shaped candies. Transfer the cake to the refrigerator and chill until firm, about 20 minutes.
  10. To make the witch legs: Melt the purple candy wafers and orange candy wafers in separate bowls according to the package directions. Using a serrated knife, gently trim away 1/8 inch from one end of two pretzel rods. Place toothpicks in the ends of the pretzels; press in firmly to secure. Hold one pretzel rod by the toothpick end and dip it into the orange melted candy. Use a spoon to help cover it completely. Allow excess to drip back into the bowl. Insert the toothpick end upright into Styrofoam and let stand until set. Repeat process with the purple melted candy. Use leftover orange melted candy to adhere black confetti sprinkles on the orange leg to create "polka dots." Wind the licorice lace around the purple pretzel rod; adhere at each end using leftover purple melted candy. Let stand until set. 
  11. Knead together five chocolate candy chews using the heat of your hands to soften the candy (stale chews will be tough, and can be microwaved for 5 seconds to make pliable). Using your fingers, manipulate the chocolate mass into a witch shoe shape with curled toes. Repeat with the remaining chocolate candy chews to make a second shoe. 
  12. Trim away the ends of the toothpicks in the dipped pretzel rods to approximately 1/2 inch. Place a dot of leftover melted candy on each toothpick stub; press a shaped chocolate shoe onto each toothpick. Chill until the candy is set, about 10 minutes. Heat the black candy melting wafers until melted and smooth, according to the package directions. Dip the shoe ends of the witch legs in the black candy; remove to a parchment-lined sheet pan. Allow the candy to stand until set, about 20 minutes.
  13. To make the witch hat: Use a small paring knife or a kitchen-dedicated X-Acto knife to trim away the pointed end of the sugar cone; cut diagonally using sawing motions until the end can be snapped off. Dip the pointed end in leftover melted candy and attach angled downward to the cone (creating the "crook" in the witch hat). Let stand until set. Dip the large end of the cone in leftover melted candy and center on the pizzelle cookie; let stand until set. When the two pieces are well adhered together, dip it in black melted candy, using a spoon to coat entirely. Allow the candy to set, about 15 minutes.
  14. To make the witch broom: Gather together the yellow fruity sour laces and trim them to approximately 4 to 5 inches in length using a pair of kitchen-dedicated scissors. Lay the pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 
  15. Melt the yellow candy wafers according to the package directions. Dip the end of the remaining pretzel rod into the yellow candy and place the dipped end onto the fruit laces. Use extra yellow melted candy to adhere the strands together. Wind an orange fruit lace around the yellow fruit laces toward the pretzel end of the broomstick. 
  16. To decorate: Remove the cauldron cake from the refrigerator and use the reserved black chocolate buttercream to pipe witchy swirls along the bottom edge of the cauldron. Insert the leg pieces upright into the top of the cake near one edge of the cake. Place the broom into the cake slightly off center with the bristles pointing upright. Pipe leftover buttercream on the bottom of the witch hat and adhere to the top edge of the cake, opposite of the legs and broom. 
  17. Allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving.
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