Do you remember the illusion cakes in week 1 of the GBBO? Well its a few weeks late, but here’s my attempt at a cake that is very apt for this time of year.
With influencers going pumpkin picking and magazines using pumpkins, conkers and a selection of autumnal leaves as props, I decided to bake a chocolatey cake that looked like the orange vegetable that takes the spotlight in October.
My creation was based off an image in my head and snatched moments while baking where I Googled pumpkins to ensure I was giving my cake the right look.
I used a half sphere cake mould from Lakeland and baked the cake in two batches. Whilst the sponges cooled, I made the chocolate orange buttercream icing and I only got to sneak a couple of segments before realising that I pretty much needed the whole thing. Then with orange, black and brown ready roll fondant, I finished the decoration. I know you’re probably thinking that a pumpkin doesn’t have any black bits on it, unless it’s bruised that is, but actually the black fondant helped turn this cake into a half Halloween inspired bake. You see, I accidentally made some tears in the orange fondant and decided to cover them with two black ghost silhouettes.
So here it is, my pumpkin illusion cake! If you would like to give it a try, the recipe is below. Happy Baking!
For the chocolate sponge:
Note: the quantities below are for both sponges, so halve them to make one batch and then another. I’ve also put the sponge quantities in ounces as it’s easier to halve
8oz caster sugar
4oz self-raising flour
2oz of chocolate powder (I used Green & Black’s)
2 tablespoons of baking powder
For the chocolate buttercream icing:
65g icing sugar
¼ of a teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 Terry’s chocolate orange (I would start with about half and add more if you need it)
For the decoration:
2 packets of orange ready roll fondant from
1 packet of black & brown ready roll fondant
A flower leaf shaper tool
A ghost cookie cutter or another Halloween shape
Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease the half sphere cake mould with butter
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add the eggs, flour, baking powder and chocolate powder and beat until combined
Pour the mixture into the mould and bake for 50-55 minutes
Once baked, take the sponge out of the oven and leave to cool before turning the sponge out onto a wire rack to cool completely
Repeat the above steps to make a second sponge
To make the buttercream icing, melt the segments of the Terry’s chocolate orange and leave to cool
Beat together the icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract until light and fluffy
Add the melted chocolate orange mixture and beat until combined
With a knife, cut off the tops of the sponges so they have a flat top and bottom
Spread some icing onto the bigger flat surface and place your other sponge on top
Then spread the rest of the icing around the sponges, covering as much as possible
Lightly dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out your orange fondant until you have a circular shape that is big enough to cover your cake (both packets of fondant are required)
Place the orange fondant over the cake and smooth down the sides, trimming off any excess around the bottom of the cake
Using the brown ready roll fondant, take a bit and mould a stalk
Brush some water over the base of the stalk and stick it to the top of the pumpkin cake
Using the flower leaf shaper tool, gently draw some lines on the pumpkin
If you wish to stick some Halloween inspired silhouettes on the back (to either cover some tears or just because you want to) roll out your black fondant and cut out the shapes using your cookie cutter
Brush some cold water over the back of the silhouettes and stick them to the pumpkin cake