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Jack-O-Lantern Treat Bucket Cake

Not a fan of fondant? No problem! This cute Halloween cake is almost all buttercream goodness.

  • Author: The Simple, Sweet Life
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 16 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

For the bundt cakes:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

For the vanilla buttercream frosting:

  • 10 egg whites
  • 2 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 10 tbsp water
  • 1.25 lb unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Other supplies:

  • Orange gel food coloring
  • 2 oz black fondant
  • Black wire
  • Assorted candies and sprinkles

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine the milk and butter for the cake, and microwave using 20 second increments until you can stir the mixture smooth.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour into two well-greased 6 cup bundt pans. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the water and granulated sugar for the frosting over high heat and bring to a boil, cooking until the sugar becomes clear. While the syrup cooks, whip your egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  5. Pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites (with the mixer on high) and whip until cooled to room temperature.
  6. Decrease the mixer to low, add the butter and vanilla extract, and continue beating on high until the frosting is thick and smooth.
  7. Reduce the mixer to low, add the orange food coloring and continue beating on low for 5 minutes.
  8. Spread the frosting onto the flat side of one of the bundt cakes. Top with the other bundt cake.
  9. Spread a thin layer of frosting around the entire outside of the cake. Use your spatula to create grooves to guide your piping later.
  10. Refrigerate until the frosting is firm.
  11. Spoon the remaining frosting into a piping bag with a medium-size round tip (like a Wilton 2A). Pipe ridges onto the cake between the grooves you created.
  12. Refrigerate the cake until the frosting “crusts.”
  13. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and use your fingers to gently rub the ridges smooth.
  14. Refrigerate the cake again until the frosting is firm.
  15. Roll out the black fondant on a powered sugar-dusted surface and use a small pairing knife to cut out the nose, eyes and mouth.
  16. Place the fondant on the cake and trace around them with your knife. Remove the fondant and use your knife to carve out the eye, nose and mouth area.
  17. Gently press the fondant back into the carved out areas.
  18. Top with candies, sprinkles and a clean, black wire for the handle.

Notes

  • Only make as much batter as you can bake immediately: If you only have one 6-cup bundt pan, make half the batter at a time. This may be a little more work, but it’ll result in much better cakes.
  • Greasing a bundt pan: Getting your bundt cake out of the pan depends, in part, on it being well greased. One of my favorite options is a homemade cake release that’s equal parts vegetable oil, shortening and flour. Mix those three ingredients together, until smooth, and coat the pan liberally.
  • Releasing a bundt cake: Bundt cakes can be tricky to get out of the pan, even in a well-greased one. To improve your odds, be sure to turn you cake out while the pan is still hot (I usually do this about 5 minutes after it comes out of the oven).
  • Air bubble-free frosting: If the frosting has a lot of air bubbles, reduce the speed on your stand mixer to low and beat for 3-5 minutes, or until smooth.
  • Use a frosting that crusts: A homemade, crusting buttercream frosting will work better than the store bought variety for this cake and technique. You can use a Swiss meringue, Italian meringue or American buttercream.
  • Keep your fingers free of frosting while you’re creating the ridges: You’ll want to keep your fingers free of any excess frosting so it doesn’t smudge or scratch the frosting your working with. I recommend having a dry paper towel on hand so you can frequently wipe your fingers.
  • Storage: This cake will keep at room temperature, uncut, for 3-4 days. For best results, cover it with a plastic lid, bowl or place it in a cardboard box.
  • Storing cut cake: Once your cake is cut, you’ll want to protect the exposed cake area. The easiest way to do this is with a piece of plastic wrap or two.

Nutrition

Keywords: halloween cake, jack o lantern cake, pumpkin cake