Halloween Petite Cakes with a spin

img_5287Who wants to see another pumpkin head cake.  NOT ME!

For this cake you can use any of my cake recipes or any of your own. Just make sure to chill your cake and crumb coat it before frosting it as you don’t want your cake to crumble.

I used the following recipe

Cake:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lightly packed finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups raw sugar

For the cake:
Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in upper third. Butter and flour two (8-inch) cake pans. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a mixing bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine vegetable oil, water, lemon zest, vanilla extract, egg yolks, and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar. Whip on medium speed, until mixture is airy and light in color, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl; add dry ingredients and whip until smooth, about 1 minute more.

In a clean bowl, whip egg whites to medium peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the cake batter until evenly incorporated; gently fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.
Divide batter between prepared cake pans. I added blue coloring to half of the batter. Bake until surface of cakes springs back when pressed and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove cakes from the oven, and let cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each, and turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.

DSC_0024Here are the springform pans I used. It’s important to spray them with easy release prior to placing batter in them.

While the cake is baking go ahead and mix all of the frosting ingredients. I usually add milk as needed in order to get a spreadable crumb coat for the cake.

For the frosting:
7 Cups confectioners sugar
2 Cups Butter
2 Tablespoons princess flavoring
2 Tablespoons Milk for second coat of frosting

img_5243Once your cakes have cooled you can place a layer of frosting or filling in between your cakes. I happened to have some Pumpkin butter in my fridge and use it. After all it’s fall.

img_5245Yes, you need to crumb coat your cakes. The greatest mistake I see is people saying I can’t frost a cake.  Yes you most certainly can.  You need to crumb coat them first and place them in the fridge then add your smooth layer.

img_5248From here you will decide what shades you want to use.  I am working with several shades of gray and a purple for Halloween Glamour look.

img_5254No that your cake is out of the fridge yo are going to place large globs of different shades around your cake like this.  Then smooth them with your spatulas that are sitting in hot water.

img_5249The warm water will allow you to smooth your sides and top of cake.

img_5264These are the tips I have chosen for the flowers on top the cakes.  These Russian Tips make your life very easy.  You will need  a large pastry bag since these are the larger tips.

img_5257Then you simply start squeezing out flowers.  I did a total of four cakes and would go back and fourth between the cakes to use up the gray shades then worked with purple flowers.

img_5256If you make a mistake you simply squeeze another flower on top.

img_5287Here is the end result and I think they’re adorable.  Spooky shades yet attractive.  Also you won’t feel the need to eat a huge cake.

 

 

Halloween Stencil Cookies

img_5198It’s that time of year again.  When I am looking around and thinking “I don’t want to be ordinary”  Here is my spin on Halloween Cookies.

If you have a favorite roll out cookie dough than feel free to use it.  This is mine.

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 ¾ cups raw sugar
¼ Cups Agave Nectar
4 cups Unbleached flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cardamon
½ orange Tablespoons orange zest/oil
½ scraped vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350

Fit mixer with paddle attachment. Cream butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Add agave and combine.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Add zest and vanilla to and egg to butter mixture and beat until smooth.

Add dry ingredients but do not over mix or cookies will be tough.

Roll out your cookies and cut into desired shapes.  I usually chill my shapes for around 10 minutes before baking them.

 

img_5156Once you’ve baked our cookie you will need a food grade stencil.

Royal Icing is hard to work with and I use what works for me.

Royal Icing

2 Tablespoons Crisco
2 Tablespoons Light Karo Syrup
7 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
1/2 Cup Water
Flavoring of your choice
Color of your choice

img_5198Simply place stencil of your choice over frosted cookie then drag your color of choice across the stencil.  .

img_5208I allow my icing to dry for several hours before attempting to stencil them.

img_5205Once they have dried to touch I place them in bags and don’t tie them for a few more hours to ensure the icing is dry.  Do not worry these cookies will keep for several weeks in these bags and be just as good.  Do you honestly think Starbucks bakes their decorated sugar cookies daily?