In the Kitchen: Halloween Bundt Cake

I found a recipe last year for Halloween Bundt Cake (via Pinterest) & pinned it to my Halloween board, hoping I’d remember it to make this year. As Halloween falls on a Knit Night this year, I decided to make the cake for our group to munch on while knitting our evening away. (Nothing deters us from group. We are hardcore. Also, there are virtually no trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood, so what’s the point in being home to hand out candy?)

Before I talk about this cake, though, let’s talk about me and bundt cakes. They come out perfectly about half the time. The other half of the time, well, they still taste good.
YIP 253.365 Pear BreadYIP 168.365 Rum CakeApple Bundt Cake with Vanilla Brown Butter Glaze

Here we have three previous cakes: Pear Bread, which turned out good. Rum Cake, well, it tasted good (there’s a reason the picture is only of that certain spot on the cake, folks). Apple Bundt I would say turned out perfect.

So, in the recent past, 2 out of the three cakes I’ve made have turned out good and the third was still delicious. (I really need to make all three of these again sometime. The rum cake and apple cake especially.) I set out to make my Halloween Bundt with only mild trepidation, and that was more because I was concerned with the food color portion of the cake than getting it out of the pan.

This next part is so important that I’m going to say it now and probably repeat it again later.  Let the cake cool completely in the pan before you try to flip it onto the plate. Even if the recipe tells you something different, let it cool completely in the pan.

I decided to make this cake pretty much as written – it just uses basic cake mixes and while I thought about tinkering with them, I was also baking two batches of cupcakes at the same time (for work’s Chili cookoff!), so I went with the mix thinking I could change it up next time if this worked.

Halloween Bundt Cake
So here we have my purple cake all mixed up and ready to go and the orange is ready to be mixed in.

Halloween Bundt Cake
Layering the batters (note here that my bundt pan is extra fancy & I think that’s a little tiny bit of my problem. Also, that thing is a bitch to get clean – trying to get cake crumbs out of every crevice is a pain in my booty, especially since I don’t have a dishwasher.)

Halloween Bundt Cake
Right out of the oven. This is where I reiterate that part about letting it cool completely in the pan before you try to get it out of the pan. Because if you don’t…

Halloween Bundt Cake
…you wind up with half your cake still in the pan. I was able to get the top out (in pieces) and basically used frosting to “glue” it all back together.

I’m going to add in another tip here. The wire rack is not your friend when it comes to bundt cakes (at least it was not mine). I couldn’t figure out how to get it onto a plate without the whole thing breaking apart, though I did eventually get it done. Afterwards, I was offered tips when I mentioned it on twitter.

Selena is kind of a cake genius, so I feel the need to share her tips here:
1: when you’re making a chocolate cake, grease your pan with a paste of butter & cocoa powder.
2: If you’ve already got your cake on a wire rack & need to move it to a plate, lightly place another cooling rack on the top of the cake, flip it over, remove bottom rack, put plate on bottom, flip again and BAM. DONE. (A similar tip from Bonnie was to tip it back into the pan, then onto the plate. I think this would work very well, too.)
3: Before you frost/glaze/decorate the cake, tuck a bit of parchment paper or waxed paper around the edges to catch drips & keep your plate clean. When you’re done decorating the cake, carefully remove the paper.
See? She is clearly a genius.

So, we now have the cake on a plate and glued together with frosting. Let’s decorate it, shall we?
UGH. Again, I followed the directions in the recipe (even using the SAME FROSTING she did) and it was not great. When I put the frosting in the microwave to get to drizzle-stage, the color wanted to separate. So then I had to spend precious drizzle seconds trying to mix it all back together. This happened with EVERY color and I was using Wilton’s Icing Color. So the frosting didn’t drizzle as much as I would have liked it to.

Halloween Bundt Cake
But it looks okay in the end.

And here’s what the inside looked like. It even tasted pretty good (though I think next time I might avoid the black frosting dye).

While this process was not as quick and painless as I’d hoped, I would still do this again. I even found a different colored cake recipe on Pinterest just today (Mardi Gras Cupcakes?! YES!) with a recipe that also looks pretty good, so I will probably use that next time. I’m not sure about the frosting for another bundt cake version yet.


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