There's A Zombie On Your Lawn...
Zombified Pumpkin Cake
Halloween is less than a day away and we just couldn't resist making something fun to celebrate. With the nights drawing in and the temperature outside heading south we decided that our base cake just had to be something cosy and satisfying. Normally we'd go for a classic carrot cake but, as it's Halloween, we decided to use pumpkin.
Although it is possible to get 'culinary pumpkins' in general the traditional orange pumpkin is reserved for spooky carving so butternut squash makes a great alternative. Apparently if you "need a colourful cake for a party", this Pumpkin Celebration Cake by former GBBO winner, women of the moment and all round baker/cook extraordinaire Nadya Hussain is just the ticket.
Start by mixing the oil and sugar together before adding your eggs, one at a time. As we were only making one cake we divided the recipe by three however, check out the full recipe for help according to tin size. Once combine add your grated pumpkin (or butternut squash), raisins and orange zest.
Sift your flour, bicarb and spices then fold in to your wet mix. Spoon into a well greased baking tin and bake until the centre springs back. As you can see we were making a heme-sphere which meant carefully positioning our tin on a crumpet ring before trying to get perfectly level. We also dropped our oven temperature to avoid getting too much rise and this meant an extended 1 hour bake for a three egg recipe.
Once cooled we trimmed a small amount from the top (soon to be the base) of our cake. We crumb coated in traditional buttercream but added a good amount of cinnamon to make it extra cosy! Try to get your surface as smooth as possible as big imperfections will show through your fondant icing.
Once your crumb coat has chilled and feels dry to the touch you can start to decorate your cake. We smoothed any little ridges with a clean finger (your body heat with soften the crumb coat just enough). Roll out green fondant until just bigger than your cake, carefully transfer using a rolling pin, or on the backs of your hands, then smooth over the surface. Trim the excess then, taking care not to cut into your cake, trim a section to reveal the buttercream. This is where your brain will be! We buy white fondant and colour with gel icing colours, but you can buy a whole range of fondant colours already made up.
Using paper templates or working from a picture guide, make your mouth, eyes and scar decorations. We always 'offer up' our decoration first to make sure it's the right size and fit before fixing with a little water. To make your zombie brain simply roll pink fondant into a very long sausage then loop sections into your zombie's head. Finish with a gruesome line of blood.
So there you have it. A Seasonal spiced pumpkin cake with a cinnamon buttercream frosting, all dressed up as a rather shocked zombie with its brain hanging out. Happy Halloween!