Halloween cake designs: Boil, toil and trouble with buttercream, piping and a lot of disco dust.

Tis’ the season for spooky pastry endeavours! Since I’m currently employed at Magnolia Bakery NYC, I find myself oriented towards classic PG themes this Halloween season. Witches, ghouls, ghosts and pumpkins were the inspiration and buttercream my vehicle.

For this first design, I iced a 9″ cake with pale blue buttercream. Using a darker shade a blue I piped random horizontal lines all over the sides and top of cake. I then smoothed out the sides and top creating a “sky” effect. After finishing this I realized that if I added a few streaks of orange to the bottom I could achieve a cool sunset/twilight effect.

I outlined a circle on top of the cake and filled it in with pale yellow icing.  I then smoothed out the shape with a small off set spatula dipped in hot water. Using a small tip (number 2 or 3) I piped halloweenie shadow designs: Witch profiles, trees and bats.

Halloween shadow cake

Halloween shadow cake

For this next design I used a similar technique but iced the cake in white and applied chocolate and black buttercream streaks to create and old/vintage effect. I then decorated with classic Halloween staples: Spider webs, skeletons and pumpkins.

Halloween cake - old paper/vintage icing effect

Halloween cake – old paper/vintage icing effect

Tiered Cakes

Halloween ruffle cake

Halloween ruffle cake

Halloween witch cake - purple Ombre

Halloween witch cake – purple Ombre

For the White ruffle cake, I iced the bottom cake layer with a thin layer of buttercream. Then, starting bottom to top, I used a ruffle tip like the 406 Wilton tip.

For the purple Ombre tired cake I used in total 5 colors to create the fading effect. I then piped black bat details and a witch on the moon.

Lastly, of course, I gave all cakes a good helping of rainbow disco dust.


Train Cake

When I was a little girl, I’d spend long afternoons flipping through my Mom’s Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book”. Not a recipe book per say, just a collection of pictures with simple instructions to achieve colorful cakes usually covered in gummy bears or M&M’s.

Children's Birthday Cake Book

Children’s Birthday Cake Book

I LOVE this book. Every year before my birthday I’d sit down and carefully select the cake I wanted, innocently asking my Mom “can you do this one?? …and this one?“. I’d always be surprised when she’d say Yes.

The most memorable cake my Mom made from this book was the “Train Cake” on the last page for my brother’s birthday.

Each car was filled with different kinds of candy, popcorn and cookies. When you’re a kid, that’s the best of the best.

So years later, the family tradition continues. My Nephews come over one day and the oldest, Ryan, picks out the tattered Birthday Cake book from the book shelf. He flips through it and when he gets to the last page his eyes go wide. Immediately he jumps up and announces that he wants the train cake for his 6th birthday. Needless to say, I was super excited.

Original train cake from the "Children's Birthday Cake Book"

Original train cake from the “Children’s Birthday Cake Book”

The original train cake (left) in the book is frosted with colored buttercream and decorated with candy. For my version, I went for the smooth look by covering the cakes in fondant. For the wheels I used chocolate cookies and filled the cars with brown peanut M&M’s to resemble coal.

I’m glad to say that my Nephew loved it and I’m even happier that our family cake book is out of retirement.

Train Cake

Train Cake

Train EngineTrain car cake

Train cakeTrain engine cake

Jakers! Cake

I was asked to make two similar cakes for a birthday boy who loves to watch the cartoon Jakers!. Since he was only turning two, I wanted to keep the design simple and focus on molding the characters to resemble the cartoons as much as possible.

I really wanted him to recognize the figures, and, well… basically go bonkers when he saw the cake. When the cake was presented to him I’m happy to say that he got very excited, started pointing and immediately proceeded to yank Piggley Winks from his comfortable and delicious seat.

Finished cakes:

Jakers! Cake

Jakers! Cake nº1


Jakers! Cake nº2












For cake nº1, I created and apple tree motif  and for cake nº2 I added wood plank detail, grass and daisies.

Jakers! Cartoon

Jakers! Cartoon

Jakers! Sugar paste figures

Jakers! Sugar paste figures








For the cake itself, I made a light sponge cake with strawberry jam filling. Kids seem to prefer sponge cake; I’ts sweet and airy and not as heavy as a butter or chocolate cake.

Jakers! Sponge Cake

Jakers! Sponge cake with jam filling