Jack o Lantern Cake Project
By Bob Sherman
This project is a hybrid of chocolate making and baking. It's very simple yet produces a beautiful cake which looks much harder to make than it actually is. Made in several simple stages, yet combines to form a very professional looking cake.
The heart of this project is a Pantastic cake pan. These plastic cake pans have the detail molded right in which makes it simple to apply the icing and other decorative elements in the correct place. Since the detail is raised, it also allows usage as a chocolate mold to prepare decorations specifically for this cake without a lot of effort. These pans are designed to hold one standard package of cake mix.
Most of the items you may need can be ordered directly from this page for your convenience.
PLEASE NOTE!! - Although chocolate making is relatively safe for the entire family to participate, adult supervision is required.
I prefer to use chocolate wafers designed for molding chocolate. My preferred brand is Merckens which works well with all chocolate molding projects without tempering, and it tastes great.
Either melting method may be used, but I find the double boiler works best for this. Regardless of which method is chosen, using the chocolate at 90 degrees F. is optimum.
Double Boiler - See Double Boiler Usage Instructions.
Microwave - A microwave may be used but care must be taken not to overheat the chocolate.
- Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.
- Heat for 30 seconds.
- Remove and stir.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the chocolate is creamy.
- Optimum usage temperature is about 90 degrees F. Do not place the thermometer in the microwave!
Chocolate Making Supplies And Materials
The following chocolate making supplies and other materials were used to make this project. Clicking on the item name will bring you to that item's page with a full description and ordering information.
- Chocolate - For this project I used yellow and green. Alternatively the stem could be made with milk or dark chocolate.
- Squeeze Bottle - For painting the mold. Candy Writers also work well for this, but are not as economical to use.
- Jack o Lantern Cake Pan - Optional.
- Food Color - For coloring the frosting.
- Decorating Bag with Ribbon Tube - I used a disposable bag and a #47 ribbon tube, but any type bag or a star tube can be used.
- Thermometer - One.
- Double Boiler - For melting chocolate. A microwave may also be used.
- Cake Mix - From the supermarket. Any standard cake mix will do. Or make it from scratch if you prefer.
- Can of Frosting - 12 ounce ready made white frosting.
Step By Step Instructions
This project uses a Pantasic Jack o Lantern cake pan.
This close up of the detail shows the recesses which are used to mold the chocolate portion of this project.
The eyes, nose, and mouth are filled with yellow chocolate. Tap to release air bubbles, then overfill slightly to avoid the breakage problems I had on this.
The stem and tendril are filled with green chocolate.
Place in the freezer until the pieces de mold easily. These pieces are thin and fragile so use care when de molding. My impatience caused several of the parts to break, however It should not be noticeable on the finished cake should this happen to you. Overfilling as mentioned in step 3 should reduce the chance of breakage.
Grease the pan. Because of all the detail, I used a spray shortening to make it easier.
Mix your batter according to the package directions, then pour into the pan. Rap the pan against the counter a few times to level it.
Bake according to the package directions. The pan should be placed on an aluminum sheet and the oven should be no hotter than 375 degrees F. These pans are microwave safe if you prefer not to use the oven.
This mix rose approximately 3/4 inch above the pan so I used a large bread knife to trim it flush with the pan edge.
When the cake is fully cooled, remove from the pan.
Use a knife to trim off the stem area.
Orange food color gel was added to a can of frosting.
A disposable bag with a ribbon tube was used to apply the frosting. Using the tube with the teeth down provides a smooth surface. Using this tube with the teeth up will provide a ribbed texture.
Add lines of frosting following the contours of the pumpkin. If you are not confident about positioning the chocolate pieces correctly, place them as each detail area is covered with frosting.
Gently press the chocolate pieces in place and the cake is done.
Support Free Projects
You can help ensure the continued availability and production of free chocolate projects by telling your friends about them. The more popular they are the more we can produce so tell your friends, mention them on message boards, link to them from your web site, etc... More information is available here.
Disclaimer: The information presented here is accurate to the best of my knowledge and common chocolate making practices as of the time of this writing - originally published in June 2006 and updated in December 2010. The author and the publisher accept no liability for the use or misuse of any of the information presented in this article. This article is presented for informational purposes and is used at your own risk.
Author: Bob Sherman
Publisher: Bobby's Craft Boutique Inc.
This article is provided free of charge for use. Products may be made and sold using this idea royalty free.
Web sites may use links to this page without restriction.
No portion of this article may be reproduced for publication elsewhere without express permission from Bobby's Craft Boutique Inc. with the following exceptions:
- Non profit organizations such as religious groups, scouts, 4h, etc... may use this information without permission for printed materials provided it is used without modification and credit is given to both the author and onestopcandle.com
- Reprinting to the web is prohibited without permission, however web sites wishing to link to this article may do so without permission.
- Those wishing to print a copy for themselves (personal use) may do so without permission