It’s that magical time of the year again where witches and warlocks and monsters of all kinds come out to celebrate. This year is looking to be nothing less than spooktacular (;))!
It seems that more and more people this year are looking to have fun with Halloween and quite frankly I can see why. What other time of the year do you get to dress up as whatever you want and enjoy the bright orange, purples, and greens and any other color affiliated with this holiday?
It’s actually my sister’s favorite holiday. She loves to dress up and decorate for it and if she’s not doing any of that, she loves to look at decorations and Halloween themed recipes. She would actually make it a week-long event if she had her way (secretly I wish all holidays were like week-long festivals). So this year, I wanted to make something that would be quick to throw together but something that still made an impact on the eyes and the stomach.
For this cake, I actually went and bought the Pillsbury Purely Simple cake and frosting mixes. I honestly will not use any other boxed mix because of the laundry list of ingredients, but I will use these if I’m not feeling up to making some from scratch. They’re about as close to scratch as you can get from one.
That said, I do tweak them a little to add my own twist to them. In this case, the cake is loaded with orange zest and flavored with freshly squeezed juice while the frosting has just a hint of ginger to it to give it a wicked good flavor. It came out exceptionally well and went down quite easy. It would be a great addition to a party or even a replacement for candy if you’re not the biggest fan of that stuff.
So if you’re ready to tap into your dark side, let’s get some dark magic brewing!
- 1 Box of Purely Simple chocolate cake mix (and ingredients listed àbutter, eggs)
- *I used only ¾ cup of milk instead of 1
- 1 Package of Purely Simple white frosting mix
- Zest from 1 orange
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- Multicolored jimmies
- White and Dark chocolate for melting into molds (if desired)
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a mixer, combine cake mix and butter and mix until well combined. Add in the eggs and mix until all is well blended. Add in the zest and juice and mix so it’s evenly distributed.
In two 9 inch cake pans, spray nonstick cooking spray and wipe around so each pan is covered well. Pour the cake batter evenly into each pan and drop each a few on the counter a few times to knock out any air bubbles. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes (each oven is different so I suggest checking the cakes around 25 minutes so they don’t overcook).
Once done baking, allow to cool in pans for about 10-15 minutes and then carefully tap each out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
For the frosting, combine the butter and mix and the ¼ tsp of ginger until well mixed together. Add in just enough water to your desired consistency. I don’t always use up the ¼ cup of water because sometimes I prefer a slightly thicker frosting to play around with. To determine your desired consistency, just gradually add in the water and test with a spoon. The higher the frosting stands the thicker it is. The lower it stands, the thinner it is.
You can now decorate your cake however you want. I made the cake the day before I decorated it so overnight I had one on top of the other to flatten the cake on the bottom so it wouldn’t sit crooked. Then the one that was sitting on top I actually evened out by removing part of the top.
I wanted to leave part of the cake uncovered to have a contrast of light and dark and simply wanted the jimmies to be just overwhelmingly cover the top. The chocolate pumpkins on the side add to that contrast and in my opinion created a nice effect. I had a pumpkin candy mold from last year and used that but you can honestly use any Halloween one (Michaels, Jo-Ann’s, and Party City are good places to find these).
Just remember, the point is to have fun and celebrate Halloween how you want to celebrate it.