Monday, October 24, 2011

Witch hat cake tutorial

I need to begin this post by saying that I would NEVER in a million years have figured out how to make a shape inside a cake without a tutorial from Amanda at I am Baker.  She has made all kinds of crazy creative cakes and to see some of the wonder click here

In fact, I had never decorated cookies or tried any icing techniques until one day last January when I stumbled upon that blog.  When I saw her ornament cake I  nearly fell off me chair.  I was smitten, and have been trying like crazy to learn the art of confection decorating ever since.  I was so inspired, that I immediately attempted to make a cake inside a cake - and made a real hot mess out of it.  It was so humiliating and depressing that I didn't even THINK about making another one until I made the brownie truffles a few weeks ago.  As I was molding the brownies, I started to realize that the brownie would make an excellent witch hat material.  So I put on a brave face, and tried again. 

And it WORKED!

The first thing you will need is thin layers of cake.  I wanted the look of a witch's red and white stockings, so I baked two 6 inch red cakes and one 6 inch white cake.  To make the brim of the witch's hat, I baked a 6 inch brownie layer and a small batch of slightly undercooked brownies.  When everything had cooled, I split each of the cake layers in half and stacked them with buttercream - just like a regular layer cake.  I didn't use all the layers because I didn't want the cake too tall.  I just kept going till it looked about the right size.  Notice that I have not yet stacked the brownie layer.  Put the stacked cake in the fridge or freezer till it is really firm.  This makes it much easier to work with. 

Now comes the tricky part.  You carve a cone shape out of the red and white layers, going all the way through to have the point at the bottom.

Go slowly, take your time, start in the middle, don't make yourself sick eating cake scraps.  Now take the pan of undercooked brownies and crumble it up in a bowl.  It is now time to pack the brownie scraps into the cone.  Pack it down well.

Hang on because you are almost there.  Take the 6 inch brownie layer and place it on the very top. 

Flip the entire sha-boom upside down on your cake plate. 

Chill the cake to firm it up again.  Sit down and have a stiff drink cup of tea.  I'm not going to lie - I didn't breath throughout the entire carving and packing and flipping.  When you are ready, frost and decorate your cake.  I used grey Swiss meringue buttercream and topped it with autumnal SMB flowers. 

I felt like I hadn't made any major errors, but I was still a nervous wreck cutting into it.  I made real certain that I started in the center of the cake and wiped the knife after each cut.  Then, TA DA!

You certainly don't have to use brownie, you could use cake crumbles mixed with icing like you would for making a cake ball (another major disaster of mine...I fear the cake ball).  So that's how it is done and I was over the moon that it worked.  Let me know if you give it a try or if you have any questions.  I'd love to cheer you on!


  1. HOLY WITCH HAT BATMAN!!! When you put this up the first time I was like "how the heck did she..." but then again you are fabulous and fantastic so I was not at all surprised at your ability to make a witchy hat cake!!!!!! Now, I doubt I will ever have tea (nor other drink) stiff enough (ha ha) to muster the courage to do this but I so appreciate the fun time I had reading the tutorial!!!!!! Maybe...just maybe I could do it on a smaller scale...say cupcake style? HA!

  2. Amazing! You sure must have a lot of patience for something like that! It looks great!

  3. Your work looks like you have been decorating for years!! You are a natural. xo

  4. That is amazing. I thought it was magic, I could not figure out how that was done. I will have to try it.


  5. The cake really turned out cute, great tutorial! "Fear the cake ball" cracks me up, I understand:@)

  6. Mmmmmmm!! That looks delicious!! Thank for sharing!!

  7. Very cool- Thanks for sharing your how-to.

  8. Absolutely stunning! I love this. Thanks for the tutorial. :)

  9. Amazing this cake !! I love your layers, thanks for the tutorial :)
    Happy Halloween

  10. Too cute! I love the element of surprise! Shared on my Facebook!

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