Spiders and Stripes

Nov 9th, 2011 by Gemma

So, I know I’m about a week late in posting a Halloween cake, but lets just ignore that and carry on shall we?

This cake was a personal one, I made it for our Halloween party which is always a good time to test out recipes on our guinea pigs *ahem* friends! I initially had huge plans for an extravagant cake, as I do, but time, money and home renovations nixed that idea.. I’m not going to say what it was since I now intend to do it next year. So there was last minute brainstorming as I just could not decide how to decorate my cake.

Cupcakes were an initial idea since we had found some skull sprinkles that I really wanted to use, but since cupcakes dry out so quickly I likely would have been making them the day of the party and I really wanted to avoid that, so a full cake it was.

But I still wanted to use those sprinkles, and so the design blossomed. The skulls could go on little fondant plaques to make something akin to cameos… where to use the cameos? Well, as a joining point between swags would probably work. Ok, swags… what next, it’s Halloween, lets add stripes on the sides, definitely black.. and purple would work, nice traditional Halloween colours. So that’s the sides sorted, what about the top. Definitely a piped design, probably in royal icing, but what. I just could not decide and then Michael suggested a nice big spider, even sorting out a design for me so it had a skull on it’s body.

I actually ended up making this cake start to finish all in one day!

Once the cake was stacked and crumb coated I kneaded the colour into the fondant. I was aiming for purple but starting from scratch (rather than buying pre coloured fondant) purple is really a pain to make. We’ve tried in the past and ended up with a really gray-ish shade, so once I hit this shade of burgundy I decided that I was happy with that.

The cake was covered and then taped up with a very low tack masking tape so I could airbrush the stripes. They ended up fuzzy around the edges rather than sharp but I think that gave it a nice look.

This was my first attempt putting swags on a cake, definitely something to practice on a personal cake. They weren’t as perfectly even as I would like them to be but not bad at all for a start. I stuck them on with royal icing and put on the cameos with the same.

I had prepared the spider body early in the morning, piping the skull and then filling in the body so the skull was in the body rather than on top (it also meant I could trace the design), it got a few cracks as I put it on the cake, after piping on the spider webs, but it looked pretty good. I gave it an outline and then piped on some loooooong legs, so they spread over the entire top of the cake – that’s a 9″ wide spider *shudders*

A band of orange ribbon (that I had actually bought to finish my costume) gave the cake it’s finishing touch.

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