Reaching New Heights with a Hand-Crafted Halloween Cake

October 27th, 2011 by Christina Dittmer

I always enjoy a challenge, so this Halloween I decided to try my hand at something completely different with my cake. Cauldron cakes seem to be hot again this year. Monster arms are popping up all over too. I decided to combine the two popular themes.

I began my cake with a sketch. I always find it helpful to sketch out an idea for a larger cake to work out any issues I might have before I start. Once I worked out the flaws in my design, I was ready to begin.

Making the Hand I started with a food-safe glove, figuring that would help with molding the hand and fingers shape. I mixed rice cereal with melted candy melts® and began to pack it into the glove, fingers first, compressing as much as possible to ensure no added pockets of air.

I choose to use candy melts instead of the traditional marshmallows for the added strength the candy melts would provide once they harden. You have to work somewhat fast during this step so the candy melts don’t harden before you’re finished.

Once the glove was packed tight, I placed it into a shallow bowl to mold the finger while it dried. This method worked perfectly. I was able to minimize the mess and it created a perfect hand shape.

Making the Forearm Once the hand was dry, I just cut off the glove. If I were to do this again, I would add a lollipop stick at this point to help with attaching the hand to the forearm. I learned the hard way on that one.

Molding the forearm was a little more complicated; I didn’t have a mold to follow this time. After laying out parchment paper, I put a mold of the cereal mixture and began to roll it into a log shape. Slightly tapering the log gives the effect of a wrist to the forearm.

Once I achieved the shape I was looking for, I added 2 dowel rods into the arm to hold the arm upright in the cake and let dry completely. If I were to make this cake again, before the forearm dried I would have attached the hand by inserting the lollipop sticks. This would have saved me a lot of time and frustration.

While the arm hardens, bake your cakes. I used two 8-inch round and one 10-inch round baking pans, torting the 10-inch cake after it had cooled completely. Covering the Halloween Hand Cakes

I added buttercream icing between each layer and stacked the cake as follows: one 8-inch, one 10-inch, one 10-inch and then the final 8-inch, this gives the cake the round bulge needed for the caldron shape. I used a serrated knife to round the cake edges.

Once I achieved the final shape, I applied a thin layer of buttercream icing all around the cake and covered it with dark grey fondant.

To give the look of a bubbling cauldron, I used Wilton’s Dessert Dome candy mold and Spooky Green candy melts. I used the 3-D Eyeball candy mold for an added touch of spooky. Once all the candies had dried, all that was left was to assemble the cake.

After inserting the arm into the cake, I placed assorted sized green bubbles around the arm until it completely covered the top. To finish the bubbles, take a small amount of melted spooky green candy melts and cover any exposed edges of the candy melts. At this point I also added the eyeballs by attaching them with a dab of the melted green candy.

Halloween Hand Cake

Once the cake was done, I thought it was missing something … black fingernails! What could I use to make fingernails? Black Sugar Sheets! The sugar sheets were easy to cut to the exact shape I needed and were easy to add with piping gel. Now the cake was done, and I was happy with the final results. I enjoyed every challenge along the way. I hope you decide to take your next Halloween cake to new heights as well.

Christina Dittmer Christina Dittmer, Web Designer, has been with the company almost 3 years. She grew up in a family of creative people; both parents were florists for over 30 years. With a grandmother who was a professional baker it was no surprise that Christina would develop a love for baking. Since working at Wilton, she has developed a love for decorating too.

7 Replies

  1. Krystal says:

    Wow! This is the best cake I’ve seen on this blog in a while… great tutorial too! Awesome job!

  2. Susan J. Sias, WMI says:

    Christina! This is awesome! I hope a lot of people use all of the tips you gave!! Super job!!

  3. Susan says:

    Great job! That’s VERY creative! Amazing idea for the hand. I MUST try it! :)

  4. Marsha says:

    That cake is totally awesome. Will have to keep it in mind for next Halloween.

  5. Tina says:

    “I LOVE IT!” This cake is awsome I think i will be making one for my son this halloween!

  6. Merrie Lee says:

    I, too, used crispie treats, but the humidity here kept them from hardening, so I am glad to know about the chocolate melts.

  7. Peggy Mattheyer says:

    I can’t find the 8inch round parchment paper. And do you have some smaller round parchment? I have a jumbo cupcake pan.

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