This cake uses exactly the same recipe as my Slimy Sponge Cake but rather than slathering this one in icing and decorations, I went for a more grown-up look that you can dish up for all your fancy Halloween soirees. If you knew how many attempts it has taken just to get this you would laugh, I’ve made 3 or 4 different sponge cakes over the course of the last month just to try and put these silly Halloween silhouettes on the top of the cake but it finally worked!! No one hate on me for how they look, I’m really proud that it finally worked out but if you can’t tell, the top is a pumpkin and the bottom is a ghost!
I had tried just dumping the icing sugar over the top of the cookie cutter (makes no difference), I’ve tried fitting foil on the bottom of the cutter to catch the icing sugar (then the cutter loses its shape), but finally, I’ve found a way, you’ll have to read on to learn what it is!
200g Caster Sugar
200g Butter, softened
4 Eggs, beaten
200g Self-Raising Flour (I used plain flour, just add in an extra 2 tsp baking powder)
1tsp Baking Powder
2 tbsp Milk
100g Butter, Softened
140g Icing Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
340g Jam (I used strawberry)
Heat the oven to 190C/170 Fan/Gas Mark 5 and grease two 20cm cake tins.
Now, in a large bowl, whisk together the butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour, all the baking powder and milk until you have a soft and smooth batter.
Once you have a smooth batter, divide it equally between the two cake tins and level the batter out with the back of a spoon or spatula so the top is even with no lumps or ridges.
Now bake in the oven for around 20 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once your cakes have cooked, take them out of the oven and transfer to a wire rack (still in their tins) for around 15 mins, after this remove them from the tins and allow to fully cool for at least another 20 minutes.
Now onto the filling! In a bowl mix (I like to use a hand whisk rather than a mixer) the butter until it’s soft and creamy, then gradually add in the icing sugar (making sure it doesn't go all over your kitchen) until you have a smooth creamy consistency then finally, add in a couple of drops of vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
To assemble the cake, evenly spread the buttercream over the bottom sponge until you’ve covered the whole surface.
Then add your jam on top (we want as much jam as buttercream so it’s a lovely, thick filling!) Then simply pop the second sponge on top and gently press to join the two sponges together!
Now on to my personal twist, the Halloween silhouette topping. The best way (I’ve found) to do this is to get a sheet of foil and trace around a cookie cutter with a knife until you are left with the outline of the cookie-cutter, take the outline and put it on top of the cake, I pressed down a bit to make sure the foil wouldn’t move while I was sifting the icing sugar.
Now slowly sift the icing sugar over the top of the cake, I just put about a tablespoon full of icing sugar into the sieve and gently hit the side whilst moving it around the cake, making sure I got right over the top of my foil outlines so that there would be a clear difference. Afterwards, I used a knife to gently peel the foil away from the top of the cake, making sure not to disturb any of the icing sugar around it.
I was honestly really happy with how this came out, I had a vision of these cute little outlines on the top of the cake that really stood out against the sugar and although these are bigger than I would have liked them to be I still think they’re cute and a lot more grown-up compared to my other cake that had a load of buttercream icing, food colouring and sprinkles on top (but that one was just as delicious).
I hope you’re finding some time to bake some Halloween goodies this month and maybe if you’re not a confident baker this is a great place to start, a sponge is so simple to make and doing the little topping isn’t really that hard either. With a sponge, almost any result is always a delicious one!