But before we begin, I have to say: no these are not healthy. I know, it’s a bummer. The only “healthy” part about them is they aren’t made with corn syrup or unidentifiable ingredients (with the exception of the Milano cookies and the Oreo crumbles). Just simple, pure ingredients. If that’s worth anything…
Again, this is an exercise in Halloween themes over recipe creation.
First off, I have to tell you guys, I love the idea of mini cakes. In books, the authors always say people are “drinking tea and eating little cakes.” How delicious does that sound? I just love the idea.
When I worked for a bakery, they had all types of mini cakes. And I guess that’s where I picked up a few nuggets of wisdom on how to prep and decorate them properly. Though a lot of it also came from good ol’ DIYing and guess and check work.
Anyway, for these Halloween cakes you’ll need:
+Red & Black food coloring (I know, not the best. I say go with organic if you can, but I was lazy and this is a cheat meal anyway).
I used this chocolate cake recipe. Because it’s my fave. I then decorated the cakes three different ways, just to see how it would look. I think my personal favorite is the one with the Oreo crumbs.
But let’s get down to the nitty gritty. How to decorate these suckers.
First, cut this recipe in half (or use the full recipe if you want more cakes) and pour batter into a brownie pan. Make sure the batter is evenly distributed, or you’ll get thick cake on one end and dusty, crusty nonsense on the other.
Once the cake is baked, throw it into the freezer for a good couple of hours.
Take out the cake and, using a circular cookie cutter, cut holes. You can also use a large glass like I did, if you’re short on cookie cutter.If it’s so frozen you can’t puncture it, give it a few minutes to thaw–but not too long!
Once you cut away all the circles, throw away or save the scraps. If you save them–you can sub the Oreo crumbles for cake crumbles later, or just save them and eat them with ice cream. Or just give them away to trick-or-treaters. Whatever suits your fancy. Then throw the cut out, whole circles back into the freezer. Again, allowing them freeze for a few hours.
Once completely frozen, take out the cakes and pair them off (two pieces = one small cake).
Take one half of the cake and flip it over, spreading a generous amount of frosting on top (made red with food coloring). I used this recipe as a guide for my vanilla frosting, but ended up tweaking it to add more milk and get a softer consistency.
I intentionally made the red frosting overflow a little to resemble blood and then sandwiched it with another piece of chocolate cake.
I then made gray/black frosting (adding black food dye to my vanilla frosting) and put it in two different Ziplocs–one where I cut a larger hole in the corner, and one with a small hole.
I used the small-holed bag to write “RIP” on the upper half of a Milano cookie, and then pushed the cookie into the cake, so just the “RIP” was visible. I used the Ziploc with the larger whole to accurately frost the entire top of the cake. I then crumbled Oreos (Newman O’s / something like an Oreo) in a Ziploc, and placed them on top! Boom, done.
The second way involved the same (red) middle, same RIP Milano tombstone, but with grey frosting all over the little cake.
The third way, I tried to do a squiggly type of design on top, using the grey frosting, and letting the frosting drip down. Like some sort of icky grey matter from Witches of East End.