I absolutely LOVE Halloween. Growing up in Canada, it was such a big deal and it makes me so happy to see it gaining popularity with each year here in the UK! This Cauldron cake is also one of my favourite cakes I’ve ever made. It makes me so happy to look at and I’m thinking of recreating it again this year too!
If you fancy recreating this design, follow my tutorial below.
I have used my chocolate madeira cake and chocolate buttercream recipe but feel free to use any flavours you like! I would recommend using a strong and stable cake that is suitable for carving, which is what a madeira is perfect for.
The models and decorations on top of the cake can be made ahead of time. Use modelling paste for stability and keep in a cake box or another container that the air can get to (not in a sealed box, otherwise they may melt). For more on types of icing, check out my blog post here.
Once baked and decorated, this cake will last 4-5 days. Make sure to properly crumb coat so no air can get into the cake and make it dry. You can read more about my cake timelines here.
Equipment can be purchased from Iced Jems.
- 7” deep round cake
- 7” round thin cake card
- 10” round drum
- 1kg black sugarpaste
- 500g brown sugarpaste
- Modelling paste
- Sugarflair colours; Tangerine, Poppy Red, Melon, Party Green, Ice Blue, Dark Brown
- Edible glue
- Large rolling pin
- Icing spacers
- Sharp serrated knife
- Cake leveller
- Piping gel
- Cutting wheel
- Double sided sticky tape
- ½ ball mould
- Ball tool
- Wood impression mat
For the cake
Bake your favourite cake in a 7” round tin. It needs to be a deep cake of 4”.
Level the cake and carve a dent around the top edge with a sharp knife to make the ‘cauldron shape’. Also, carve a well into the top of your cake so we can ‘fill’ the cauldron. This well doesn’t have to be very deep, it’s just to create the effect.
Split and fill your cake with your desired buttercream or ganache and secure your cake to the thin boards using buttercream.
Prepare cake by lightly coating with buttercream or ganache.
Before rolling out your black sugarpaste, knead until it’s a workable consistency. If the sugarpaste is sticky or your hands are very warm, sprinkle lightly with cornflour. Lightly dust your smooth work surface also to prevent it sticking.
Roll out your sugarpaste to a 1/4 of an inch thickness. If it helps, you can use icing spacers which are perfect for this.
To keep the sugar paste from sticking, lift and move it around as your roll. Add more cornflour if needed.
Gently lift icing over rolling pin to move and lower it onto your cake. Be careful to gently smooth the sugarpaste into the well you have created at the top and around the edge of the top of your cauldron.
Beginning in the middle of the cake top, gently rub the sugar paste onto the cake. Start on one side and by a process of gently lifting any creases out and lifting down onto your cake, you can secure the sugar paste all the way around. If an air bubble appears, use a scriber to gently pop the bubble and smooth the air out.
Use a knife to mark the sugar paste at the base of the cake and trim the excess using a palette knife or sharp knife.
Leave the icing to set overnight.
Repeat the icing process for your 10” drum.
Once the sugarpaste has set for both, secure the cake to the drum using a little royal icing.
For the decoration
To make the eyeballs, roll a ball of white modelling paste and dust with cornflour. Push into a ½ ball mould until the bottom is flat. Tap the eyeball out and leave to dry. Once dry cut out a circle of eye colour, a smaller circle of black and a tiny circle of white. Layer these using a little bit of edible glue to finish the eye and leave to set.
For the tentacles, colour some modelling paste orange and roll into a smooth round ball. From there, roll it into a sausage with a tapered end. Bend into a wavy shape and leave to dry on foam. Once dried, roll small balls of yellow modelling paste and dent with a ball tool to create the ‘suckers’. Glue these onto one side of the tentacle.
For the bubbles, roll small balls of green modelling paste and leave to dry.
For the fire, knead together red, orange and yellow modelling paste until the colours start to mix but stop before they mix completely. This will give you a marbled effect. Roll out this tricoloured icing and using a cutting wheel, cut out wavy flames.
Glue these to the bottom of your cauldron and bend in wavy shapes. Leave to dry.
For the wood, roll out brown sugarpaste and texture with a wood impression mat. Then, using a cutting wheel, cut out rectangles of wood. Glue these to the board underneath the flames.
For the Cauldron filling
Colour come piping gel with a paste colour of your choice, I’ve used green for slime! Then fill the well you made with piping gel. I have also dripped it down the side and on to the board.
Once all your decorations have dried, you can fill your cauldron as desired. You can also glue the bubbles to the side of the cauldron using a little edible glue.
Add a message and ribbon as desired.
Check out my other Halloween inspired recipes and tutorials here.
If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!
Happy Halloween and happy baking!