Halloween is one of the happiest, most festive holidays of the year for kids, and celebrating it can be a family affair. Instead of rushing out to the store to buy a Halloween centerpiece at the last second that likely be made from plastic and tossed after one use, make a fun, kid-friendly cake that will serve both as a festive table decoration and dessert.
A cake isn’t everyday fare around our house, but Halloween is a holiday that’s inherently heavy on sweets: we figure baking our own cake is a way to control the type of sugar used (using agave, evaporated cane juice, or maple syrup instead of refined, white sugar). We also use organic products like flour and soy milk. With any luck, kids will choose a slice of this healthier homemade cake, leaving slightly less room for all those other Halloween candies. It’s also a fun cake to let kids, especially older ones, help bake and decorate.
Bake and Frost the Cake
Bake a cake in a round pan. A bundt cake will have a more dramatic effect, but a plain round cake is fine too. We used a cake pan shaped like a sunflower – once covered in frosting, you can’t tell! You could also purchase an angel’s food cake for a light option. While the cake is baking, make some of your favorite frosting. Honestly, I have yet to find a frosting that I think is healthy and good for decorating, but everything in moderation, right? We made one recipe’s worth of the buttercream frosting from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and it was just enough to frost the cake and leave a little for piping around the bottom. Frost the entire cake, covering up any exposed areas.
Decorate the Cake
Make spooky spiders. We had leftover fondant from a birthday party so I tinted it and rolled it into balls. If you don’t have fondant, use a chocolate cookie as the body or simply a licorice wheel. Licorice drops or even large chocolate drops could serve as a spider head. We chopped up licorice slices and attached them as legs. If you happen to have some rubber critters lying around, feel free to use those instead (but make sure you tell the little ones!)
Create a Web
Next, we cut up longer pieces of licorice and placed them on the cake to look like a spider web. Another option would be to make more frosting, tint it (orange would add a nice punch of color) and then pipe the frosting into the shape of a web.
Add the Finishing Touches
Finally, add on your critters. Voila! A crowd-pleasing Halloween centerpiece that’s cute and tasty!