Our Halloween Frankenstein cake decorating tutorial takes you through adding a smooth buttercream finish to a cake and adding a chocolate drip. Changing the buttercream and chocolate colours will take this cake from cute and spooky to perfectly sweet. Try white chocolate over a pale blue buttercream for a baby shower, or add a jack’o’lantern face to orange buttercream for another fun Halloween cake. Smoothed buttercream and chocolate drips are the foundation for so many celebration cakes and once you’ve got the basics covered, the sky’s the limit for creative centrepiece cakes for every occasion!
Halloween Frankenstein Cake
Your favourite cake, we’ve used a 6 inch white chocolate buttercake
Cake board the same size as your cake, we’ve used a 6 inch cake board
Serrated bread knife
A batch of buttercream
Green gel food colour
Small offset spatula
To make our frankencake, we’ve used a 6″ round vanilla buttercake. You could use chocolate cake, or mud cake too. Cakes that have a lot of icing or chocolate on them become quite heavy and so aren’t a suitable design for sponge cakes.
Use a bread knife to cut the top o your cake. You can split your cake into layers and ll with more buttercream, we’ve kept it simple and left our cake whole.
Use your favourite buttercream recipe and colour green with high pigment gel food colour. When you need bold colours it’s best to use gel food colour to colour your buttercream. You need quite a lot of liquid food colour to get strong colours which can change the consistency of your icing, especially if your buttercream is made with icing sugar.
Colour will develop and become stronger when it sets in buttercreams that have an icing sugar base. Meringue based icings are more likely to keep the same colour. Keep this in mind when choosing your colours.
Start by applying a thin layer of icing. This cost, called a crumb coat, locks in any cake crumbs and stops them from mixing through the icing nish on your cake. Pop in the fridge for 15 minutes and allow the icing to set.
Once the buttercream has set, add a nal coat of buttercream. Adding too much buttercream helps to get a smooth nish, as you remove the excess you’ll leave behind a smooth layer of icing.
Use a straight sided bench scraper held at right angles against the side of the cake. Gently scrape away the excess icing. It’s easiest to do this using a turn table, there are plenty of inexpensive options – we use a lazy susan from IKEA.
After each scrape of the scraper, remove the excess icing back into your bowl. If the icing stays on your scraper it will just smooth back on to the cake.
Once your cake sides are lovely and smooth, you’ll probably have small gaps around the bottom and top of the cake.
Use your off set spatula to add extra icing to the gaps in the cake, then use the scraper to smooth again.
Smoothing the sides of your cake will create a lip of icing around the sides. Use your small o set spatula to pull in the icing and smooth the top of your cake, adding in excess icing to fill any gaps if you have them.
Once your cake is smooth, pop in the fridge for 15 minutes again to set. Don’t worry about making your buttercream cakes perfectly smooth and line free – part of the “I want to eat that now” appeal of buttercream cakes is that they look like they’ve been iced with delicious buttercream!
Carefully melt some dark chocolate in the microwave. We use microwave safe containers so that if there’s any excess we can pop on a lid and use it again later without having to scrape out bowls.
Microwave the chocolate in 15 second intervals, stirring well between each blast. Once the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, add 1 tsp of coconut oil (or any vegetable oil) for every 200g of melted chocolate. This will thin the chocolate a little and help it to drip. Stir really well to fully incorporate the oil.
Use a spoon to add a little chocolate near the edge of the cake. You could also ll a piping bag with your melted chocolate to add to the cake, but a spoon is just as effective! Use your spoon to gently tease the chocolate to fall over the edge of your cake. The chocolate will naturally drip. You can add a little extra chocolate in sections to encourage longer drips that run the length of your cake and pool at the bottom.
Once you’ve got all your drips around the cake, add some excess chocolate to the top and gently smooth it around to fill in the top.
Use a little excess chocolate to stick two large candy eyes to your cake. If you can’t find candy eyes, you can use white chocolate buttons piped with a little excess dark chocolate to make the pupils. If you do this, make sure the dark chocolate is completely set before you add them to the cake.
Cut some clinkers in half and stick to either side of the cake to create bolts. You could also use chocolate dipped marshmallows, pieces of chocolate coated honeycomb, or even fondant cut into small squares.
Use writing icing (you’ll find it in most supermarket baking isles), or excess dark chocolate allowed to cool so it doesn’t drip, to create a mouth for your Frankencake. Pop in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow the chocolate drip to firm up, then serve!
Keep scrolling for images that accompany these instructions.