Some of my best childhood memories are from this time of year. During my elementary school days, I used to have an annual Halloween party. To plan the big event, each year my mother would check-out a mountain of books from the library to get ideas for “spooky” games and activities. (The internet did not exist in those days!) For my part of this tradition, I would plan (and incessantly practice) a magic show to perform at the party.
When the day of the big party arrived, my friends and I had the best time bobbing for apples and touching cold spaghetti that was supposed to be someone’s “brain.” And of course, I was thrilled to amaze my friends with my magic show. While my mother made many treats for the party, I was always content to grab a handful of my favorite Halloween candy, Candy Corn. In fact, even to this day, the taste of Candy Corn immediately evokes memories of my childhood Halloween parties.
While these darling little cakelets do not taste like Candy Corn, I think that they sure do look a lot like them. The cake is a yellow cake that I tinted with food coloring. I decided to use a yellow cake, because I thought that it would be easier to tint the batter to a bright yellow and orange, since its natural color is already a hue of yellow.
Instead of my beloved Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I decided to use a “bakery style” American buttercream to fill and top the cakelets. I wanted this to be a super “kid friendly” treat. When I owned my cake business, I learned that kids seem to prefer an American buttercream over any other type of buttercream. Make no mistake, this is a sweet icing. But then again, it’s icing. It is supposed to be sweet!
Assembling these little cuties couldn’t be any easier. I used the same method for cutting out these cakelets that I used to create my Irish Cream Cakelets. Next, I simply placed the yellow cakelets on my serving plate, piped some buttercream on top of them, and then stacked the orange cakelets on the top. To finish each cakelet, I piped a beautiful swirl of buttercream on top. For the garnish, I used pieces of candy corn.
I think these Candy Corn Cakelets would make an adorable treat for a Halloween party. If you try them out, I’d love to hear from you!
For the Yellow Cake:
Slightly Adapted from: Serious Cakes
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
This recipe will make one 9×13 layer or two 9-inch round cakes. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake pans with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening together until somewhat creamy (about 4 minutes). Add the vanilla extract and eggs and mix them until they are just blended. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk in three parts, beginning and ending with the flour, and mix until just blended.
If you are making two 9-inch round cakes: Divide the batter evenly into two separate bowls. Using liquid food coloring, follow the instructions on the package for making the color orange, and tint one of the bowls of batter orange. (My package used two drops of red and three drops of yellow.) Mix the coloring into the batter. I found that I had to use the above ratio of food coloring three times to achieve the shade of orange that I wanted to achieve. Remember that you can always add more coloring, but you cannot tone the color down. Pour the orange batter into the cake pan, and set the pan aside. Then, using the food coloring again, add yellow food coloring to the remaining bowl of batter. I think I used about six drops of yellow coloring. Pour the yellow batter into the cake pan. Bake 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
If you are making two 9×13 cakes: You will need to make two batches of this recipe, as one batch will make one 9×13 cake. Using the above instructions, tint one batch of batter orange and pour the batter into one of your cake pans. Again, using the above instructions, tint the second batch of batter yellow. Pour the yellow batter into your second cake pan. Bake the cakes 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
For the “Bakery-Style” American Buttercream:
1 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup half and half
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon clear butter extract
1/2 teaspoon Crème Bouquet (or 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract)
2 pounds powdered sugar
Place the shortening, half and half, milk, salt, and extracts into the bowl of a standing mixer. Using the paddle attachment for your mixer, set your mixer to a medium-low setting and mix the ingredients until they are smooth and creamy. Next, add the powdered sugar gradually, until the entire amount has been added. Then, increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until the ingredients are well combined and the icing is smooth and creamy.