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I often go looking for holidays just so I can make desserts for them. I know this sounds crazy but it’s really fun! For several years I’ve made desserts to the Day of the Dead because they have so many fun sprinkles and decorations to use for baked goods celebrating this day.
This year I bought the Dios De Los Muertos Sprinkle Mix from Sprinkle Pop. This mix has awesome sugar skulls and purple, pink, black, lime green, and orange sprinkles. It’s the perfect thing to decorate a Day of the Dead Cake!
I wanted to make a new type of cake as well as decorate this cake. I found a recipe for a homemade spice cake that I thought would be great as a Day of the Dead Cake. The base was a basic batter but then it was filled with cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. I knew this combination of spices would really show through in the cake.
Once the cake was cooked I frosted it and then thought about the decorations. I looked through so many pictures online before I decided to make a Sugar Skull on the cake. I used the candy sugar skulls from the sprinkle mix as the eyes and then decorated the sugar skull with the candy beads from the mix. I also had Wilton skulls and used those for the nose, mouth, and to decorate the edge of the cake.
The cake ended up bright and fun. I loved how it turned out and was decorated. I am not an artist so the sugar skull isn’t the best but I think it’s still a good representation. When I sliced the cake open it looked beautiful.
The cake was amazing. It was rich and full of spices. It’s a delicious cake and perfect for the cooler autumn weather which is when Day of the Dead is celebrated. While I made a regular buttercream for the cake I know a cinnamon frosting would be perfect to finish off this cake.
For the cake:
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1 T. cinnamon
- 1 t. cardamom
- 1/2 t. allspice
- 1/2 t. nutmeg
- 1/2 t. ground cloves
- 1 c. sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 T. vanilla
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 2 1/4 c. flour
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. baking powder
- 1 t. salt
For the frosting:
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 4 c. powdered sugar
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 T. milk
- Sprinkle Pop Dio De Los Muertos sprinkles
- Wilton Skull Sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place a parchment circle on the bottom of two 8 inch baking pans. Spray the pans and set aside.
- Place one stick of butter in a skillet along with the brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. Heat over medium heat and cook until butter is melted. Remove from the heat.
- In a large bowl combine the remaining stick of butter and the sugar. Cream until smooth.
- Add in the eggs and egg yolk and mix well. Stir in the vanilla.
- Add the melted butter and spice mixture and mix until combined.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Add the buttermilk and mix until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and stir until well combined.
- Divide the batter between the two prepared pans.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and remove cakes from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make the frosting beat the butter in a large bowl until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar a half cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and milk and mix until smooth.
- Place 1 cup of frosting on top of one of the cake layers and smooth it out. Top with the second layer. Reserve 1/2 cup of frosting. Use remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake.
- Divide the remaining frosting into 4 bowls. Dye the frosting bright pink, bright blue, bright green, and bright purple. Use the different colors to draw an outline of the sugar skull, then to draw the eyes, nose, and mouth. Use the sprinkles to fill in the eyes, nose, and teeth and to decorate the sugar skull.
- Use skulls around the edges and bottom of the cake.
Cake recipe adapted fromCook's Illustrated
Decorating a Hezzi-D original idea
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