This Halloween cake recipe calls for an unexpected but delicious filling of vanilla ice cream.
This moist and tender yellow sheet cake has a filling of vanilla ice cream, a thick slather of frosting – and the gaping, mute, horror-stricken face reminiscent of Edvard Munch’s iconic painting The Scream. Even if you couldn’t name the painter for a million bucks, everyone knows the face. The simple, expressive lines are surprisingly easy to recreate in cake and i’scream. If you can, bake the cake in a metal pan – the cake takes a little longer to bake in a glass pan and it is more likely to dry out.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1 (1-pound) package confectioners’ sugar (about 4 cups)
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For assembling the cake
- 4 cups (2 pints) vanilla ice cream
- blue liquid or black paste coloring
1 Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9-by 13-inch metal baking pan and line with parchment or wax paper, leaving a small overhang for lifting the baked cake.
2 Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
3 Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, about five minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, incorporating each egg well, and then add the vanilla.
4 With the mixer on low, add one-third of the flour mixture, mixing well, and then add one-third of the milk. Repeat twice with the remaining thirds of the flour mixture alternated with the remaining thirds of the milk.
5 Smooth the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. (Try not to overbake; the cake will taste really dry later when it emerges from the freezer.) Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then lift the whole cake out with the overhanging edges of parchment and cool completely on a rack.
6 To prepare the frosting, beat the butter in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, until the frosting reaches a smooth, spreadable consistency. Stir in vanilla.
7 To assemble the cake, soften the ice cream on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes, until its easy to stir and spread but still solid. Peel the paper off the cake and place the cake, top side up, on a serving platter. Using a serrated knife, slice the cake in half horizontally and carefully lift off the top layer and set it aside (its okay if it breaks – you can put it back together.)
8 Spread the softened ice cream down the length of the cake, and then place the top of the cake back on. Using a serrated knife, trim one end of the cake into a curved shape and trim a slight curve out of each of the long sides, leaving the bottom edge straight and untouched (save trimmings in the freezer for later snacking or trifle-type desserts).
9 Set aside about 2/3 cup of frosting and use the rest to frost the top and sides of the cake, smoothing the top with the back of a knife or spatula.
10 Color the reserved frosting with the blue or black coloring until you have a dark frosting for drawing a defined outline. Spoon the dark frosting into a ziplock bag and snip off a bit of one bottom corner of the bag. Using the end of a wooden spoon, trace the outline of the face of The Scream in the white frosting on the cake – hands clasped to the cheeks, round eyes, and big round mouth in a scream – and then pipe in those lines with the dark frosting. You can make the face fill up the whole cake, or you can leave room to frost in a dark portion of the screamer’s shirt for contrast.
11 Eat at once or, if you must, freeze for up to two days. Thaw at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving (too much longer and the ice cream will melt).
Makes: 1 cake, 24 servings
Excerpted from Ghoulish Goodies: Creature Feature Cupcakes, Monster Eyeballs, Bat Wings, Funny Bones, Witches' Knuckles and Much More. Copyright © 2009 by Sharon Bowers, Photography by ©Kevin Kennefick
Used by permission of Storey Publishing LLC. All Rights Reserved.