What inspired me to make a Very Scary Red Velvet Birthday Cake? I think I’ve been watching Halloween Cake Wars and the Halloween Baking Championships too much on Food Network lately! My son turned 22 today, and he loves red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. The first thing I said was, “How can I make a Halloween cake from red velvet.” After all, he does have an October birthday. On the Food Network, contestants make “dead velvet cakes,” and dye the chocolate cake different colors. I wanted to stay with red, so dyeing the velvet cake blue or green was a no-go. I saw lots of brain cakes on Pinterest made from red velvet cake. They looked so realistic and gross, I didn’t know if I could eat a piece of a cake like that. Finally, I found pictures of red velvet cakes with a knife inserted inside, and “blood” ganache. Perfect! Plus, they weren’t too difficult!
Red Velvet Cake
- Betty Crocker Super Moist Red Velvet Cake Mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup of cooking oil
- 1 1/4 cup water
- Duncan Hines Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (not pictured)
- 1/2 cup Wilton’s Red Candy Melts
- a scary knife
Did you think you were going to make everything from scratch? Not today! I was also working on a fried shrimp dinner for the birthday boy, so a 4 hour scratch cake expedition was not going to happen.
Follow the directions on the cake box. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cake mix, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup cooking oil, and 1 1/4 cup of water with an electric mixer. Then, pour the batter into your greased and floured cake pan or pans, and bake according to box instructions. When a toothpick inserted into the middle of your cake comes out clean, it’s done! I removed my two round cakes from the pans, placed them on a cake stand, then popped them in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Let’s make the Blood Ganache while the cake is cooling! You can’t frost a hot cake. Well, you can. But if you do, the icing will melt. Put 1/2 cup of the Wilton Candy Melts and 1/2 cup heavy cream into a glass container. I used a small, glass Pyrex bowl. Microwave at 1 minute intervals (stir in between each minute) until it looks like liquid blood. Put your ganache in the freezer while you frost the cake. The ganache cannot be hot when you pour it over your cream cheese icing. These Wilton Candy Melts are going to be my new best baking trick. Look at the rich color below! The Wilton Candy Melts come in all colors and can be found on the party aisle at Walmart.
Time to put icing on the cake! I used a simple butter knife to spread my icing. Carefully place a knife in the middle. We tried several different-sized knives before choosing the one pictured below.
Check the temperature of your ganache. It’s ok if it’s slighly warm. Melting the icing a little bit with warm ganache really does make it look like pooling blood. Spoon the blood ganache on your cake any way you want. I wanted a trickle-marble effect, so I spooned the icing on top and let it drip down the sides. Put those candles on! Applying the ganache isn’t “fondant serious.” It is a fun cake that your children or grandchildren can help decorate. My 11 year-old dripped some “blood” on the candles too. You’re done! Wasn’t that fun and easy? You can’t mess it up because it’s a messy cake. We experimented with the placement of the knife and candles, and chose the most stable version.
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