This cake is moist, fluffy, light, and absolutely delicious, not to mention, spooky!
I bought an epic skull cake pan at Williams Sonoma a few weeks ago and I’m so psyched to have finally used it! How fun are these spooky little things? Think of all of the fun you can have decorating, serving, and eating these individual skull cakes!!!
Halloween brings out the kid in me. I’ve always loved the eeriness of the night. The flickering jack-o-lanterns glowing in the darkness, the costumes, the ghost stories and movies, and of course, the treats. No tricks for me thank you very much.
Let me tell you my friends, this cake recipe is a capital T. R. E. A. T! I chose to veganize a red velvet cake recipe from Divas Can Cook, and as soon as I finish patting my own back, I’ll come back to tell you how I did it, and why you need to make this too. I’ll just be a second…. K, I’m back.
The only things that I needed to change up in this recipe were the eggs and the buttermilk. No problem. For the eggs, I used applesauce with baking powder, and I swear, it works a million times better than eggs if you want a moist, light cake. The baking powder reacts with the applesauce and tiny bubbles start to form and the sauce expands and lifts into a light foamy mixture. Whatever is going on in the bowl, must continue on in the batter, because my baked goods went from good to fabulous when I started using this as my egg replacer.
Substituting the buttermilk was easy. I added two teaspoons of lemon juice to the one cup of almond milk and stirred well, piece of cake. The original recipe called for TWO cups of sugar. Say what???? Now that’s scary!! I reduced it to 1 and ¼ cups and it was plenty sweet.
If you’re wondering why the red velvet cake doesn’t look vivid red, it’s because I used India Tree Natural Decorating Colors, 3 bottles(red,yellow,blue) vegetable food dye (click on the link to purchase), and it’s just not as bright. That’s okay, because it’s vegan, it’s made from veggies, not chemicals, and, I think that the reddish brown color made the skulls look petrified (fossilized, not terrified, although they are scary). Booooooo.
This cake is devilishly moist, and springy, and fluffy, all at the same time. It’s also firm enough to cut a hole in the skull and scoop out the “brains,” so you can insert a sweet strawberry preserve filling. THAT makes for a great presentation! Make sure you save the piece that you cut out so you can insert it back into the skull. Yep, I can be a special kind of crazy sometimes. I got my thrills from slicing open a cake skull and inserting gooey red stuff. Kookoo!
Let’s talk decorating, the best part of the entire process! This is where you can let your mind run free, wheeeee……. There are so many options here. You can frost them, insert candy, nuts, or dried fruit in the eyes and nose, outline the facial features with frosting, or do what I did and sift confectioner’s sugar over them and fill the eyes with black and purple decorator’s sugar. Have fun and go a little crazy, isn’t that what this holiday is all about anyway?
If trick-or-treating isn’t on your schedule this Halloween, these little cakes are the perfect way to celebrate Halloween. Let your kids’ imaginations go wild, because decorating is the best part of making these. If you don’t have little kids around (like me), then let that kid in you come out and play.