With Halloween just around the corner, it's the perfect time to break out the piping bags and whip up Catherine Fulvio's witch's hat cake .

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 200 g softened butter
  • 220 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • 320 g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 70 ml milk

For the buttercream

  • 200 g softened butter
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zest only

To decorate

  • 200 g blackberries
  • 1k g rollout icing
  • Royal Icing, for decorating 
  • Orange colour food gel
  • Black colour food gel
  • Black or gold ribbon, for around the base of the cake

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.

To prepare the cake

  1. Brush 2 x 20cm cake tins with melted butter and line the base with parchment.
  2. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and whisk well. Sift the plain flour and baking powder together and fold into the egg mix. Add just enough milk to form a soft cake batter.
  4. Pour in the prepared tins and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer is inserted and it comes out clean.

To prepare the buttercream

  1. Place the butter into a mixer and whisk until fluffy, spoon in the icing sugar while still whisking and add the vanilla, lemon zest and whisk for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Divide the buttercream into ¼ for the filling and the rest to cover the cake before covering with the rollout icing.

To assemble the cake

Place one sponge cake layer on a cake stand or plate, scatter the blackberries on top and spread ¼ of the butter cream over. Place the next cake layer on top.

To decorate

  1. Colour ¼ of the roll out icing black and the rest with the orange. (You may like to use plastic gloves when doing this).
  2. Using a spatula, cover the sides and top of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Place in the fridge while you roll out the orange icing. Roll a circle large enough to cover the entire cake and smooth down.  Trim off the excess icing at the base.
  3. Tie the ribbon at the base of the cake.
  4. Using the black rollout icing, shape a large witches hat for the top of the cake.
  5. Using a template, cut out 5 or 6 smaller hats to place on the sides. Before you place them on the sides, decorate each using the royal icing if you want.

To make the royal icing

Add 100 g of royal icing sugar to a bowl and add about 1 tbsp of water to it and mix well into a thick paste. Fill a piping bag and decorate each hat as an option. "Glue" the hats to the side of the cake with the royal icing.  And finally add dots of white rollout icing over the sides.

Catherine Fulvio's witch's hat cake

Recipe courtesy of Siúcra.