House of horrors cake
Prep: 1 Hour
Cook: 45 Mins
Plus chilling and freezing time
- 180g plain flour, sifted
- 170g granulated sugar
- 120g cocoa powder, sifted, plus extra to decorate
- 1½tsp baking powder
- 1½tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 large eggs
- 120ml rapeseed oil
- 200ml apple juice
- For the frosting
- 180g butter, softened
- 75g soft cheese
- 150g icing sugar
- 75g peanut butter or Nutella
- For the gingerbread
- 125g butter
- 100g muscovado sugar
- 3½tbsp golden syrup
- 300g plain flour
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2tsp ground ginger
- 6 Fox’s Glacier Mints, crushed
- 75g Coco Pops
- 100g dark chocolate
- 250g ready to roll icing
- Black and orange food colourings
- Dr Oetker Gel Food Colour in Ultra Violet
- 1tbsp golden syrup
- 5 Matchmakers
- 93g bag Maltesers
- 75g dark brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and base-line 2 straight-sided 20cm sandwich tins.
For the cake, mix together all the dry ingredients. In a jug, beat the wet ingredients with a fork, then stir into the dry mixture and mix well. Pour into the tins. Bake for 25 mins until well-risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tins on a wire rack. Turn up the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
For the frosting, beat the butter, soft cheese, icing sugar and peanut butter or Nutella until light and fluffy. Cover and chill until needed.
To make the gingerbread, melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger in a large bowl and stir in the butter mixture to make a stiff dough. If it won’t quite come together, add a tiny splash of water.
Cut out the templates (you’ll find these online, see above). Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Cut out 1 house front, 2 house supports, 1 door, 4 shutters and 7 gravestones, re-rolling as needed. Arrange well-spaced on lined baking trays and put in the oven. After 8-10 mins, remove the smaller pieces. Sprinkle the crushed sweets into the windows and bake the house front for a further 8-10 mins until golden. Leave to cool.
Sandwich the sponges together with a third of the frosting and stand on a large cake board or tray. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides, and cover all over with Coco Pops.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and pipe 2 scary tree shapes onto the paper using half the chocolate. Freeze until set, then
‘over-pipe’ with a second chocolate layer. Freeze for 5-10 mins until set.
Decorate the gingerbread pieces with the icing, mixed with colourings as you like; fix the icing in place with a little syrup. ‘Dirty up’ the house by brushing it with a little dry cocoa powder. Fix the shutters in place with a little-melted chocolate.
Stand the house on the top of the cake, pushing it into the icing and supporting it with the 2 triangular gingerbread supports. Stand the trees in place, fix on the door at an angle and add a broken fence made from Matchmakers. Fix gravestones in place with melted chocolate and add Malteser rocks. Use remaining icing and colourings to make a cat, eye balls and pumpkins. Scatter the sugar ‘dirt’ on the board to finish.