Sign From Above Cake
Cupcakes – double cake recipe only
400g all purpose flour
320g caster sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
½ tsp salt
190ml vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
50ml red liquid food dye
Crumb Coat Frosting
2 batches of Cream Cheese Frosting
1 batch swiss meringue buttercream frosting
1kg white chocolate, melted
1 cup corn syrup
2 tbsp liquid red food dye
To make blood drips, combine corn syrup and red food dye together and mix well.
To make the skulls I used a skull mold that I bought from amazon. The exact name of the mold is ‘3D Skull Silicone Ice Cube Mold Tray’ If you google that it will come up with the one that I bought.
So this mold comes in two parts. The important thing with these skulls is that you don’t have weird air bubbles, so we’re going to fill the mold up in two sections. Firstly though, you want to make sure the white chocolate is warm (not burnt people lol) and not too stiff.
Fill the face part of the mold first. I piped the chocolate in using a piping bag. Gently tap the mold against your work bench to allow the chocolate to settle into the mold properly. Place the second half of the mold on top of the face part and fill the rest of the mold with chocolate. Tap against the work bench again and place in the freezer for 20 min to set. Repeat this until you have 30 skulls. Set aside on a baking tray in the fridge until ready to use.
Please note: to make the 4 layered cake in this recipe, you’ll need to make 2 batches of red velvet cake. All other recipes and measurements are enough to put the cake together and decorate it.
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140C (280F) or 160C (320F) for a conventional oven. Spray four 8” cake tins with oil spray and line the bottom with baking paper. Set aside
Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix on low speed using a hand mixer to help everything combine.
Next, add the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla and red food dye to the dry ingredients and continue mixing on low speed until everything is well combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix for a final 20 seconds on low speed.
Fill four 8” cake tins with batter. I find using an ice cream scoop to help me do this makes it easy to distribute the batter evenly so that everything bakes at the same time.
Bake for 50-60 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If the pick comes out with wet batter, bake for a further 10 min at a time until fully baked. Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature inside the cake tins and then chill them in the fridge overnight. Chilling your cakes overnight makes them easier to trim and decorate. So I bake my cakes the day before I decorate them.
To trim your chilled cakes, use a cake leveler or large serrated knife to carefully trim the crust off the top of each cake before you trim each cake in half. You’ll end up with 6 layers of cake.
To crumb coat your cake, add a dab of cream cheese frosting onto an 8” cake board or flat serving plate. Use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting around before adding the first cake layer. Gently press down the center of the cake layer to make sure it’s stuck to the frosting underneath.
Please note, my cream cheese frosting is much stiffer than most cream cheese frosting. You can pipe my frosting compared to most cream cheese frosting that can only be spread onto cupcakes. But, my frosting will still melt and soften in warm environments. To prevent your frosting from softening too much which can cause your cake to collapse, make sure you keep the frosting and cake chilled in the fridge.
Add frosting to a piping bag and frost a ring around the top of the cake. Fill the center with more frosting. Use your small offset spatula to smoothen out the frosting before you add the next layer of cake. Repeat with the remaining layers.
Add more frosting around the top and sides of the cake. Use the small spatula to smoothen out the top and sides of the cake, taking care to fill in any gaps in between each layer of cake.
Use a cake scraper (otherwise known as a bench scraper) to smoothen out the frosting on the sides and top. Get it as neat as you can. This should just be a neat, thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the final layer of frosting. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
To crumb coat the cake, add Swiss meringue buttercream frosting around the side of the cake starting at the bottom, making your way to the top. Add frosting on top. Smoothen out using an offset spatula. It doesn’t have to be perfect, we’re coming back to it.
Use a cake scraper to go around the cake until it’s smooth. Then use the cake scraper to smoothen out the top.
Place the skulls on top of the cake. Finish off by piping the blood into the eyes of the skulls and allow it to drip off the sides of the cake.
STORAGE: store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (refrigerated and thawed 1 hour before serving).
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CAKE TIN: For this recipe you’ll need at least one 8” cake tin but preferably three 8” cake tins. To prepare the tin, spray with oil spray. To prepare the baking paper use a pen to trace around the bottom of the cake tin on to the baking paper. Use scissors to cut slightly inside the circle you traced. Place the traced side down onto the baking tin with oil spray.
HAND MIXER: Can be made using a hand mixer (always mix on lowest speed) or a hand whisk. Take care not to over mix the batter.
OVEN TEMPERATURE: Each oven is different. Some are old, some are new. Some ovens can be hotter on the inside than the temp you set your oven at. If you find your cupcakes, cakes or macarons are browning or cracking, turn the oven temp down 10C. A handy trick is to get an oven thermometer which sits inside the oven and will give you an accurate temperature reading. They’re inexpensive and can be purchased online or at your local kitchen supply store. And always bake in the center rack of the oven for best results!
BUTTER: Make sure the butter is very soft for the cake mixture. There’s two ways to do this. Microwave for 5 seconds at a time flipping the butter on each side until very soft (not melted). If you don’t have a microwave run a large bowl over hot water. Dry the bowl and place over the butter for 1 min. The heat from the bowl will create a warm enough environment to soften the butter.
BAKING TIME: This cake will typically bake on a lower temp and for a little longer than regular cake recipes. I find a low temperate and a slow bake results in flatter tops and caramelization so that if the cake is colored it doesn’t change color and brown. After 50 minutes, stick a skewer into the center of the cake, if it comes out with wet batter, bake for another 10 minutes until the skewer comes out with crumbs or completely clean.
Large mixing bowls
Magic Whisk for wet ingredients
Stand mixer (or hand mixer)
8” cake tin
Ice cream scoop (optional)
Cake turn table