Poison Apple Halloween Cake

1 cake
1 hr 30 min

I can’t remember who said it, but a comment somewhere I posted a ‘Halloween Slime Cake’ topped with a Erlenmeyer flask said ‘You should do a poison apple cake!’


Whoever you were – you’re a freaking genius and credit for this cake goes to you!


Since I use black cocoa to make black buttercream rather than a crap ton of black food gel, I opted to not flavor these cake layers with apple – but if you’d like to give it a shot go for it! I’m totally trying out mixing in apple schnapps if I come up with a way to make black buttercream without cocoa powder! ;)


Recipe below – enjoy!

Recipe details

  • 1  cake
  • Prep time: 45 Minutes Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 30 min
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Ingredients

Colored Cake Layers

  • 2 white cake mixes
  • I replaced the combined 1 cup of oil the mixes called for with 1 cup unsalted butter (or 2 sticks) melted & cooled 
  • Total of 8 egg whites (no yolks-you can use egg whites from a carton to avoid wasting the yolks)
  • I replaced the 2 cups of water with 2 cups of buttermilk, (room temperature) and added
  • 2 tablespoons of clear vanilla extract!
  • Whether you prefer cake mixes or a scratch vanilla recipe, add 3-4 large of bright/lime green gel food coloring! I used Americolor Electric green.

Black Cocoa Buttercream

  • 8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
  • 16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
  • 5 ½ -6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup black cocoa powder - this lets me get my frosting really black without using much gel color!
  • 4-6 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t. salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • 5-6 large drops black gel food color

Extra supplies and decorations

  • - 1 8- or 10 -inch cardboard cake circle (I prefer Wilton’s center-punched circles) -
  • squeeze bottle or piping bag for the cake drip -
  • Cake leveler, cake turntable, large offset spatula, and pastry cutter/bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful! (Here’s a link to the cake turntable I use) - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072X63HQQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=intensiveca04-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B072X63HQQ&linkId=35bbb2c3f1fbf0c4a4993cf5ce49788e
  • Apple of your choice - I used a granny smith -
  • Candy melt ganache – 6 oz white candy melts + 3 3/4 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream + 3 drops Electric Green americolor gel food color

Instructions

Colored Cake Layers

First note – you have options here! You can color your favorite white/vanilla cake recipe, you can use my Favorite Vanilla Cake (IntensiveCakeUnit.com/favorite-vanilla-cake-recipe) and color it green, OR – you can you can do what I did and ‘bakery-level-up’ a couple of boxed cake mixes!
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7 inch pans (for taller layers) or three 8-inch cake pans with parchment rounds, and /or grease with non-stick or baker’s floured cooking spray. Mix together all wet ingredients (butter, egg whites, buttermilk, vanilla, and gel food color) in a large bowl with a wire whisk. Blend in cake mixes for 30 seconds, and then beat with a wire whisk or hand mixes for 2 minutes until well combined. 
Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part). This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8-inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7-inch cake pans (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans – it helps to run an offset spatula or knife around the perimeter of the pan first. Cool completely before frosting. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.

Frosting and decorating

Once your cakes are cool, level them (if needed/desired). This can be done with a cake leveler or a large serrated knife and a ruler.
Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle. Spread the layer with frosting. Add your next cake layer on top, and repeat the process with your remaining cake layers. 
Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer. Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place it into the fridge or freezer to set the frosting.
This is a great time to make and color your ganache drip(s)!
Place heavy cream and candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl (don't add the color yet!) and microwave on 50% power in 30-second intervals until smooth, stirring in between. Once the mixture is completely melted and smooth, add in the gel color and mix until the color is even. 
Once your ganache has cooled to a moderate temperature - it should be liquid but not hot - transfer it to a squeeze bottle or piping bag. I’ve also used a spoon for similar drips before. 
Slowly drizzle candy melt ganache around the upper edge of your cake, pausing every inch or so to let more fall in a drip down the side of the cake. Dip your apple into the remaining ganache, covering it as far up the sides as you’d like. I covered almost my entire apple. Let the drips run off, and set the apple on top of the cake. Smooth any gaps or bumpy spots with a small offset spatula. Place the cake into the refrigerator to set the drips! You're done - when you're ready to serve, cut in and enjoy!

Tips

  • Make this recipe? Let me know how it went - or find me on Pinterest or Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!

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