Halloween wouldn't be the same without the wacky and ubiquitous little candy called candy corn. I can't say that I've ever liked eating candy corn (not into the waxy texture), but candy corn is one of my first ever memories of Halloween.
So for a fun and festive Halloween, I knew the colorful layers of bright orange, yellow, and white of a candy corn would be perfect in a cake. It would be full of buttery flavor (no not corn!), and I'd enrobe the whole thing in a slick shiny layer of rich chocolate ganache.
To achieve bright, true colors in the cake layers, I started with a go-to white butter cake—one that used just egg whites. This particular white butter cake is also extremely tender because of a cake mixing method called "reverse creaming". Here, dry ingredients, butter, and a portion of the liquid (milk) are mixed together first so that the butter coats the flour in fat. Coating the flour with fat makes it difficult to form gluten, so the cake texture stays tender. To create the colored layers, simply divide the batter between three bowls and and tint two of 'em.
I wanted the flavor of this cake to be wacky and intense, so to bump up the butter flavor, I said "what the heck" and threw in a few tablespoons of butter extract into both the cake batter and in the butter frosting. I didn't mind the slight artificial flavor in my candy corn cake, but feel free to leave it out.
Once assembled and draped in chocolate, nothing could top the cake better than a handful of candy corn. Fun in a festive, unspooky way, bright, and chocolatey, this cake will be a hit on any Halloween table with both adults and kids (who might even eat the candy corn kernels).
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of the new cookbook One Bowl Baking: Simple From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts (Running Press, October 2013), and available at Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Powell's, The Book Depository. Watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. Follow her Chocoholic, Chicken Dinners, Singapore Stories and Let Them Eat Cake columns on Serious Eats. Follow Yvonne on Twitter as she explores Singapore.