Haunted houses can be full of ghosts, ghouls, vampires and zombies, but our haunted house is full of cake! This is a perfect Halloween cake to make for a party, and it's a great project for beginners to tackle if they want to try something a bit more challenging. The fun part about haunted houses is that they tend to look like they are falling apart, so perfection is not our goal. Haunted houses have character, which is our goal!
Photo via Wendy Woo Cakes
Here's how to make a haunted house cake:
What you'll need:
- Two-tier square cake covered in fondant
- Assorted colors of fondant or modeling chocolate (I used gray for the house, yellow for the windows, white for ghosts and orange for the pumpkins. Black for the roofs and door and window molding, brown for the doors, green for the vines. Try this free Modeling Chocolate Recipe for a chocolate that is well-textured and suited to this project, or this free Marshmallow Fondant Recipe that yeilds a tasty fondant.)
- Fondant flower-leaf tool
- Sharp knife
- Lemon extract
- Black food coloring
- X-Acto knife
Fill, crumb coat, cover and stack your square cakes.
Begin texturing the house. While the fondant is still soft, use your flower-leaf tool to mark horizontal straight lines across the top and bottom tiers and on each side. If you do not have this tool, you can also use a toothpick instead
Mark vertical lines with the flower-leaf tool to make it look like long planks of wood.
Use the same tool to also make woodgrain marks on each plank.
Using a toothpick, poke small holes on either side of the vertical lines.
Start working on the roof. Form a triangle roof out of cake, Rice Krispies Treats or solid modeling chocolate. Roll out your black modeling chocolate or fondant and cut into squares. You can use a square shaped cutter if you would like, but this is a haunted house, so your squares don’t need to be perfect.
Place your square tiles on your roof, starting at the bottom. Make one layer all the way around the roof, then start on the next layer up. Continue this until you reach the top.
Roll out a thin piece of the same black modeling chocolate then lay two pieces crisscross across the roof.
Use your flower-leaf tool to press light indents equally spaced across the roof.
For the lower roof, roll out a larger piece of modeling chocolate and wrap it around the bottom of the top tier.
Press it gently into place to give it a slanted look. Repeat the process of attaching the tiles on this roof.
Now make the doors. Roll out your light brown modeling chocolate or fondant and free-hand a rounded door.
Use the large end of a piping tip or a circle cutter -- whatever you feel is best to cut a hole for a window.
Using the leftover round circle, cut two strips in the middle of the circle. Place them on the door across the window and blend the ends with the door. Press woodgrain into the door using the flower-leaf tool.
Place the doors on the house.
Roll out more black modeling chocolate and place it around the door. Using the flower-leaf tool, press marks in the modeling chocolate around the door.
Note: While making the haunted house, the flower-leaf tool will be your best friend. We are using it to make indentations and lines, but it is also great for fixing crooked lines or straightening out mistakes.
Now it's time to make the windows. This process is a lot like making doors. Cut small rounded windows out of both black modeling chocolate and yellow fondant. Place the yellow window on the black modeling chocolate, then roll out thin ropes or black modeling chocolate.
Wrap it around the window and press thin pieces crisscross on the yellow window. Use a large piece to make a window ledge. Place the windows on the cake.
Now, add your details!
Cover your board in fondant. I used a marbled gray, green and brown fondant. Purple may also be fun.
Make rocks by marbling your modeling chocolate or fondant. Mash them together until they look mixed but not uniform in color.
Pull apart varying sizes and form them into odd shaped mounds.
To make pumpkins, cut small pieces of orange fondant or modeling chocolate to form round balls of varying sizes.
Use an X-Acto knife or toothpick to press lines onto the ball ,starting from a central point. Continue around the ball until finished.
Roll out and flatten a piece of fondant to the height you want. Use a knife to cut flat edges on each of the 4 sides.
Use the knife again to make horizontal indentations. Make off-set vertical indentations as well to give the look of brick.
Cut off the bottom of the chimney at the angle of the roof.
Place the chimney on the roof.
The finishing touch
To help the house look even more rustic and old, dilute a small amount of black food coloring in lemon extract or vodka. You want it to be really thin, so the coloring can seep into the indentations to give depth to the crevices.
You can add a few ghosts or maybe a scarecrow or vampire, the rest of the details are up to you! Happy Halloween!
For more great ideas and to learn to cover a cake in fondant, check out Jessica Harris' Craftsy class Clean & Simple Cake Design. To learn more about working with modeling chocolate and creating stellar structures, be sure to take a look at Intro to Modeling Chocolate: Cityscapes with Laura Kitchens!
For more Halloween fun, check out our Halloween cake pops tutorial, our Halloween cupcakes tutorial and our post on how to make mellowcreme pumpkins at home. You might also enjoy our zombie cakes roundup.