A fun tutorial to decorate a gory cake for Halloween. We have prepared this gruesome artwork and wanted to share the steps to get to this realistic result!
I have spent last Sunday afternoon with my friend and incredibly talented cake decorator Astrid. She has been baking as a hobby for few years and she has reached an incredible level of expertise; you can see some of her beautiful cakes at www.astriddehaas.nl
I have been longing to spend some time with her to see how she works and finally I got the luck to spend a whole afternoon with her and Tom decorating a scary cake for this Halloween. Astrid had already baked few layers of a delicious raspberry, strawberry and chocolate cake. So all we had to do was decorating it. The idea? We started watching this fun and useful tutorial on how to make a zombie cake. It is useful to get some tips and their result is truly amazing. Though they use a face cast to make the cake, while we wanted to use a more simple rounded layered cake.
Check our TUTORIAL on how to decorate a dead-man head cake. Scary and delicious!
It took us almost five hours to decorate this cake, though half of the time was spend laughing at the really gory, bloody details we were adding. With this blog I’d like to share the steps we followed to create this cake. I hope it will be an inspiration for your Halloween dinner party! It was so much fun decorating it, as you can see from this short clip:
First we piled up the cakes creating a dome structure. We then carved three holes in the position of the eyes and the nose of our zombie face. We covered the whole cake with chocolate butter cream; you can buy it in the shops or making it following this recipe. We rolled a skin-coloured icing sheet and covered the whole cake with it, paying attention not to create any fold or cut in the sheet. We then used the fingers to adjust the icing on the underneath cake. Your base head is done. At this point we sculptured on the side the ears with the same icing colour of the face, the eye with white icing, and some skin-coloured stripes to create scars on the head and make the cake more realistic and gory. We had a piece of cake left and we used it to add the jaw of the head on the side of the cake, as if it was detached from the rest of the head. This was a clever tip to avoid the difficulty of adding the neck of this head that would have been smaller than the head itself and would have made the cake less stable. We cut peeled almonds in the shape of large teeth and we roasted them in the oven until they got a brownish colour, similar to rotten teeth. We then prepared other details with icing, like the lips a bit more pink or pieces of brain that we obtained simply rolling a long pink-icing tube and then folding it in meandering paths. It does not look realistic at the beginning, especially because the colour is very homogeneous. But do not worry: the painting does the trick!
We also prepared some dark hair for the head, a dark, gross, black centipede and white maggots. The maggots and the centipede are meant to be eating the rotten flesh: YUMMY! Everything with icing. You can add as many details as you want, just let your imagination run free. We placed all the additional details on the head, using some water to make the icing more sticky and better attach every detail.
DUST: At this point we can start adding the colours. First the edible dust, to add the shade to the face. We used dark and brown for the eye orbits and for the pits and holes. We then used the red to add a bit of dry-blood effect.
PAINT: the second step of colouring was the use of edible liquid colours. We mixed the liquid colour with edible alcohol, so the liquid part would evaporate quickly leaving the colour nicely impregnated on the icing. Red for the blood, brown to add texture to the skin. We mixed a bit of black to the red when we wanted a darker blood, especially in the areas in the shade, like the eye, the mouth and the inflections of the brain and wounds. We also used a sponge to sponge some areas of the head and add even more texture and stains of dry blood.
Finally, we used red gelatine (add a bit of black for a more dark-red realistic effect for blood) to add the shiny, gruesome details of fresh blood and flesh. Don’t exaggerate too much with it otherwise you will get a red mask of blood. Though use enough to add the gory effect you want to achieve.
Add the last details with more edible dust where the cake seems to lack texture or details and…the Walking Dead zombie head cake is ready!
Don’t be afraid of ruining the cake while you are decorating it. Don’t forget it is a ZOMBIE, so even if the eyes are asymmetric or the ear falls….it is still fine. A zombie is never too pretty. Also, add as many personalised details as you want. And remember. The most important thing is that you HAVE FUN WHILE DECORATING THIS CAKE! We had the most wonderful time and truly enjoyed this afternoon together. So…give it a try and share with us the picture of your cakes. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
More cake decoration ideas for Halloween? Check this tutorial for a gory BRAIN CAKE!
Or this other tutorial for a gruesome EYE CHEESECAKE.