My Great Pumpkin Experiment

Decorating By Joshua_Alan Updated 2 Nov 2010 , 7:38pm by Joshua_Alan

Joshua_Alan Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 7:30pm
post #1 of 34

So, I've been asked to make a Jack-O-Lantern cake for a friend for Halloween this year, and after looking at all the great pumpkin/Jack-O-Lantern cakes on here, the one thing that stands out to me is that I haven't seen anyone trying to actually light one up!

So....I'm going to try it. Here's my idea, and I'll start experimenting with it this week to see how it goes, and hopefully take pictures along the way. I'm going to use the 2 bundt pan technique. Since the bundt pan already has a hole through the center of it, I should be able to carve out a minimal amount to make the center hole big enough to insert a LED pumpkin light. Then I'll basically do the rest of it in the traditional style, except I'll carve the face out completely to let the LED shine through.

Thoughts?

33 replies
lacklin Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 7:45pm
post #2 of 34

That sounds really cool. I'd love to see how it turns out!

bakencake Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 7:59pm
post #3 of 34

That sounds great! I have a question for you. I have been making cake boxes and have been thinking of making one that looks like it's partially open with gummy hands coming out. I thought of putting some kind of light and then it hits me!!! Im going to put glow sticks, the green color, in side and that will give it a nice green spooky color. DH said that it's not food safe, I say maybe i can just put them inside a clear plastic bag and you can have in encased. What do you think? good idea or should i go with your plan and have pumping lights?

jones5cm Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 7:59pm
post #4 of 34

OK, you've peaked my interest...are you planning on carving a pumpkin face - as in eyes, nose and great big ear-to-ear smile??? don't have any suggestions; but don't see it holding up eithericon_smile.gif

Joshua_Alan Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:09pm
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakencake

That sounds great! I have a question for you. I have been making cake boxes and have been thinking of making one that looks like it's partially open with gummy hands coming out. I thought of putting some kind of light and then it hits me!!! Im going to put glow sticks, the green color, in side and that will give it a nice green spooky color. DH said that it's not food safe, I say maybe i can just put them inside a clear plastic bag and you can have in encased. What do you think? good idea or should i go with your plan and have pumping lights?




Hrm...I'd probably try the glow sticks in a ziplock bag. I'll probably wrap the LED in some saran wrap to keep it food safe.

Joshua_Alan Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:11pm
post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jones5cm

OK, you've peaked my interest...are you planning on carving a pumpkin face - as in eyes, nose and great big ear-to-ear smile??? don't have any suggestions; but don't see it holding up eithericon_smile.gif




Ok, first off, you live in Churchville?? I grew up in Weyers Cave! Small world! I am concerned about it's structure after I carve the face, which is why I'm doing a test run this week. If it doesn't work at least I'll be able to experiment around and try to find a better route icon_smile.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:26pm
post #7 of 34

Always remember that gravity prevails. While I truly wish you success, I do not foresee you being able to carve out the mouth without collapsing the side.

I anticipate how you resolve this. I would consider making support structures for the areas you carve out. Unfortunately, anything edible would absorb the moisture from the cake and end up melting.

Thanks for offering to share all your efforts with us.

And did you notice that all the great people seem to be born on Nov. 20?

Theresa icon_smile.gif

Joshua_Alan Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:30pm
post #8 of 34

I have noticed that icon_wink.gif Yeah, I'm trying brainstorm how to support the carved areas. It may not work out, but I'm definitely going to try it.

Maybe if I just carve the eyes and go with the black and yellow fondant to accent the mouth? It may not look nice like that though.

At a minimum, I'm still going to go with a removable top and the pumpkin light so it'll flicker and shine out the top when you remove it.

lacklin Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:33pm
post #9 of 34

I can totally see it working with a carved faced as long as you use a dense cake and have a thick wall to carve into. Just spend the time to get it right and I bet it will hold up. I would only carve out a small area inside the cake though.

I'm considering doing this myself now. Awesome idea!

Joshua_Alan Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:35pm
post #10 of 34

OR maybe if I did the bottom half out of cereal treats?! That would allow me to carve the mouth (which I see as the most challenging structural piece) with less fear of collapse.

Debcent Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:36pm
post #11 of 34

I cant wait to see this cake!! Please post pics when done.
Have fun and what a cool idea!!

jen1977 Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:42pm
post #12 of 34

Check this out....I thought she was a member here, but couldn't find her when I searched. If I remember correctly, she said she used gumpaste for the front part.

http://www.welldressedcakes.com/index2.php?v=v1

Joshua_Alan Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:44pm
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jen1977

Check this out....I thought she was a member here, but couldn't find her when I searched. If I remember correctly, she said she used gumpaste for the front part.

http://www.welldressedcakes.com/index2.php?v=v1




Nice find! Hrm...I'm going to have to analyze this cake now icon_smile.gif

jen1977 Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:46pm
post #14 of 34

She used to have it posted here, but I can't find her. I'm pretty sure the front half is all gum paste though, if I'm remembering correctly.

Joshua_Alan Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:49pm
post #15 of 34

It kind of looks like that. I'd think that made the 'bones' of the front of gumpaste then came back covered it all in fondant maybe to tie it all in?

lacklin Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 9:00pm
post #16 of 34

What if instead of putting just one light you carved the face into the cake a little deeper and put a small light in each so that it would appear to be hollow?

Joshua_Alan Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 9:03pm
post #17 of 34

I thought about that too, but that might be more wiring and LED expertise than I have. Although I think Radio Shack usually has neat LED howtos for Halloween projects, so I might try that. I like the pre-made pumpkin light because it flickers too.

psmith Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 9:04pm
post #18 of 34

It would be cool if you could incorporate sugar art for the eyes and mouth and put little leds behind that. Like melted amber color candy. It could be thick to make the gap stable and a light behind it would be awesome looking! I can't wait to see your creation!

Joshua_Alan Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 9:30pm
post #19 of 34

I don't think my sugar work is up to snuff to try that, although I agree it would be pretty cool!

momvarden Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 9:53pm
post #20 of 34

I think the false front will work great. Pastillage is another nice hard surface i use it a lot. it works almost like gum paste but much less expensive when you have a larger piece to make. In fact i am thinking of doing a something for a Halloween party as a gift. i may try a haunted house with lights. i am not sure its just a thought jingling around in my noggin. or maybe even a small piece of dry ice under, or in it we will have to see. can you image the sizzling and hissing coming from the cake that the dry ice makes. Ha Ha

Joshua_Alan Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 10:33pm
post #21 of 34

Oooo...dry ice. Nice thought icon_smile.gif

bakencake Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 11:24pm
post #22 of 34

good luck!!! Im really exited to see you cake!!! thumbs_up.gif

jones5cm Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 1:29pm
post #23 of 34

Hey neighbor; are you still local or have you moved out of the valley?! Great to 'meet' youicon_smile.gif
Darn! I could see the link from a previous postericon_sad.gif
I was thinking the same thing about the RKT front. Also, Michaels has the battery LED lights in the wedding section (they don't flicker; but would be effective, I think).
Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Joshua_Alan Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 1:45pm
post #24 of 34

I'm not in the valley anymore, moved to NoVa about 5 years ago for a job, but my family is still there and I come back as often as I can. If you go to the link she posted and click carved cakes section it's in there and it's really nice. I got the light I want to use at Michael's actually. Since it's almost Halloween they have all their Halloween stuff out, which includes a nice little flickering pumpkin light.

BTW, I'm really impressed with your work! You turn out some great looking cakes! Do you have a storefront in Churchville or do you work from home?

jones5cm Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 1:59pm
post #25 of 34

Nope, just a hobby baker; mostly for friends and family. I work full time at JMU! A storefront is just a pipe dream of mine cause I love creating edible treats! Thanks so much for the compliment; you do great work yourselficon_smile.gif
Just spent last w/e in DC visiting a niece...UCK! you can keep the fast-paced lifestyle up there! don't know how you do it on a regular basis!
Have you decided how to create the face yet...don't forget to take pics as you go... would love do one too ( I have a son with an Oct b-day and actually, this is the first year he hasn't asked for a 'halloween' themed b-day!)

Joshua_Alan Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 2:16pm
post #26 of 34

Cool! What do you do for JMU? My cousin has worked there for the longest time with Aramark. She used to be in the upscale restaurant at the top of Warren Hall. Oh, and that's my alma mater. I'm not a big fan of the area myself, but it's the best place for my line of work. I haven't decided for sure yet, but I'm going to start by trying the RKT first and see how that goes. The cake only has to serve 10, so I can do the top half out of cake the bottom out of RKT and not be short of servings.

jones5cm Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 2:32pm
post #27 of 34

I work in Payroll; of all places, uh? You're right, NoVA is where the $$/opportunity is that's for sureicon_smile.gif
Umm...about the pumpkin again... I had more of a 'front half/back half' thing in mind. what will support the top cake??

Joshua_Alan Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 2:38pm
post #28 of 34

Hrm....you might be right there. I was thinking I'd only cut the eyes out of the top half, which I wouldn't think would be enough cake removed to cause a structural issue, and then do cut the mouth out of the RKT. The front half back half idea might be better. I won't be able to play with this until late Saturday or early Sunday cause I'm trying to re-create Tandoori's Buzz Lightyear cake for an order this weekend, but I think I may try it both ways and see which feels stronger.

jones5cm Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 2:48pm
post #29 of 34

Good luck and nice chatting! I'd better get back to workicon_smile.gif

DSmo Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 3:14pm
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakencake

I thought of putting some kind of light and then it hits me!!! Im going to put glow sticks, the green color, in side and that will give it a nice green spooky color. DH said that it's not food safe, I say maybe i can just put them inside a clear plastic bag and you can have in encased.




They make some of those glow sticks that are meant to be put in the mouth (totally trashy party thing). That would obviously have to be food safe. Maybe that would work for your box.

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