Pumpkin Tootsie Roll Cake from Caked by Katie
The scent of rotting leaves, faintly singed pumpkin, and the crisp night air. All those smells together could only mean one thing. It was Halloween. Most kids love Halloween, right?! What’s not to love about free candy. But when I say that I loved Halloween I mean that I LOVED Halloween. Maybe it’s the fact that I have a killer sweet tooth or perhaps the competitive spirit within me relished at the chance to be the kid to hit the most houses, trick-or-treat the longest, and collect the most candy.
My sisters and I would race home from school on Halloween day and make any last-minute tweaks to our much thought out and anticipated costumes while we counted down the minutes until we could hit the neighbourhood. Dad would put on his Cowboy hat, make sure the flashlight had batteries, and soon, with pillow cases as candy bags, we were off. House to house we ran. Knocking on every door with big smiles as we sang “trick-or-treat smell my feet give me something good to eat” to all the candy dispensers who answered our knocks.
The end of the night always came far too quickly as more and more house lights shut off and curtains were pulled closed. Our trick-or-treating party of parents and children would make our way back to our home bases, shrug out of our costumes, and begin the game of candy trade. After all of our loot was inspected for safety (and probably some quality assurance as well by mom and dad) my sisters and I would begin trading. A Snickers for Twizzlers. A gumball for a sucker. Caramels for chips. I am not one to begrudge any kind of candy but my heart belonged to Tootsie Rolls. Those little indistinct caramely fudgy chocolatey chewy candies that are often pushed aside were my Halloween candy gold. My eyes, still to this day, are trained to spot that iconic black and white wrapper with that little band of red.
I knew immediately that I had to create a cake in honour of my dearly beloved Halloween candy: the Tootsie Roll. I started out with infusing the milk, for both the cake and buttercream, with tootsie rolls. And I will be the first to advise that when you purchase Tootsie Rolls for this cake go on ahead and buy twice as much as the recipe calls for because 1) cake décor purposes and 2) snacking purposes. That infused milk will be used in the pumpkin cake layers and in the chocolate buttercream. Tootsie Roll lovers rejoice. I’ve caked your cherished Halloween candy!
Pumpkin Tootsie Roll Cake Pumpkin Cake:
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup tootsie rolls (approximately 18 candies)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1.5 cup white sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
15 oz canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
Make the tootsie roll infused milk first by unwrapping the tootsie rolls and combining them with the buttermilk in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Bring it to a gentle simmer while continually stirring and turn off the heat. Let the milk mixture completely cool and strain into a container. This will be used in both the cake and buttercream.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare three 6 inch cake pans. Combine the sugar, pumpkin, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until combined. Measure out ½ cup of the cooled tootsie roll infused milk and combine with the wet ingredients. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt to the wet ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes away with a few crumbs. Let cool for 5 minutes and invert on a cooling rack.
Tootsie Roll Buttercream (Note: this recipe will create a black buttercream. If you wish to forego the colour, you can omit the black cocoa powder and black food gel but make sure to only use ¼ cup of the tootsie roll milk infusion.)
2 cups salted butter
8 cups powdered sugar
½ cup black cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp sea salt ½ cup tootsie roll infused milk
1 tsp black gel food colour (I use Wilton Colour Right System and it’s fantastic)
In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter until light and fluffy with the paddle attachment. Add in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, sea salt, and tootsie roll milk. Mix on low until combined and then turn the mixer up to high and beat for 5 minutes. Add in the black gel food colour and mix on high until fully combined. Black buttercream needs a few hours to mature in colour. If you do not have a true black colour let the buttercream rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours. The colour will mature and deepen over time.
Green Ganache Drip 40 grams heavy cream 120 grams white chocolate Green food colouring (preferably gel) In a microwave safe bowl heat the heavy cream for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and add the white chocolate chips. Microwave in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is fully melted. Stir with a fork after each 30 second interval. Add a drop or two of the green food coloring until the desired colour is achieved. Let the mixture cool for several minutes. On a well chilled cake use a spoon or drip bottle to gently drip the green ganache around the edges of the cake. Chill the cake again once you have completed the ganache drip.
1. Place one leveled layer of pumpkin cake on a stand, plate, or turntable. Top with approximately ¾ cup of buttercream. Repeat with remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
2. Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and smooth sides.
3. Apply your green ganache drip to a well chilled cake according to above instructions.
4. Decorate with Sprinkle Pop “Monster Mashup” sprinkles. Get spooky. Get scary. Get as ghoulish as you want.
5. Enjoy and re-live all those glorious “trick-or-treat” candy memories.