Recipe Corner

My Halloween Wacky Cake

Oct. 28, 2010

By Ginger Isham

This recipe has been around for many years. It would make a festive dessert Oct. 31. I used a decorating idea from my favorite cookbook, which is more than 25 years old — Betty Crocker.

Wacky Cake

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar (I use 1 1/4)

4 1/2 tablespoons cocoa (unsweetened powder)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

pinch of salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar

Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl. Make 3 holes in the mixture. In one hole put the vanilla, in another hole put the vinegar and in last hole pour the oil. Pour 1 1/2 cups water over all and mix until smooth. I use a whip. Pour batter into a 17-by-11-inch greased jellyroll pan (you could substitute a 9-by-13-inch and an 8-by-8-inch baking pan). Bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes. This makes a thin sheet cake. When cool, frost with the following:

Orange Butter Cream Icing

3 cups confectioners sugar

1/3 cup soft butter

4 to 5 tablespoons orange juice (I like the kind with pulp or use fresh squeezed)

Whip all together until smooth. Stir in 1 drop of red food coloring and 2 drops of yellow food coloring to make an orange colored icing. Frost the sheet cake. Place in fridge for a few minutes until icing is set. Cut into squares and decorate as follows:

Place 4 to 5 drops of green food coloring on an almost flat plate — very shallow with ridges around edge. Add 1/8 teaspoon water. Dip small cookie cutters, one at a time, into the food coloring and press lightly on each cake square to make the outline of the cookie cutter.

You could also sprinkle orange Jell-o granules in center of designs, add colored sprinkles, press candy corn in the shape of a circle with points toward the center, or use black licorice.

Store covered in a cool place.

Roasted pumpkin seeds

When cutting your jack-o-lanterns save those pumpkin seeds and roast them.

Wash and dry pumpkin seeds.

For approximately 2 cups of seeds, mix 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (I use Mrs. Dash, which is salt- and MSG-free) and 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use a pinch of salt). Mix with seeds on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool and store in tight container.

Pumpkins seeds contain good fats, magnesium and iron.

Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.