Candy Bucket Cake Fail

The Bitten Word guys came up with the most genius concept recently, cooking every recipe in 6 of the most popular cooking magazines…and we were a part of it!

The nice thing about challenges is that they push you to get outside of your comfort zone. This was true with the recipe we ended up with, Candy Bucket Cake from Food Network Magazine. There is no way under normal circumstances that I would have tried this recipe. It is pretty much the opposite of everything I look for in a recipe. First off, it serves 25-30 people. However, my main gripe is that it mostly consists of ready-made ingredients like cake mix and canned frosting, but still requires odd sized baking pans and fondant! When neither Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond have an 8″ cake pan or 6 cup Bundt pan, I think the bakeware is officially obscure.  I had to make do with a 9″ cake pan and a 12 cup Bundt pan, and I think our cake was a bit squatter because of it. And I only got one Bundt pan and reused it…who has 2 – 6 cup Bundt pans? Don’t even get me started on fondant. That stuff is pretty much impossible to find in DC. Most insultingly, the recipe was rated as easy.

This is not to say we didn’t have fun. It is hard not to when you are stack’n cakes together to form a massive pumpkin and then layering on the frosting. I just think the recipe authors sacrificed too much of the actual baking and are out of touch with what ingredients and equipment is readily available.

The recipe itself was pretty easy. All you are doing is adding 3 ingredients to a cake mix and then using a mixer. I will agree that this part of the recipe was easy. Since we were just using regular frosting instead of fondant, we didn’t get it as eye poppingly orange. The cut-outs in the fondant define the shape of the eyes and the mouth and, as you can see, they don’t look as crisp when they done with just frosting. While our cake may look a little demented, it was a lot of fun to put together and entertained Elena on a rainy day. Not to mention it was pretty tasty! I think the Bitten Word guys came up with a great concept, I just got a dud of a recipe.


The regular cake round that goes in between the 2 Bundts

The first of the Bundts

See the rounded top on the cake? You have to cut that off all the cakes to level them and make sure they fit together.



Ice it up…

Commence mating sequence!


This is right about where things stopped looking like the magazine…


Just needs a face…

And this is how I learned that you should cut open cake mix bags instead of opening them like a bag of chips.

And this is what it was supposed to look like…




  • Cooking spray
  • 2 18.25-ounce boxes spice cake mix
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 16-ounce tubs vanilla frosting
  • Orange gel food coloring, for tinting
  • Cornstarch, for dusting
  • 12 ounces orange rolled fondant (available at craft stores)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate frosting
  • 2 long black licorice strings
  • Snack-size candy, for topping


  1. Spray one 8-inch-round cake pan and two 6-cup Bundt pans with cooking spray. Beat the cake mixes, eggs, buttermilk and oil with a mixer; divide among the pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes for the round cake and 30 to 35 minutes for the Bundts; let cool.
  2. Tint the vanilla frosting with orange food coloring. Trim the flat sides of the Bundt cakes and the top of the round cake to make level. Turn 1 Bundt cake upside down; spread with frosting. Top with the round cake, more frosting and the other Bundt cake, then frost the whole cake and chill 30 minutes.
  3. Lightly dust a sheet of wax paper with cornstarch. Roll out the fondant on the paper into a 21-by-8-inch rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 12 strips, 8 inches long and 1 3/4 inches wide, tapering the ends as shown.
  4. Attach the fondant strips to the cake, lightly pressing and smoothing them from the base of the cake upward. Refrigerate the cake 30 minutes.
  5. Draw jack-o’-lantern eyes, a nose and a mouth on paper and cut them out; attach to the cake with toothpicks. Score around the cutouts with a paring knife, then remove the toothpicks and paper.
  6. Trace the scored lines with the knife, cutting through the fondant and slightly into the cake. Pry out the pieces with the tip of the knife.
  7. Cut a 1-inch-deep circle out of the top of the cake. Put the dark chocolate frosting in a resealable plastic bag; snip the corner and pipe the frosting into the cutouts.
  8. Twist the 2 strings of licorice together and insert into the top of the cake to make a handle. Fill the top of the cake with snack-size candy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *