I absolutely love Halloween! Positively can’t get enough of it, in case you couldn’t tell by the insane number of posts I’ve been doing lately. Everything about it is fantastic–the thrills, the sugar rushes, the chilly nights.
So far, I’ve made you graveyard cookies and a tombstone cupcake, but my confectionary cemetery is missing something. Hmmm . . . Ah! Yes! What’s a grave without flowers?
These pinch roses are my favorite fondant flowers to make. I call them pinch roses for two reasons: one, they come together very easily, so you can make them in a pinch; two, very few tools are required–they’re assembled almost entirely by pinching!
I used these pinch roses to decorate a traditional Southern red velvet cake. Southern red velvet cake. For those of you wondering what the difference is between a red velvet and a Southern red velvet, there isn’t a technical difference. I have noticed that several Southern red velvet cakes tend to use a bit more butter and are paired with a cream cheese icing. Technically, all red velvet cake is considered to be Southern.
This is a recipe my grandma snipped out of the newspaper years and years ago, and we’ve been using it forever. I have no idea where the recipe came from or even the newspaper it was printed in, but boy, is it good!
I love red velvet cakes at Halloween. That shocking red crumb is always a shock when you cut into it. Plus, it has a subtle nod to blood and gore, I think, without making you lose your appetite! I used dark cocoa this time to make the crumb a dingy, nasty red. It definitely worked, but I missed that bright red color! It might be a while before I do the dark cocoa again.
Usually, I decorate my red velvets a little more for Halloween, but I was in a pinch today, so I threw together these flowers. From icing to walking out the door, the whole thing came together in about an hour. The skill level is very easy, too, which I love. In fact, the first time I made these little guys, I was just winging it!
Seriously, this is one fondant flower any baker of any skill level can make, and I’ll show you how, step by step.
1 box prepared fondant, black
1 pizza cutter
1 round cookie cutter
1 rolling pin
Roll out the pre-made fondant until about 1/8 of an inch thick. Take a small portion of fondant and press flat, then roll into itself to create a small spiral. This will be the center of your rose and determine the size the rose will be. This will also determine the size you’ll need to cut your petals. Once rolled, set aside.
My center was about an inch long, so I cut a long section of fondant that was about an inch wide. Use your round cookie cutter (or biscuit cutter or even a cup!) to cut out half-circle sections along the length of the strip of fondant.
Using your finger and your thumb, pinch the ends of the rose petals to create waves and movement. One petal at a time, wrap them around the center of the rose, making sure to securely attach the pieces by pinching. As the “stem” of the rose forms, if not wanted, snip off.
Keep adding petals until you’ve reached the desired size and shape. Insert toothpicks, if needed, to secure roses at different angles to the cake. Let dry for 10 minutes before using to decorate.
Southern Red Velvet Cake
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease three 9 x 1.5-inch round cake pans, then dust with cocoa powder.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
Carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not over-mix. Divide the cake batter evenly between the three pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out cleanly, about 30 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely before icing.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter, whisking on a high speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add portions of the powdered sugar at a lower speed, taking time to scrape the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the vanilla extract. Store in the refrigerator until it slightly stiffens.