Make This Easy Halloween Eyeball Cake Using Any Cake Batter

Trying to bake a sinister monster eyeball cake for Halloween might sound like a nail! Disaster is waiting in the wings, but it’s not as hard as you think to make a spooky, season-appropriate decorative treat to scare your friends and family. You don’t need any special equipment or a particular set of cake cutting skills to do this. You don’t even need a special cake recipe. With just food coloring and a simple pouring technique, you can make a spooky eyeball striped cake using any homemade batter or box mix.

Using this method to make a themed cake is especially great because the cake is already a decoration. The decoration is not just on the outside (in the form of fondant or icing), but runs throughout the dough, remaining visible when you cut the cake, promising an amazing experience for unsuspecting children (and even adults).

This method uses a batch of light cake batter. You can use any cake batter—gluten-free or Duncan Hines—as long as you stick with vanilla, yellow, or white cake so that the food coloring comes through. Make dough according to instructions. Remove two servings – a 1-cup serving and a 1/2-cup serving. These smaller amounts are mixed with food coloring in separate bowls. You will end up with three bowls of dough, each a different color. You can use any colors that suit your design. I left most of the dough in the original vanilla color, the second largest part I dyed red, and the smallest part black. (Evil eyeballs should be a little red, but you can add green or yellow to make the cake look acceptably monstrous or infected.)

Pour as much of the batter into the prepared cake pan. No tricks, just pour as usual. Pour the next largest amount of batter—the red batter in my cake—right into the center; do not move it while pouring. Pouring the batter in a heap in the center will allow the batter to naturally form an almost perfect circle and force out the original batter, pushing it out towards the edges of the cake pan. Pour the final color straight into the center again; as before, the other colors will be pushed to the edge. The result is a bull’s-eye pattern that runs through the entire thickness of the cake. Bake as directed in the recipe or on the package.

Once the cake has cooled, you can decorate it however you like. I enhanced the spookiness of my cake with icing to make a spooky monster eye for Halloween, but you can leave it completely undecorated; placed next to the rest of your holiday treats, it will be spooky enough. If you want to add frosting (what’s a cake without a little frosting?), use it around the edges to make the eyelids unsettling to highlight your design. While it’s the season of disembodied eyeballs, you can experiment with this technique any time of the year. Use multiple colors to create adorable striped cakes that are perfect for any season.

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