Candy Corn Cake

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Candy Corn Cake

Candy Corn Cake

Candy Corn Cake

I have been wanting to make a layered fondant cake for a while now and the ever-popular Halloween candy presented the perfect inspiration.  I have made a rainbow cake before and so I knew that I could use basic food coloring and get perfectly colored candy corn layers.  This time I wanted to see if I could achieve a similar result with natural dyes.

As the pictures show, the resulting colors were more subdued, natural and earthy looking than if I had used traditional food coloring.  If you want a more vibrant look or if you want to match the candy corn colors exactly, I recommend using store-bought food coloring.  In my case, the fact that my almost three-year old son liked the sweet potato, pumpkin and carrot cakes and didn’t miss the bright colors made it a success. 

What I learned is that I probably won’t use sweet potato as a natural dye again. Though my family liked the sweet potato cake layer, I had to use a lot of sweet potato to achieve a yellow shade which changed the texture of that layer of cake and the yellow became earthier in tone as it baked. For yellow, I would instead use a combo of 1-2 egg yolks and a small amount of pumpkin puree.  {*Thanks to one of my readers, Amanda, for suggesting saffron for a yellow dye which I now intend to try very soon!}  For the orange layer I would probably use carrot juice again with a small amount of pumpkin puree. If I were making an entire orange cake I think I would add the carrot juice in place of some of the milk while making the batter so that the amount of liquid would not be drastically increased.

I baked a basic white cake from Cooking Light magazine into three small 5-inch layers and then saved the rest of the batter for cupcakes.  You could skip the fondant and simply ice the cake with buttercream frosting or make candy corn cupcakes by layering one spoonful each of yellow batter, orange batter and white batter into cupcake liners.  However you do it, candy corns make the perfect {and easy} cake decorating garnish. 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Candy Corn Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8+
The ever-popular Halloween candy presented the perfect inspiration for a fondant layer cake. I knew that I could use basic food coloring and get perfectly colored candy corn layers. This time I wanted to see if I could achieve a similar result with natural dyes.
White Cake
  • 3½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1½ Tbsp oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1⅔ cups milk
  • ½ cup plain, fat-free yogurt
  • 2½ tsp vanilla
Natural Orange Dye Options
  • Carrot juice
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Grated carrots
Natural Yellow Dye Options
  • Egg Yolk
  • Small amount of pumpkin puree
Buttercream Frosting
  • 3 ¾ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • White Fondant, optional
  • Candy corn, optional garnish
White Cake
  1. Cream the butter, oil and sugar.
  2. Add the egg whites and beat well.
  3. Add the vanilla, milk and yogurt alternately with the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. Divide the batter into three bowls and use natural dyes or food color to dye some of the batter yellow and some of the batter orange.
  5. Pour the cake batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans or lined cupcake tins or the equivalent.
  6. Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the cake is a light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. The top of the cake should spring back to the touch. Cupcakes will cook for less time, around 15 minutes.
Buttercream Frosting
  1. Mix the ingredients and beat for several minutes until a smooth, creamy frosting forms.
  2. Ice the cake and refrigerate leftover frosting in a sealed container.
Assembling the Cake
  1. Level the cakes with a serrated knife.
  2. Place the yellow layer on the cake stand.
  3. Spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting on the top.
  4. Place the orange layer on top of the frosting and spread a thin layer of frosting on the top.
  5. Place the white layer on top and spread a thin layer of frosting on the top.
  6. Coat the sides of the cake with frosting and spread it thinly and smoothly with a knife or spatula to create a crumb coating.
  7. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour, or until the frosting hardens.
  8. Ice the cake with final layer of buttercream frosting or use fondant to finish the cake.
  9. Following the instructions on the box of fondant, knead the fondant on a clean, smooth work surface that has been lightly dusted with powdered sugar.
  10. Roll out the fondant until it is ⅛-1/4 - inch thick and large enough to cover the top and sides of the cake.
  11. Lift the fondant sheet and place it over the cake, using a rolling pin to smooth the fondant.
  12. Trim excess fondant around the base of the cake with a pizza cutter.
  13. Decorate the cake as desired, garnishing it with candy corns and ribbon to finish the bottom edge.

Candy Corn Cake

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One Response to “Candy Corn Cake”

  1. Lizzy says:

    I am obsessed with candy corn. This looks so good!

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