Two layers of Chocolate Orange sponge cake with a chocolate buttercream filling and decorated with fondant Autumn leaves and pumpkins.
It feels like Autumn has taken an eternity to come around this year, but that’s probably because I have been dying to make this Autumn Cake after my Autumn Cupcakes were such a success last year!
I find that pumpkins are probably one of the easiest fondant cake toppers that I’ve ever made, but probably look the most effective! The beauty of making an Autumn cake, is that Autumn is both beautiful and messy, so perfect cake decorating skills aren’t needed. The buttercream doesn’t have to be neat as it represents the ground, pumpkins are never perfectly shaped and come in all different sizes, and leaves fall all over the place, so they don’t need to be strategically placed when you’re making the cake version. Even the cake itself doesn’t need levelling out if you don’t want to, the ground isn’t always even! Trust me, as far as Autumn goes, messy is beautiful.
Another plus side, is the time it takes to make. It looks like a lot of time, effort and skill has gone into this cake, but really, it’s so simple in design that it takes no time at all!
Normally, I would advice crumb coating before doing the drop flowers, but again, as I don’t want it to be perfectly neat, I have done one drop-flower of icing at a time on the outside of the cake and stuck leaves on as I went around, however, if you have trouble getting it to stick, or even if you’d just prefer to, you can always crumb coat your cake between steps 5 and 6 of the decoration.
I was planning to do orange leaves, green leaves and red leaves, but once I started cutting them out, I thought it would look so much better to combine the colours, as leaves aren’t one solid colour. I have got to say, I just love it!
Here’s how I made my Autumn Cake
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- 8oz Caster Sugar
- 8oz Stork
- 4 eggs
- 8oz Self Raising Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsps orange flavouring
- 8oz Butter
- 16 oz Icing Sugar
- 2 tbsps Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsps orange flavouring
- 1-2 packs orange ready to roll icing
- red ready to roll icing
- green ready to roll icing
- orange ready to roll icing
What you’ll need to make this Autumn Cake
Stand Mixer or electric hand whisk and mixing bowl
3 Standard Cake Tins
2-3 Wire Cooling Racks
Large Drop Flower Nozzle
Artificial Leaves for Presentation
To prepare, preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line 2 round cake tins.
- Firstly, place the caster sugar and margarine/butter in a mixing bowl and whisk until light and fluffy.
- Secondly, add the eggs one by one and mix until combined.
- Add the self raising flour and whisk until combined.
- Add the cocoa powder and orange flavouring and continue to whisk until evenly combined.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the two cake tins and bake on the centre of the oven for approximately 30 minutes.
- 6. Once the cakes are ready, take them out of the oven and turn them on to a wire cooling rack. Leave to cool completely before decorating.
Tip – Don’t open the oven door to check on the cake until you think it’s ready, only check by looking through the glass door. When the cake looks read and risen and has been in for at least 25 minutes, you can open the door. Press on top of the cake, being careful not to burn yourself. If it springs back up when you take your finger away, the cake is ready. If a print is left, return to the oven, close the door carefully and bake for a little longer.
Decoration & filling
- Beat icing sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until it is completely mixed together and forming a smooth paste.
- Add the cocoa powder and orange flavouring mix until combined.
- Place the icing in a piping bag with a large, drop flower nozzle.
- Pipe a swirl from middle of one cake, all the way until it has covered the entire surface area and reached the edge.
- Place the second cake on top of the first cake to form a sandwich.
- For the decoration, the nozzle on the outside of the cake, squeeze until a small amount of icing comes out, and release. This should leave a flower-like shape of icing. Repeat until the whole area is covered, and continue icing around sides of the cake. Don’t worry about this being perfectly neat, as it doesn’t need to be. Autumn is messy and the chocolate icing is acting as the ground in an autumnal cake scene, so it’s not supposed to be neat.
- For the leaves, take red, green and orange ready to roll icing, and knead it together a couple of times in your hands to combine. Don’t over-knead, as the colours will mix to form one. Instead, it should be more of a marbled effect.
- Take your medium sized leaf cutter, and cut leaves out of the mixed coloured icing. Cover the entire cake with the leaves, only pressing the wide end onto the icing so that the pointed side is slightly raised off the icing. For extra effect you can curl the pointed edge on some leaves, as real ones would.
- Once the cake is covered, use your small leaf cutter and cut some extra ones to put on the top to fill any gaps and to simply create effect.
- For the pumpkins, take the orange icing and make 5 or 6 different sized balls by rolling each one in your hands until smooth.
- Use a small ball tool to press a hole in the top of each ball.
- Next, on each pumpkin, use the small ball tool to draw 8 verticals lines evenly spaced, to create the pumpkin shape as photographed.
- Take some green icing and make a very thin roll by rolling between your hands. Use a blade tool or knife to cut into a stork shape. With each piece that you make, point one end and place the other end in the hole in the pumkin to create the stork. You can press it in with a ball tool to keep it in place.
- Finally, place the pumpkins randomly on one side, as photographed.
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If you liked this Autumn Cake recipe, you might also like my Autumn Cupcakes recipe. Click here to read it.