Halloween Candy Corn Cake Tutorial

candy corn cake by sugar and sparrow

When it comes to Halloween, Candy Corn is one of the most iconic treats of all. Fun-sized candy bars might be tastier (in my opinion), but nothing beats Candy Corn when it comes to looks! As I perused the aisles of my local JOANN store looking for the perfect Halloween cake inspiration, the bag of those little yellow, orange, and white kernels sitting on the shelf made a light bulb go off in my head. They gave me the perfect inspiration for this non-spooky, yet festive cake design:

candy corn halloween cake

This cake is Candy Corn colored inside and out, and JOANN had everything I needed to make it pop. The outside of the cake is rolled in white, yellow, and orange Wilton Sugar Sprinkles and I’m in love with how the texture turned out! The finish is meant to be a little imperfect (just like real Candy Corn), and I’m convinced that the rolling-in-sugar technique is fail proof for this particular design. 

sugared cake in candy corn colors
cake topped with candy corn by sugar and sparrow

Coloring the inside of the cake is completely optional, but it’s such a fun surprise to cut into the cake layers and see the colors inside. To get the look, I colored some Vanilla Cake batter with the yellow and orange gels from the Wilton Color Right Food Coloring System before baking the layers. It’s an extra little step, but worth it if you want those Candy Corn colors throughout.

candy corn colored cake layers

I whipped up a quick video of the process for baking and decorating this Candy Corn cake. Be sure to give it a watch before following the written steps below for a truly eye-catching and non-scary Halloween cake:

You Will Need

Step 1: Create the Colored Cake Layers (optional)

Prepare three 6-inch cake pans by spraying the sides with cooking spray and placing a parchment paper circle into the bottom of each one. Pour plain vanilla buttercream into one of the pans to fill it ⅔ full. Then, divide the remaining batter evenly amongst two separate bowls. In one bowl, add a few drops of yellow food color gel and in the second bowl, add a few drops of orange food color gel. Gently stir to combine and be careful not to overmix the batter. 

how to color cake batter

Pour the yellow cake batter into one pan and the orange cake batter into the other pan. Bake all three layers according to the recipe instructions and let them cool completely.

how to color cake layers

When they’re cooled, use the Wilton Cake Leveler to level off the tops.

Step 3: Fill and Crumb Coat the Cake

Set a 6-inch cardboard cake circle onto your cake turntable and place a dab of buttercream on top before placing your yellow cake layer on. Fill with a thin layer of vanilla buttercream and place the orange cake layer on top. Frost another thin layer of filling on top of your orange layer before placing your white layer on top, bottom side up.

candy corn cake layers tutorial

Frost a very thin layer, or crumb coat, of vanilla buttercream on top of the cake and smooth it with your icing scraper and angled spatula.

how to crumb coat a cake

Place the cake into the refrigerator to firm up while you move on to Step 4. 

Step 4: Color the Buttercream

Divide the remaining vanilla buttercream into three separate bowls. Leave one bowl white, then add a few drops of yellow food color gel to the second bowl and a few drops of orange food color gel to the third. Mix until you’ve got the perfect candy corn color palette.

how to color buttercream with wilton color right food coloring system

Add each buttercream color to a separate piping bag with about ½ inch opening snipped off the end. 

Step 5: Frost the Cake 

Starting at the bottom of the cake, pipe the yellow buttercream horizontally until you reach the top of the yellow cake layer. Next, pipe the orange buttercream until you reach the top of the orange cake layer. Finally, pipe the white buttercream onto the top third of the cake, including the very top.

candy corn ombre buttercream cake

Smooth the sides of your cake with an icing scraper until they’re perfectly level, then use your angled spatula to swipe the top edges inward to create sharp edges. Getting the cake nice and level is key, as this will be the final shape of your cake once it’s rolled in sprinkles.

buttercream ombre cake tutorial
how to get sharp buttercream edges

When you’re happy with your smoothness, pop the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until the buttercream is firm to the touch. 

Step 6: Roll in Sugar Sprinkles

Measure out and record how tall each colored section is on your cake. Then, spread out the sugar sprinkles to match your measurements for rolling the cake. For example, my yellow buttercream was about 2 inches in height, so I spread out the yellow sugar sprinkles to create a 2 inch tall section and so on.

sugar sprinkle ombre cake tutorial

Place a cardboard cake circle on top of the chilled cake and carefully roll it in the sugar sprinkles until the sides are covered in a candy corn ombrè. 

rolling a cake in sugar sprinkles

Step 7: Decorate the Top

Place the sugared cake back on the turntable and remove the top cake cardboard. Add some white sugar sprinkles to the top of the cake and smooth them out with your angled spatula until the entire top is covered.

how to cover a cake in sugar sprinkles

From here, I piped some white buttercream swirls to border the top with Wilton Tip 4B, sprinkled some more sugar sprinkles on top of the piping, and added a candy corn piece to each swirl.

sprinkle covered candy corn cake

Now you’ve got the perfect Halloween party cake that everyone can appreciate! I’m a little obsessed with how cute it is:

candy corn halloween party cake by sugar and sparrow

Be sure to visit your local JOANN store for all of the supplies you need, including a bag of Candy Corn! And if the closest JOANN is a bit of a drive, you can find all of these supplies (and more!) on their website. Their selection of cake decorating supplies and tools is so good, they’re sure to become your go-to.

Disclaimer: I was compensated by JOANN for my work of creating this project, styling, filming, photographing, and writing about their products. As always, all opinions are honest and my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Sugar & Sparrow.

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