Frankenstein Silhouette Cake

We are on the cusp of October, so I figure it's okay to start rolling out all the spooky, haunted, pumpkin-spiced, orange and black treats in any order or combination thereof. Lately I've been drawn to monsters from classic literature, so a Frankenstein's Monster cake seemed like a good place to start!

I love black silhouette technique on white-frosted cakes. You may remember my Portrait of Poe red velvet cake from years ago, or last year's Scary-Good Skeleton Cake for the Etsy Journal. I'm happy to add this green monster cake to the roster and perhaps someday a proper Nosferatu!

The cake layers were made from my favorite white vanilla layer cake. It takes on gel food color well which was important for the vibrant green interior. I found that a mix of Wilton's Moss Green gel and a bit of Chefmaster Neon Green gave me a hue that felt just right for Frankie.

I baked the cakes in three 6-inch round cake pans. Speaking of cake pans - I simply adore and recommend Parrish's Magic Line cake pans. I am extremely hard on cake pans and almost all of my other pans have dings, dents and scratches. These have remained intact after years of my abuse!

The three cake layers get torted so you'll end up with six slim cakes. With the buttercream filling between each layer, this cake ends up a towering confection. I suggest doweling the cake right through the top center so the layers won't shift with movement.

I decided to keep the outside of the cake mostly colorless, which kind of reminds me of a black and white movie and also makes the green interior more of a surprise. It's really a fun treat to slice!

I made some rusty chocolate bolts using a technique from the sculpture section of the Sprinkle Bakes book! For those practiced artsy types, the technique is akin to sand casting except here we use brown sugar. I made a video that shows the technique so be sure to check that out at the end of this post. It's fun!

The combination of vanilla white-on white is classic (and a favorite of mine!), but you could change up the sponge flavor with your favorite extracts or simple syrups. For example, mint extract would work well and also be a fun nod to the green color.

As I styled this photo shoot with beakers and test tubes I felt inspired to do a whole monster lab-themed buffet for Halloween. Who knows - maybe I will!

Check out the following video for lots of good visuals to help with the cake decorating.

Special thanks to A.C. Moore for sending me samples of a wonderful new fondant line called Nicole's Kitchen, made by Satin Ice. I used it for this cake and it worked remarkably well! It has a nice marshmallow-y flavor, too! Check it out next time you're shopping.

Frankenstein Silhouette Cake
Yields 8-10 servings

Green cake layers
3 1/2 cups (420g) cake flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) whole milk, room temperature
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Moss green gel food color (Wilton)
Neon green gel food color (Chefmaster)

Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease pans and line three 6-inch pans with parchment, or spray them with flour-based baking spray and skip the parchment.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Whisk together egg whites and milk in a separate bowl; set aside.
Beat butter using the paddle attachment until soft and creamy. Add sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla.
Add flour mixture alternately with the egg white/milk mixture. Begin and end with flour mixture and beat until smooth on medium-low speed after each addition. Add the food colors a little at a time, starting with 1/2 teaspoon of moss green and 1/4 teaspoon neon green. Add more color until a vivid monster green is achieved. Scrape down the bowl and fold the batter over to make sure no white streaks of batter remain.
Divide batter between pans. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cakes spring back in when pressed in their centers. Let cool slightly in pan, then turn out and cool completely. Level the cakes using a serrated knife or cake leveler. Cut each cake in half horizontally (torte) so that you have six even cake layers.

White vanilla buttercream
1 pound unsalted butter, softened
8 cups (908g) confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
Milk or heavy cream

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until lightened in color, about 3-5 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar. Begin on low speed until crumbly, and then increase to high and beat for 3 minutes. Add milk or cream a little at a time to thin the mixture to spreading consistency.
Add vanilla and beat again until light and fluffy.
Fill each 6-inch cake layer with 1/3 cup frosting. Stack cake layers and frost entire cake with a thin crumb coat; refrigerate. Frost a second time with a generous covering of buttercream. Smooth the sides evenly. This cake will be rather tall, so a support may be necessary. Use a long plastic straw or dowel cut to just shy of the cake’s height as a support. Press it through the top center of the cake and down through all six cake layers so that the layers don’t shift when moved. Refrigerate the cake until well-chilled, about 1 hour.
Place the leftover buttercream in a large piping bag with 1/2-inch opening in the tip. Reserve it for later use.

Frankenstein’s monster silhouette
Frankenstein’s monster template, printed twice at 100%
X-Acto knife
Stencil tape (optional)
1 fine-tipped black food color writer
1/4 pound white fondant, rolled flat to 1/4-inch thickness
1/2 tablespoon black gel food color
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract or vodka
Fine-tipped paint brushes

Notes: See the video for helpful visuals. Allow the fondant to dry for 10 minutes before using.

Cut around the outside of the image on one template. Lay the image on the fondant and lightly place stencil tape at the top and bottom. Trace around the outside of the image using the food color marker. Be sure to use a light touch; resting the heel of your hand or a finger on the fondant can cause dents in the paste. Remove the image and, using scissors, cut away the eyes and nose in one large piece; set aside. Cut away the white portions that remain around the head and mouth so that you only have the black areas of the image left for template. Lay the image back onto the fondant, lining it up with the previous outline. Holding the template in place, outline the interior black images. Cut out the eyes and nose in the same manner and outline them also. Dilute a little of the gel food color in a few drops of the extract. Load a paintbrush with the color and paint in the areas designated black using the second template as a visual guide. Use the black food color maker to draw in fine details, such as the pillow under the lip and dots at the hairline. Allow the painted image to dry flat, about 1 hour or until the image loses its glossiness. Measure the side of the frosted cake and cut the fondant image to size, squaring the edges portrait-style. Designate the side of the cake where the image will be placed and spread a little of the reserved buttercream on that side. Gently lift the fondant square and place it on the cake upright, so that Frankie is looking right back at you.

Chocolate bolt decors and other final flourishes
1 large hardware bolt, unused (new), washed in soapy dishwater, rinsed and wiped dry
1 pound brown sugar
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
9x12 acetate sheet
Cellophane tape
1/4 cup black sixlets
1/4 cup grey sixlets pearls
2 tablespoons black sugar pearls

For the rusty bolts, place the brown sugar in a 8-inch round bowl or other dish with at least 2-inch deep sides. Pack the sugar down firmly. Place the bolt into the chocolate and press firmly. Lift the bolt to reveal the impression. If you don’t like the impression, re-pack the sugar and try again. Make as many impressions as you want bolt decors. Place the melted chocolate into a piping bag and fill the impressions. Tap the bottom of the container on a work surface to level the chocolate and remove air bubbles. Refrigerate. Use a knife to remove the bolts – they will have all kinds of sugar clinging to them - this is normal! Place the decors in a glass of ice water, or run them under very cold water to remove the sugar. Very gently pat the chocolate bolts dry with a paper towel and place them in the refrigerator until ready for use.

For the twisty chocolate conductive wire, cut the acetate sheet in half lengthwise and tape together. Draw squiggly lines using the piping bag of chocolate onto the acetate sheet. Pick up the acetate sheet and curve it around the outside of a 6-inch cake pan; secure with cellophane tape. Transfer the pan to the freezer.

Meanwhile, pipe dollops of the reserved buttercream on top of the cake. Garnish with the black and grey pearls. Remove the chocolate bolts from the refrigerator and place on top of the cake also. Remove the pan with the piped chocolate from the freezer. Gently remove the tape and acetate from the sides of the pan. Peel the acetate away from the chocolate. The chocolate pieces will break, but they will be curved so that you can piece them onto the top edge of the cake. Quickly place pieces on to the top edge of the cake so that the wire runs all the way around the top edge.

Slice the cake and serve pieces at room temperature (it tastes best that way!).

link Frankenstein Silhouette Cake By Published: Frankenstein Silhouette Cake Recipe


  1. Such fun, thanks for sharing your great ideas.This I think I can do. Happy Hauntings!!

  2. I am totally in love with the look of this cake. Definitely going to make if for Halloween this year!

  3. Loving the Frankenstein drawing and Love the green color ...Halloween perfect. You are so talented!!!

  4. I adore this cake Heather! Thank you for sharing! I'm going to attempt this...let's hope it looks pretty...or scary??!!!!

  5. It's a very interesting cake :) If you use Pandan Leave extract, you will get almost the same colour of green from Wilton.

  6. Anyway to convert this if i only have 8 inch pans? :)

    1. I believe you could get three 8-inch layers out of this cake recipe if you use Bake Even strips, which are fabric strips that you dampen and place around the cake pans before baking. ('Bake Even' is a Wilton product, but other cake supply shops make them, too.) This recipe crowns (puffs up in the center) quite a bit, and I remember discarding lots of cake during leveling. Using the strips would save wasted cake because you wouldn't have to level it. If you don't have Bake Even strips, you can moisten kitchen towels and wrap them around the pans. This works well for me, usually, and if there's any leveling to be done it is minimal. Good luck!


Privacy Policy