One of my favorite childhood Halloween memories is this ghost cake. It's just an ordinary ghost-shaped cake -- except for the flaming eyes! You place a lemon extract-doused sugar cube inside of a clean eggshell for each eye and then you light those cubes on fire. Now turn out the lights, bring in the cake, and listen to everyone ooh and aah.
This is an easy way to make a memorable Halloween for your kids. They will never forget this cake -- I haven't! And it's not that hard to pull off, either. Here are the directions and recipe for the Ghost Cake With Flaming Eyes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.
Prepare the cake mix as directed on package. (When you break the eggs, crack each in the middle and pour out the egg. Then save the 2 best shell halves. Wash these halves and turn 3 upside down to dry.) After mixing, pour the batter into the pan.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cake 10 minutes on rack; then remove from the pan to a 16 x 12-inch tray.
After the cake is cool, measure across one short edge of the cake and mark the center with a wooden pick. Measure 4 inches down each long edge and mark with picks. Prepare the frosting as directed on package.
Cut the cake between the center wooden pick and side picks in a curve to make a rounded top for the ghost’s head. Slice the cut corners down the sides to about the center of the cake. Turn the corners so the cut sides are up, to make arms that look as if they’re reaching out. Attach the arms to the sides of the cake with some of the frosting.
Frost the cake. Place the 2 egg shell halves round sides down on cake for eyes. Place 1 sugar cube in each shell half. Make a mouth of licorice string.
Just before serving, pour 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract over each sugar cube. Light the eyes.
By the way, Amy Sedaris has the same idea in her entertaining book, I Like You. She fills the eggshells with vanilla extract instead of a lemon extract sugar cube.
is a staff writer who dabbles in food, parenting, news, entertainment, molecular biology, and anything else that that pops into her head. She lives with her elementary school-aged son in Brooklyn, land of urban farms and artisan everything.