If you children are still on half term its a great way to keep them amused, trust me! They will love
for the cake
3 large free range eggs
200g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla paste
for the buttercream
175g unsalted butter
350g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla paste
1 tbsp milk
1 pkt orange chocolate buttons
for the cake coating (soil)
or chocolate cake
or chocolate biscuits minus the filling (bourbons/oreos etc)
for the pumpkins/flowers/leaves
orange sugar paste fondant
green sugar paste fondant
1. It's best to start by making the pumpkin decorations first to allow them to dry out a bit. Use orange sugar paste to roll balls of various sizes, add a stork on top with some green sugar paste, and form this to a point with your fingers. Use a sugar paste cutter to make leaves in green and flowers in orange. Make some little indentations in the pumpkins with the side of a spoon to give them some ridges.
2. Now get onto the cake. Grease 2 sandwich tins and pre heat the oven to 170C fan. Cream the margarine and sugar and then when these are pale and fluffy add the beaten eggs and vanilla paste.
3. Add the sifted flour, cornflour and baking powder and fold into the cake batter. Pout the batter into the two tins.
4. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.
5. While the cake is baking get the 'soil' ready. If you have chocolate cake just crumble this into a bowl...if you are using biscuits then put them in a bag and bash them with a rolling pin until quite fine but leave some texture.
6. To make the butter cream you need to beat the life out of the 175g soft unsalted butter with 350g icing sugar and add 1 tsp of vanilla paste and about 1 tbsp of milk to soften. This is best done with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
7. When the cake has cooked remove it from the oven and leave to cool completely. Give the buttercream another quick beat to make sure its soft. Put one of the cakes onto the plate you are going to serve it on. Place a layer of buttercream on the cake. I added some chocolate orange buttons to the centre filling too (more orange pumpkins to munch on!).
8. Place the second cake on top of this one and then starting with the top of the cake use a palette knife spread buttercream over the top and then down the sides of the cake. It won't matter if this is uneven as the 'soil' will cover it.
9. Cover the cake in 'soil', you will need to press the soil down a bit on the top and on the sides, to make it stick to the butter cream but it will. Try and fill in any 'soil' gaps around the cake. Then finish off by arranging your pumpkins and flora and fauna on top and on the sides.