Although there are a few stages to this birthday or Halloween cake, they're really worth the time and you'll find that it's not as difficult as it might look! Plus, it's the perfect opportunity to get creative and a bit imaginative!
Kids and grown-ups alike will love this cake, especially at a party - you can make some Halloween-inspired cupcakes and snacks too and make this witch's hat a part of a buffet! Our favourite way of getting the bright colours to come through in the icing is to use food colouring in paste form, as these do not alter the texture of the sugarpaste. Along with the edible gold powder colouring, these pastes are available from most cake decorating suppliers.
Shaping your cakes and icing the book
1. To cover the cake board, sprinkle your work surface with icing sugar. Knead 500g sugarpaste with black and cream food colouring paste creating a stone colour. Roll it out and cover the board, smoothing it down with your hands and the rolling pin, cutting off any excess from around the edges. Keep the trimmings.
2. Shape the cakes by trimming the crusts and cutting off the tops to make them flat, then cut a 5cm strip off the square cake to make rectangular 'book'. Halve, then sandwich together with buttercream. Place the small, round cake on the larger one and trim to create a triangular hat shape with a 5cm circle at the top. Spread buttercream over the cakes.
3. Ice the book by rolling out the remaining stone coloured sugarpaste, and covering three sides of your rectangular cake. Mark pages using a knife, and pinch an edge at each corner.
4. For the book cover, colour 500g sugarpaste pale brown and roll out a rectangle 38 x 21cm. Dab buttercream at one end and stick the cake on top. Flip the rest over the exposed side of the cake to form the cover. Mark a line for the binding using a ruler.
Icing the hat
1. To create the hat, colour 815g sugarpaste pale mauve. Make the pointed top by moulding 75g of it into a teardrop shape and press onto the top of the cake.
4. To cover the hat, roll out 500g pale mauve sugarpaste. Position the sugarpaste against the side of the cake with excess at the top, and unroll around the cake, covering it completely. Trim the excess from join and base. Blend the excess into the pointed part of the hat and secure with a dab of water at the side. Dab any other joins with water, close and rub with icing sugar.
5. Place the hat on top of the book using buttercream to secure. Roll out 155g pale mauve sugarpaste into a 20cm circle. Cut a circle from the centre leaving a rim measuring 5cm. Moisten the hat base, lift the rim over the cake and secure.
Finishing your cake
1. For the hatband, roll out trimmings and cut a 41 x 2.5cm strip with some sharp edges to make points the whole way along. Stick to hat base, crossing at the back.
2. To decorate the book binding, use 2 strips of brown trimmings and attach to the spine of the book with a little water.
3. Using the remaining trimmings and some green food colouring to model magic potion urns to decorate the board.
4. To paint on stars to the hat, mark the outlines with water using the fine brush, leave to dry, then dab with gold powder. To make them glow, brush gold in circular motions over and around the stars. Repeat on book corners, and edge with small holes using a cocktail stick. Brush gold randomly over the cake and board using a large brush.