ATA Pumpkin Cake

Today my son is headed to a Halloween party at his taekwondo studio, and the party is a dessert potluck, so what else do I bring but a cake?!  I wanted to do something fun that the kids would enjoy, but mostly as a surprise for his instructor. I also wanted to do something that was not terribly complicated since I had just done a wedding cake last week, so I settled on a pumpkin with a carved "ATA" logo (ATA stands for American Taekwondo Association).

This was my first time trying to carve something like this, with a recessed area in the middle of the cake, and I will say it was definitely a challenge. The cake I was using was mostly a box mix (just slightly modified), so it was soft and moist, and not ideal for this sort of carving. So to combat that I had to carve with it frozen and I had to keep putting it back in the freezer as it would start defrosting. Originally I wanted to carve the letters deeper, but I decided not to because of the softness factor and I did not want to loose too much cake. Overall, I am quite happy with the results. 

Another first for me is getting the little curly vines to work. I have tried them in the past, but they would never quite hold their shape. I think I was just too impatient, and this time I put more gum paste in the mix. So when I took them off the dowel, they held the curly shape, but were still soft enough that I could stretch them out and curve them the way I wanted.

I hope everyone has a great time tonight, and I hope everyone enjoys the cake!


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