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  • Jennifer Moorman

Cooking Through "The Baker's Man": Frankenstein's Cake

Mystic Water is a Southern town full of interesting people. In fact, they pride themselves on being eclectic, a little bit eccentric, a lot enchanting, and full of love and heart.

So like any good Southern town, they celebrate holidays with all the fixings. Halloween is no different. Children trick or treat dressed in their favorite costumes. Townsfolk hand out candies, homemade or wrapped in colored papers. Pumpkins crowd front porches, and mums decorate nearly all available spaces.

Anna O'Brien, owner of Bea's Bakery, has created a scary, yet delightful, treat with her favorite Halloween chocolate cake.

Frankenstein's Cake

Serves: 8–12 people

Level of Difficulty: Carving out Frankie, pretty darn tough, but do-able!


For cake


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon espresso powder

1 cup milk, buttermilk, almond, or coconut milk

½ cup vegetable, canola oil, or melted coconut oil

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

How to Make

Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.

For the chocolate cake:

Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.

Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.

Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the chocolate cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.

For the vanilla buttercream


1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

3 cups (360 grams) powdered sugar

2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt, adjust to taste

How to Make

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.

  2. Add in the powdered sugar and mix on low speed at first, then increase to medium speed and continue mixing for another 1-2 minutes until the mixture starts to come together.

  3. Add in the heavy cream (start with 2 tablespoons and add a little more if needed), vanilla extract, and salt and continue mixing on medium-high speed for another minute or until everything is well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.



black fondant

print out of Frankenstein silhouette

How to Make

Print off your favorite Frankenstein silhouette, and carve it into black fondant. Place on top of cake.

The Baker’s Man can be purchased in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and other major retailers.

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