Introduction: 'The Ring' Cake (aka, Dead Girl Crawls From the Well Cake)
For all your horror movie lovers, here's a cake inspired by the movie 'The Ring'! Surprisingly easy to construct, this cake won't take you 7 days to make! And everything on it, including the dead girl herself, is completely edible!
First thing's first, get your ingredients together. You will need the following to make this cake --
1 x 14 oz. box cake mix
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 cans frosting
2 cups Rice Krispies
2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
4 tablespoons shortening, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 lb. white fondant
1/2 cup black fondant
Black food coloring
Red food coloring
Green food coloring
2 x 9-inch round pans
Baker's joy spray
Round cake board or plate
Food-safe decorating brush
Rolling pin (preferably fondant rolling pin)
4 x 6-inch lollipop sticks (or other, food-safe sticks)
We're going to start by making the rice krispie base that will make Samara.
Place 2 tablespoons of shortening into a small saucepan over low heat and heat until melted. Stir in marshmallows and cook, stirring constantly, until they have melted into one big white mass. Remove pan from heat and stir in rice krispies. Make sure you stir them in really well, so you don't have any big patches of plain marshmallow left.
Let your rice krispie mixture sit until it is room temperature, 1-2 hours.
Once your rice krispie mixture is nice and cooled, you can start to shape it! If at any time it becomes too sticky, just moisten your fingers slightly.
First, roll a small ball with the diameter of approximately 1 inch. Then, roll a ball with a diameter of 1 3/4 inches. These will form the arm joint and the head.
Now, you need to make your body. Samara is going to be bending forward, so your shape will kind of look like a really soft wave. It should measure anywhere from 3 1/2 to 4 inches in height, and about 2 1/2 inches wide.
To assemble your rice krispie figure, take one of your lollipop sticks. Now, my sticks were 6 inches long, which was far too long for this figure, so I broke them in half. 3-inches is the perfect length here. Break two of your 6-inch sticks in half to make four, 3-inch sticks.
Take one of your halved sticks and gently insert it into the bottom of your 1 3/4 inch ball, approximately 1/2 an inch deep. Now insert the other end of the stick into the top of the body shape until only a small amount of stick between the two is visible (which will be the neck).
Take another stick and insert it into one of the shoulders of the body, far enough so that the bottom of the stick is flush with the bottom of the rice krispie body. This stick should be pointing downward.
Take your final stick and insert it into the opposite shoulder of the figure. On the bottom of that stick, carefully push the 1-inch ball until the stick is about 1/2-inch deep into it. This small ball form the arm joint. Now, insert your last stick 1/2-inch deep onto the other side of the ball to form the forearm.
Now that your basic shape has taken place, use some of your remaining rice krispie treat to cover the sticks. This not only adds shape, but it helps to keep it strong. Carefully pat rice krispies to form the neck and the arms.
Once you are finished, place your Samara rice krispie monster into the refrigerator to firm, 1-2 hours. You will have some leftover rice krispie treat, which you should definitely eat. Seriously, that stuff is so good.
While your monster is chilling, it's time to make your cake!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray your round cake pans generously with baker's spray.
Pour cake mix, eggs, oil, and water in the base of a stand mixer. Mix on low for 30 seconds, then on medium for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Pour cake batter evenly between your two pans, or as evenly as possible. Place in preheated oven and bake according to manufacturer's instructions. For me, this was 30 minutes.
Remove baked cakes from oven and let sit until they are room temperature, about 1-2 hours.
Once your cakes have cooled, flip the first layer onto a clean cake tray or plate. Frost the top of the first cake layer, then top with the second layer.
Measure 1 1/2-inches from the edge of the top layer and make a shallow cut, about 3/4-inch deep. Continue cutting approximately 1 1/2-inch from the edge and cut to make a circle. Don't worry if it's not perfectly even! You won't notice when you're done.
Using your fingers, gently pull the cut cake away from the inside, leaving a circular indentation in the middle of your cake. This will be the well. Discard extra cake, or consume. You know what, definitely consume. It's cake!
Place a large dollop of frosting in the well and spread the frosting. Be careful to tear the cake as little as possible. There will be lots and lots of crumbs, but the fondant will cover them, so don't worry! Continue frosting the entire surface of the cake.
Once the cake is covered in frosting, place in refrigerator to chill completely, 2-3 hours or overnight.
Once your cake is nice and cold, it's time to work with your fondant!
First, you need to work your coloring into your white fondant. Reserve about 3/4 cup of white fondant and set aside. From the remaining white, take a few tablespoons of fondant and mix in a bit of green and a smidge of black dye to make a dark, dark green. Take the remaining white fondant and fold in black food coloring until it is a dark grey (okay, mine ended up with a purple tinge, but it's all good).
Dust a work surface generously with powdered sugar and roll out your gray fondant into a circle with a diameter of 19 inches. Lay fondant onto rolling pin and transfer over to cake. Smooth down sides and top of fondant, making sure the fondant is touching all surfaces.
Use a paring to carefully cut away the excess fondant from the base of the cake. Reserve this fondant, as you will use it later!
Now, use your knife to cut away the fondant from the well in the middle of the cake. Discard this fondant.
Roll out your black fondant into a small circle, approximately 6 inches in diameter. Cover the well with the black circle, and trim away the excess black fondant and discard.
Spray the black fondant with nonstick spray and brush it on with a pastry brush, if a wet look is desired.
Take your excess gray fondant and roll it out a second time. Using your paring knife, cut squares and rectangles of varying shapes from the fondant -- these will be the bricks!
Wet the backs of each fondant brick lightly with water before applying to the surface of the well. Apply as few or as many as you'd like.
And yes, you can do this before or after your fill the well with the black fondant, as you can see from the second picture!
Now that your cake has been covered, it's time to work on our Samara.
Remove your rice krispie figure from the refrigerator and press two 3-inch sticks in the base of the figure, approximately 1-inch deep. Next, spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire rice krispie figure. Anchor your frosted figure in a piece of foam or cardboard.
Roll out your white fondant to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut strips and cover the body of Samara completely, leaving the head and neck uncovered. Don't worry about the patchwork look that you have right now, we will fix this!
It's time to place Samara in the well! This is easy to accomplish, by pushing the two base sticks into the black portion of the well. However, make sure that she is place so that she is 'climbing' out of the well. If you place her too far into the center, it won't look right!
Once you have her anchored int he cake, dip your index finger in shortening and smooth the seams of the fondant covering Samara's body. It will not become completely seamless, but the seams should be greatly lessened in appearance.
Time for the hair. Roll out some more black fondant, until you have a nice, fat teardrop shape, roughly 6 inches in length.
Place the narrow part of the fondant (the top of the 'teardrop') at the base of Samara's neck, and drape the length of the fondant over her face and let fall down the front of the well. Press in with your fingers to secure to her head.
Take some kitchen shears or scissors and begin trimming the edges of her hair, slicing carefully upwards to separate the fondant into little sections of 'hair'.
Once you're finished giving her a haircut, take your excess black fondant and roll it into several small strips of varying length to create additional 'hair' for Samara.
Attach each piece of hair by wetting the base of the strand and pressing it at the base of Samara's head, or wherever your desire. Repeat until her head is covered with strands of fondant hair.
Time to give Samara a hand to help her out of that well!
Roll a small ball of white fondant to make the palm, flattening it into a rounded square shape. Leave a tail (or wrist, as it were) of fondant at the end, as shown.
Wet the base of the fondant tail and press it into the sleeve of Samara's shirt (of the arm reaching out) until it is secured.
Now it's time to make fingers. Roll very small pieces of white fondant out into thin strips. Try and leave the ends pointed, and make the fingers varying lengths. The longest finger is in the middle, the two surrounding it are about the same size, the pinky is the smallest finger, and the thumb is fatter and shorter.
Once you have the digits made, attach them carefully to the palm by using a small amount of water. Repeat until all fingers are attached and she's got a hand.
Dab a small amount of water on the bottom of the fingers to help Samara grip the well.
For this next step, you can either use fondant shaping tools or, like me, flip your brush over and use the plastic handle for shaping. It's up to you!
Use the brush handle or fondant shaping tools to shape Samara's hand. Press down and swipe slightly to give her hand a bony look. Press your tool up and down her back to give the nightgown some shape. It is up to you how much you want to shape the body and hand; use your imagination!
Now it's time to paint the fondant!
Mix 1/8 teaspoon of black gel fondant with just a splash of vodka (or water, if vodka isn't available). Brush black carefully over Samara, as desired. The most important places to 'dirty' are the sleeves of her nightgown and her fingertips. Feather the brush over the nightgown to leave a mottled grey appearance.
When painting her fingertips, brush very carefully over the tip of the finger. I brushed a little bit of red on the fingertips in addition to the black, where her fingernails have broken off (see: The Ring). Brush more black on and between the bricks of the well. This is a horror cake based on a horror movie, so go wild!
For your final step, take your green fondant and roll out thin, long strips; these will act as the moss growing out of the well. While this step is optional, I find it adds visual appeal.
Attach the base of the moss where the black of the well meets the grey, then trail the moss down and between the fondant 'bricks'. Add as much or as little vegetation as you want.
And that's it, we're done!!! I recommend bringing this cake to any party where The Ring is showing. Even better, you can eat Samara afterwards, just to show her who's boss. Delicious!