Halloween: Jack Skellington Cake

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Pumpkin: Stages of Halloween Pumpkin Being Carved

Welcome to 30 Crafty Days of Halloween! This The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington Cake is part of our guest blogger series. Make sure to check out all of our Halloween Tutorials for more inspiration! 


Hey there, Jack Skellington lovers! My name is Sarah McKenna and I am thrilled to be guest posting here today at See Vanessa Craft! I blog over at Bombshell Bling about a little bit of everything — holidays, crafts, recipes, home decor, parties, and jewelry making (the original reason for the name Bombshell Bling). 😉 Anyone who knows me at all or has been following me for any amount of time knows at least two things about me this time of year: #1 – I LOOOVE Halloween. My husband calls it “my holiday.” #2 – I am obsessed with all things Nightmare Before Christmas. True story. Not sure why, I just am. Soooo . . . I am super excited today to share with you my Jack Skellington Surprise Cake. It may look simple and colorless on the outside . . . but inside is a a festive orange and black surprise! A perfect way to make a simple but impressive cake for a Halloween party!


The first weekend in October I love to have a festive Halloween dinner followed by a viewing of The Nightmare Before Christmas, and it’s only appropriate that for an event like that I make a Jack Skellington cake, right?! Plus, I knew it would be easy. I’m lazy like that. 😉


To make the cake I whipped up two cake mixes. (That’s right….cake MIXES — I told you I was lazy! When it comes to kid food I totally take shortcuts like this. They care way more about the cute factor than the taste factor!) I used vanilla cake mixes and dumped about a third of it into a seperate bowl. Next I added a ton of orange gel food coloring into the smaller bowl and a ton of black gel food coloring into the larger bowl and mixed both well until the colors were deep and rich. I poured them into round cake pans: two black, one orange.


Because I used two mixes but only three pans they did rise above the rim of the pans, so I used a bread knife to carefully saw off the tops of the cakes until the were level.


Next I simply frosted in between the layers and stacked them up. Yep, that’s canned frosting you see. I have no shame. 😉


Finally, I frosted the cake! I made the face by drawing it on freehand with an icing can of black frosting. It looks like a whipping cream spray can and can be found in the baking aisle at most grocery stores. This would have been SOOOOOO much cuter with fondant, of that I am aware, but I have never used fondant, and I hate the taste anyway. The bottom line is this: I didn’t care enough to figure it out. That’s the truth, folks. Maybe someday I’ll try it again with fondant when I really need to impress! Plus, it’s MUCH more Tim Burton/authentic looking imperfect and bumpy and freehand looking anyway!


Check out that surprising center! I love it! All of the kids were very impressed with my mad skills. Heehee.


If you like the idea of a kid-friendly, simple cake but you don’t adore Jack the way that I do then maybe my Graveyard Cake will be more up your alley. Thanks for having me, and be sure to come visit me over on Bombshell Bling!


If you love The Nightmare Before Christmas as much as I do then you should check out all of my other Jack Skellington inspired projects!


Jack Skellington Caramel Apples


Jack Skellington Inspired T-Shirts


This is Halloween: The Nightmare Before Christmas Printable


Jack Skellington Necklace Tutorial

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Hi, I'm Vanessa!

Welcome to See Vanessa Craft! I’m Vanessa, an MSSW and mom of two in Arizona, and I’m happy you’re here to get inspired with me. It’s my mission in life to spread creativity through crafts, recipes, travel and more in order to live a life well lived.