Three layers of super moist chocolate cake sandwiched with cream cheese icing and coated in a rich chocolate ganache, this really is THE ultimate Halloween cake recipe!
I love reading, or if not reading at least flicking through all the supermarket food magazines. I'm often tempted by the pictures first and that was exactly what happened with this chocolate Halloween cake recipe.
It's the cake that was on the cover of this month's Waitrose Kitchen magazine. Every time I caught sight of the front of the magazine I wanted to make this Halloween cake.
Well, I wanted to eat it, and if I was going to have a chance of eating it, I had to make it first.
How could I resist it? Three layers of chocolaty red velvet cake sandwiched together with sweet cream cheese icing and smothered in a dark chocolate ganache. This chocolate Halloween cake sounded as wonderful as it looked.
Normally I just don't have time to make these type of decorated layer cakes. I need to be seriously seriously tempted and that is exactly what I was. Plus, some friends were coming round for lunch and that is always an excuse for cake.
Decorating this Chocolate Halloween Cake
Every time I make a cake with any kind of decoration on at all, I have such a good time that I immediately want to make another cake. Just so I can have fun decorating it.
This chocolate Halloween cake gave me the chance to pipe with chocolate for the first time. I'm glad it was just a spider's web as it would have been impossible for me to pipe anything that needed a more controlled design.
The chocolate came out of the piping bag really quickly as I was moving it round in circles so I had to work fast!
As a result my web looks a little more spindly than the one in the magazine. Even so, it was fun to do and I was impressed by how good the spider's web on the cake looked in the end.
Maybe if I'd been a little more ambitious I would have attempted piping a spider climbing up onto the cake but I didn't want to risk ruining it.
What does this Halloween Chocolate Cake Taste like?
Yes, the Halloween cake looked good and I was proud of myself but it also tasted good. The cake was moist and not just in the middle but all the way to the edges.
The icing in the middle was lovely but not too thick and the chocolate ganache coating was like eating chocolate truffles.
The only thing that I was disappointed about was that the red velvet colour was very very subtle. I think you'd only know it was red velvet if someone told you.
Maybe I need to use a different brand of food colour or add a little more next time. Well, at least that is only cosmetic.
Apart from that, this is possibly the best tasting chocolate cake I've ever ever made. If you have time before Halloween then it is definitely the best Halloween cake to make.
And if not, why not make it after Halloween anyway?
Then you could at least save yourself the effort of trying to pipe a chocolate spider's web!
How long does this cake keep for?
Like all cakes, this Halloween cake is best eaten up within about three days but it will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container. It may just be a little drier after 3 days.
Can you freeze this cake?
In most cases it's best to freeze cakes without the icing on. However, chocolate gananche freezes quite well so it is perfectly possible to decorate this cake and then freeze it.
Make sure you wrap it up well in a few layers of foil or cling film and put it in a freezer bag as well. You can then freeze it for up to three months.
It can take quite a while to defrost so take it out of the freezer about 12 hours before you want to serve it.
The Ultimate Halloween Cake
- 350 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2.5 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 200 g butter
- 375 g sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 285 ml buttermilk
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 20 g red gel food colour (optional)
Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Icing
- 120 g butter
- 120 g cream cheese
- 120 g icing sugar
Ingredients for the Chocolate Ganache
- 300 ml double cream
- 250 g dark chocolate
- 1.5 tsp liquid glucose
- 50 g white chocolate
- Put the oven on to 170c to preheat. Grease and line a deep 20cm cake tin.
- Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cocoa and salt.
- Cream together the butter and the sugar. I used an electric food mixer. Beat for about a minute.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and keep beating after each one. Then add the vanilla.
- Add about ¼ of the dry ingredients. Beat together then add ⅓ of the buttermilk. Repeat until you have beaten all the dry ingredients and the buttermilk together.
- Finally stir the food colour and vinegar together and add them to the cake mixture. Beat in until the mixture has all turned a pinky red colour without any streaks.
- Pour the cake mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for about an hour. It is ready when a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
- Make the cream cheese icing by beating together the butter, cream cheese and icing sugar.
- Take the cake out of the tin and slice into three layers horizontally.
- Spread the icing on top of the bottom and middle layers. Put the layers back together and put the cake in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes for the icing to set.
- To make the chocolate ganache icing put the dark chocolate, cream and liquid glucose in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Keep giving it a stir until all the chocolate has melted. At the same time melt the white chocolate in a different bowl.
- With the cake on a wire rack, pour the dark chocolate icing over the cake and use a palate knife to smooth it over the top and sides of the cake.
- Put the white chocolate in a small piping bag or a plastic food bag. Snip off the corner and starting in the centre of the cake, pipe a chocolate spiral onto the top of the cake.
- Using a cocktail stick or a thin knife, drag it through the chocolate starting in the centre of the cake.
- Put it in the fridge to set. Before serving, take the cake out of the fridge to come to room temperature.