Halloween Cake

I saw this cake on Food52.  Mine is above.  The cake is insanely delicious and so is the frosting.  I loved the spider decor too.  It was fun to make.  Lots of steps.  I made the chocolate cake two days in advance and put it in the refrigerator which was a nice way to do it over a few days.
Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue ButtercreamServes 12-15

Chocolate Cake

  • 2
    cups sugar
  • 1 3/4
    cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4
    cups cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2
    teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2
    teaspoon baking powder
  • 1
    teaspoon salt
  • 1
    cup whole milk
  • 1/2
    cup canola oil
  • 2
    eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4
    cup sour cream
  • 1
    teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4
    cups hot, strong coffee
  1. Prepare 3, 8-inch cake pans by buttering them and
    lining them with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking
    powder and salt together. Put the sifted ingredients into the bowl of a
    stand mixer (or large bowl) and stir well to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl or pitcher, whisk together the milk,
    oil, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low, pour the
    liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until the dry
    ingredients are moistened. Stop the mixer, scrape down to the bottom of
    the bowl to make sure all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, then
    turn the mixer up to medium and mix for 2 minutes.
  4. Turn the mixer back down to low and slowly pour in the
    hot coffee. Stop the mixer and scrape down to the bottom of the bowl
    and finish stirring by hand.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans and bake for
    20-25min or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in
    the pan for 15 min then invert onto a rack to cool completely.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 1 1/4
    cup sugar
  • 5
    egg whites
  • 1
    pound butter at room temperature
  • 1
    tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinches salt

  • 1/2
    cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
  • pastry bag and coupler

  • #4 round tip

  • #2 round tip

  1. To make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream: In the bowl of
    a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over a
    pan of simmering water and whisk continuously until the sugar has
    dissolved and the mixture is foamy and quite warm to the touch, 5-7min.
  2. Use the whisk attachment to beat the egg white mixture
    until stiff glossy peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room
    temperature, about 10min.
  3. Switch to the paddle attachment and reduce the speed
    to low. Add the soft butter a few tablespoons at a time. Beat the
    frosting until smooth. During this process it is likely that the
    frosting will "break" and look curdled, but don’t worry, you can save
    it! To bring the frosting back together, turn up the speed on your
    mixer for a few seconds and and whip until the frosting no longer looks
    curdled. Continue to add the butter until it is incorporated then add
    in the vanilla and salt. Set aside ½ cup of the buttercream to make the
    web decorations.
  4. To Make the Buttercream for the Web: Melt the
    chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave. Let cool slightly, then
    whisk the melted chocolate into the reserved ½ cup of buttercream. Fill
    a pastry bag fitted with a coupler half full of this mixture.
  5. Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting and refrigerate for about 30min
  6. Pull the cake out of the fridge and add a second, heavier coat of frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
  7. Now it’s time to get webby. Start with the #4 tip on
    the pastry bag of chocolate frosting and using gentle, even pressure
    draw two intersecting lines on the top of the cake. I’ll call these
    lines the “arms” and where they meet will be the center of the web. Draw
    2 or three more “arms” on your web, making sure to leave some space for
    the connecting threads. Connect the arms of the web with slightly
    curved lines, all of the way to the edge of the cake. To draw a simple
    spider make two dots, one slightly larger than the other for the body
    and head. Then switch to the #2 tip and add 8 legs and an optional
    sprinkle of black sanding sugar for extra spookiness. Serve the cake at
    room temp. Store any extra frosting in an airtight container in the
    freezer where it will keep for a few weeks.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Ella Dyer

    That’s just evil:) On another topic; I enjoyed your Girls Guide to Paris and wondered if you know Adrian Leeds (expat extraordinaire) in the City of Light? Y’all would enjoy each other’s entrepreneurial endeavors; I can make a virtual intro if not. Talk soon, E

    1. Gotham Gal

      I do not know her but have run across her doing searches. Will take a pass at meeting right now but perhaps in the future. Thanks Ella.

  2. Ella Dyer

    You may have seen her on House Hunters International (Paris and Nice). I’ll mention your blog, which I read daily, to her as I’m sure she’ll enjoy it as well.Keep up the inspirational work, especially with female founders.

  3. Deirdre

    Yum. Love it. I got as far as helping to make a costume and got no further. I will try this another day.

    1. Gotham Gal

      its good any day of the week.

  4. dana

    Amazing. Can I come over and watch you make it next time. This looks so delicious.

    1. Gotham Gal

      lol! sure.