Go Back

Ultimate Halloween Cake

Waitrose & Partners
Fancy making this ultimate Halloween cake? Today I am sharing a step by step guide. This chocolatey red velvet cake is a real showstopper.
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12


  • 200g salted butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 ½ tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 375g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 284ml carton buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 x 10g packs Dr Oetker red gel food colour2 tbsp olive oil
  • 120g salted butter at room temperature
  • 120g Philadelphia soft cheese
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 300ml carton double cream
  • 250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), roughly chopped
  • 1½ tbsp liquid glucose
  • 50g white chocolate, roughly chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 170˚C, gas mark 3. Grease the base and sides of a 23cm springform cake tin and line with baking parchment.
    Sift together all the dry ingredients except the sugar; set aside. Using electric beaters, cream the butter and sugar for 1 minute.
    Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in the vanilla.
    Beat in ¼ the dry ingredients, then 1/3 the buttermilk and repeat, until fully combined.
    Mix the vinegar and food colouring together; beat into the mixture. Scrape into the tin and spread until level; tap the tin on the work surface to knock out any air bubbles.
    Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set on a wire rack and leave to cool completely in the tin.
  • For the filling, use electric beaters to beat together the butter, soft cheese and icing sugar.
    Remove the cake from the tin and cut horizontally into 3 even layers (use a serrated knife).
    Take the bottom layer and place on a baking sheet, spread with ½ the filling, then repeat with the middle layer of cake and remainder of the filling; top with the final layer of cake.
    Leave to set in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  • For the icing, melt the cream, chocolate and glucose together in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water).
    Melt the white chocolate in another bowl using the same method and pour into a small piping bag.
  • Invert the cake onto a wire rack so there is a flat surface for the icing; set over a tray to catch the drips.
    Working quickly, pour the dark chocolate icing over the middle of the cake.
    With a palette knife, use long strokes to push the icing over the sides to create an even coating over the whole cake
  • Starting slightly off centre, pipe a white chocolate spiral from the centre of the cake out to the edges (the tighter the lines, the more dramatic the effect).
    Take a cocktail stick and, starting from the centre, pull it through the white chocolate to the outside.
    Repeat, working around the cake, to create a spider’s web effect (see our Food Editor’s Top 5 page for more tips).
    Let the icing set for about 20-30 minutes. To store, keep refrigerated, and bring to room temperature before eating.