Halloween Treat: How to Make a Spiderweb Cake

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This spiderweb cake is perfect for any spooky Halloween celebration. But you don't need to spend a fortune at a bakery. This step-by-step, DIY recipe and cake-decorating tutorial will give you the perfect Halloween treat for your next Halloween party.

A rich dark chocolate cake is stacked three layers high and sandwiched between sweet mounds of white chocolate-flavored buttercream. A delicious chocolate hazelnut "spiderweb" adorns the top and the sides of the cake, too! This Halloween cake recipe is so simple and comes together in no time.

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Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Things You'll Need

  • 11.8 ounces/335 grams plain flour

  • 3.5 ounces/100 grams Dutch-processed cocoa powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 15.9 ounces/450 grams granulated sugar

  • 6.4 ounces/180 grams unsalted butter, melted

  • 8.1 fluid ounces/230 milliliters plain milk

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 6.9 fluid ounces/195 milliliters boiling water, mixed with 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

  • 7 ounces/200 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 7 ounces/200 grams powdered sugar, sifted

  • 7 ounces/200 grams white chocolate, melted and cooled

  • 5.3 ounces/150 grams hazelnut chocolate spread, for the web decoration

How to Make the Cake

1. Make the chocolate cake recipe

Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line a 3-inch-by-7-inch/18-centimeter cake pan with baking parchment paper. Set them aside.

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In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Dutch-processed cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt until evenly distributed.

Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Whisk in the sugar until it is well combined.

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Pour the melted butter and milk into the dry ingredients. Stir with a large wooden spoon, or a balloon whisk, to mix until smooth. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until the cake batter is thick, smooth and glossy.

Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Pour in the coffee-flavored boiling water. Stir until smooth.

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Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Divide the cake batter between the prepared pans. Bake for a total time of 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cakes have risen and a wooden skewer, toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.

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Let the cakes cool in their pans for 15 minutes before inverting them out and onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, level off any domed tops with a large serrated knife or cake leveler. Set them aside for assembly.

2. Make the buttercream frosting

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In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, or with handheld electric beaters, cream the butter on medium speed until it is smooth and malleable, about two minutes. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until well combined, roughly two more minutes. Pour in the melted white chocolate and beat until combined, then increase the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is thick, light in color and fluffy. This will be about four more minutes.

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3. Assemble the chocolate cake

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Place the first leveled cake layer, cut side facing up, on a cake stand or serving platter. Spread three tablespoons of the buttercream frosting over its top, then use an offset spatula or butter knife to smooth it out and into a thick layer.

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Press on the next leveled cake layer and repeat the frosting process, as above. Gently press on the final leveled cake layer, cut side facing down. Thickly frost the entire cake with the remainder of the buttercream.

Set the cake in the refrigerator to chill until the buttercream has hardened, at least 30 minutes.

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4. Decorate the chocolate spiderweb cake

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Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Place the chocolate hazelnut spread in a pastry or piping bag and snip off the tip. You can also use a piping tip if you have one, although this isn't necessary.

Evenly pipe the chocolate hazelnut spread on top of the cake to form a spiderweb pattern. The cake can be decorated with as rough, or as intricate, a spiderweb pattern as desired.

Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Pipe long lines of the chocolate hazelnut spread down the sides of the cake. Then use a wooden skewer or sharp knife to form the ends of the chocolate hazelnut spread into little spiders. Set the cake in the refrigerator to harden the decoration for 20 minutes.

5. Serve the chocolate spiderweb cake

Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Let the cake stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving. The cake can be stored for up to three days in an airtight container set in the refrigerator, or for two days at room temperature.

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