Halloween Treat: How to Make a Spiderweb Cake

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This spiderweb cake is perfect for any spooky Halloween celebration. A rich dark chocolate cake is stacked three layers high and sandwiched between sweet mounds of a white chocolate flavored buttercream. A delicious chocolate hazelnut 'spider web' adorns the top and the sides of the cake too! This recipe is so simple and it comes together in no time. (Really!)

(Image: 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 millilts plain milk
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean extract
  • 6.9 fluid ounces / 195 millitres boiling water mixed with 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 7 ounces / 200 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 7 ounces / 200 grams confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 7 ounces / 200 grams white chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 5.3 ounces / 150 grams hazelnut chocolate spread, for the web decoration

Step 1: Make the Cake

Pre-heat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit / 180 Celsius. Grease and line 3 x 7 inch / 18 centimetre cake pans with baking parchment paper. Set them aside.

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

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Whisk in the sugar until well combined.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Pour the melted butter and milk into the dry ingredients. Stir with a large wooden spoon or use 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: Thalia Ho)

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

(Image: Thalia Ho)

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

(Image: Thalia Ho)

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

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 2: Make the Buttercream Frosting

In the 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, 2 minutes. Add in the confectioners' sugar and beat until well combined, 2 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, 4 more minutes.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Step 3: Assemble the Cake

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 the top of it, then use an offset spatula or butter knife to smooth it out and into a thick layer.

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.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

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

Step 4: Decorate

Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Place the chocolate hazelnut spread in a pastry bag and snip off the tip.

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

(Image: 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.'

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Set the cake in the refrigerator to harden the decoration, 20 minutes.

Step 5: Serve

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.

(Image: Thalia Ho)
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