25 Halloween Cake Ideas That Are Dreadfully Delicious
With Halloween right around the corner, it's time to get those spooky and sweet recipes ready for fright night. If you're looking to bake up your first scary-good dessert, check out these creepy confections and unique Halloween cakes to enjoy on All Hallows' Eve.
If you're not of trick-or-treating age anymore, and also don't have little ones of your own yet to rack up a pumpkin full of candy for the whole family, you might be wondering how to get your sweet tooth fix this holiday season. We've curated some truly next-level Halloween cake recipes you can create to get your spooky season off to a chilling start.
The best part about the horror cakes ahead? They are the perfect conversation starter for any Halloween parties you might attend, and you can also leverage these ideas for October birthdays or for your friends who embody spooky vibes all year long. Keep scrolling for all of the iconic Halloween themes in edible form, from Jack-o'-lantern pumpkin and graveyard dirt cakes, to desserts with spiderwebs, bats, creepy eyeballs, blood, gore, and more! And don't worry, we have some pretty holiday cake recipes in the mix as well for the scaredy cats out there. Bon appetit!
Oreo Brownie Trifle
Turn this simple trifle into something spooky: Instead of using a trifle bowl, layer brownies, chocolate pudding, whipped topping, and crushed Oreo cookies in a 9-inch x 13-inch cake pan. Top with extra crushed Oreos and write on the Milano cookie “tombstones” with Wilton decorating pens. Add gummy worms to ante up the creep factor! (via Culinary Hill)
Forbidden Forest Chocolate Butterbeer Cake
Pretend it's the Halloween feast at Hogwarts and serve up a cake that's inspired by the intriguing and terrifying Forbidden Forest. After an adventure in there, you definitely deserve chocolate.
This recipe requires about an hour of prep time and 30 minutes of baking time. For the cake, be sure to have standard ingredients like flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, buttermilk, greek yogurt, canola oil, vanilla extract, and ginger beer on hand. For the whipped butterbeer frosting and playful decorations, you'll also need butterscotch chips, heavy cream, salted butter, marshmallows, chocolate chips, peanut butter, candy eyes, and pretzel sticks. The real fun begins when you start making the web of melted marshmallows, the peanut butter chocolate spiders, and the swirly chocolate trees. (via Half Baked Harvest)
Black Cocoa Halloween Layer Cake
Wow guests with this black cocoa cake covered in black cocoa buttercream and topped with marshmallow spiderwebs and ghost meringues! It's delicious *and* spectacular looking. Microwave marshmallows for spiderwebs and prepare to make a fun mess in this kitchen. (via Barley & Sage)
Stenciled Halloween Sprinkle Cake
What better way to incorporate a gradient into your Halloween spirit than with this absolutely stunning dessert, which features ombre-toned buttercream frosting and delicious vanilla yellow cake. Your guests will be wowed when you slice open the cake to reveal seven rainbow layers of color.
Set aside three and a half hours for this Halloween masterpiece, which you can easily repurpose throughout the year by switching out the stencil design and sprinkle colors. (via SugarHero)
Channel your inner Beetlejuice when you decorate this monochrome black-and-white cake. Just don't look too long at those spirals, or you might find yourself hypnotized! This elegant take on Halloween uses melted dark chocolate and vanilla for the contrasting colors, plus an extra black gel coloring to provide the rich dark shade. Look for black and white sweets like licorice sticks, lollipops, and more to decorate the final masterpiece. (via Domestic Gothess)
Pink and Gold Pumpkin Cakes
If you've got a bright, pastel aesthetic to uphold, these pumpkin spice cakes draped with pastel-colored fondant and edible gold offer a fancy fall treat. (via Best Friends for Frosting)
Halloween Cookies and Cream Cake
Oreo-filled vanilla cake, cookies and cream frosting, dark chocolate ganache, and a heap of seasonal candies make this one dessert you can't pass on making.
This five-layer cake takes about two hours to prep for, and only 25 minutes to cook. Gather your ingredients of 3 cups of all-purpose flour, a tablespoon of baking powder, half a cup of unsalted softened butter, half a cup of canola oil, 2 cups of granulated sugar, whole milk, heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, 5 egg whites beaten, and 25 to 30 crushed Oreos for the cake. For the delicious frosting, you'll need 4 sticks of butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, orange food coloring, vanilla extract, and finely crushed Oreos. To decorate, you can make a chocolate ganache with heavy cream chocolate chips, and corn syrup. Then add Oreo pieces, sprinkles, candy corn, Peeps, and more. (via The Baking Fairy)
Meringue Bone Palace Halloween Cake
Not to be attempted by the faint of heart (meringue is known to be one of the trickiest substances to work with), this creative cake is completely inspired by skeleton bones. Oh, and by the way, underneath all those bones you'll find a decadent (and equally visually stunning) bright red velvet cake.
Here's what you need: For the cake layers, grab unsalted butter, sugar, two eggs lightly beaten, flour, cocoa powder, buttermilk, gel paste food coloring, vanilla extract, white vinegar, baking soda and cake release spray. For the bones, liquid egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar are all you need. Lastly, for the frosting, add mascarpone cheese, icing sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and blackberry syrup to your grocery list if you don't already have 'em in your pantry. Because of the different components this recipe is a bit more time intensive than the others, but the end result will be scary delicious. (via Brit + Co)
No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake
Pumpkin-flavored cheesecakes are one of the main dessert staples of the fall season. The best part about this recipe? It's no-bake! Plus, with a prep time and cook time of 10 minutes each, you can have a delicious treat ready to set in the fridge in 20 minutes. (Though, it'll be best enjoyed after it's been in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.) This pumpkin spice cheesecake features all the classic fall flavors like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, all spice, and ground cloves. (via Jane's Patisserie)
Salted Caramel Apple Snickers Cake
One of our favorite Halloween cakes to bake and serve with a side of apple bobbing games, and spiked apple cider. Tieghan Gerard perfected this recipe with applesauce to make it sort of healthy, well at least until you dump all of the ooey-gooey salted caramel sauce all over the cake and apples. One tip from Tieghan is to let the caramel cool slightly before pouring it all over the cake to help it thicken up and prevent the cake from melting. She also noted while it does take a bit of time to make (four hours all in), it's not a difficult recipe. So dive in on a rainy fall day and create a delicious and beautiful treat to sink your teeth into. (via Half Baked Harvest)
Nightmare Before Christmas Cake
If you're a Tim Burton fan, try this. What better way to celebrate one of the coolest movies ever than by showcasing your fandom with this artsy and spooky Halloween cake idea? And best of all, it'll only take you 45 minutes to tackle this spook-tacular sweet. (via The Cookie Writer)
Unicorn Halloween Jack o' Lantern Cake
If you have younger kids, Halloween can be kind of scary. Shake things up by offering this sweet unicorn Jack o' Lantern cake instead of the usual creepy fare. Bonus points if you match your Halloween unicorn costume to this dreamy unicorn cake! (via Best Friends for Frosting)
Candy Corn Tuxedo Cake
The creepy exterior of this cake cuts away to a whimsically colorful surprise inside. Inspired by s'mores-flavored candy corn, this dessert is one no one can turn down. The harvest colors definitely bring an autumn feel to the recipe that you can break out long past Halloween, and this one reads more cute-spooky instead of scary-spooky if that's your preferred vibe. This recipe will produce an 8-inch four layer cake with 8 cupcakes to serve on the side. Also, recipe developer Heather Baird notes you should use cake flour for this and not all-purpose flour so it doesn't come out too chewy and heavy. (via Sprinkle Bakes)
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake
Halloween doesn't have to just be about darkness and ghouls. It's also perfectly fine to celebrate with a bright autumnal vibe, as with this beautiful pumpkin spice cake. The trick to nailing the seasonal pumpkin decor is to use white fondant and then color them for shade variety. Click through for the precise color dye combinations that'll give you orange pumpkins, green vines and stalks. (via Liv for Cake)
Horror cakes and horror movies, a match made in hell
This dark chocolate cake has a shocking contrast in color thanks to its lime green buttercream frosting. Here's the secret to the dramatic combo: The chocolate is made extra- dark with black food coloring. On the inside, there's layered neon green pudding to provide an ooey-gooey texture that makes perfect sense for the slime factor. (via I Am Baker)
Skeleton Piñata Cake
Fill your cake with almond bark bones for a scary (and delicious) surprise. Start with a delicious red velvet base for the inside, and use ready-made fondant for the spooky skeleton design on top. (via Sprinkle Bakes)
Orange Cream Cake With Chocolate Ganache
Layer cakes always feel special, especially when they're made with bright orange and dark black cake and frosting. Cutting that first slice is bound to make you smile. (via Foxes Love Lemons)
Melted Witch Cake
Uh-oh — it looks like Dorothy came to visit this melting witch! The secret to the dripping look is dark chocolate ganache. (via The First Year)
Halloween Candy Mug Cake
Once your kids go to bed, sneak some of their Halloween candy. You'll be on your way to whipping up a fast and tasty mug cake for one. (via Kirbie's Cravings)
Boo Surprise Inside Cake
Surprise your guests with a secret message inside their dessert. It sounds complicated, but this one is actually really easy to make. (via I Am Baker)
Neon Confetti Cake
Light up any darkened room with a shockingly bright dessert. Treat guests to this neon cake, and throw in some other glow-in-the-dark decorations to really make it shine. (via Brit + Co)
Pumpkin Patch Dirt Cake
How adorable is this? Create your very own pumpkin patch with instant pudding, Oreo crumbs, and mini pumpkin candies. (via Growing Up Gabel)
Salted Caramel Upside Down Cake
Caramel apples may no longer be acceptable as a trick-or-treating sweet, but you can enjoy the flavors of this classic autumnal treat in cake form instead. (via Host the Toast)
Spiderweb S'mores Cheesecake Brownies
Repeat after us: There is no such thing as too much of a good thing. Smash together all of your favorite desserts and you get an elaborate concoction that is alone worth celebrating. (via Host the Toast)
Spooky Cake Balls
Here's an easy cake recipe to whip up in a hot minute. Your guests won't be able to resist the spooky eyeballs and mini mummies. (via Brit + Co)
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This article has been updated from a post published in Oct. 2021.