Oct 13, 2016

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache & Halloween Candy

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
This cake is the perfect dessert to display with your Halloween candy haul or to serve at a Halloween themed party for a sugar-high.

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This Halloween themed cake is the perfect dessert to display with your Halloween candy haul or to serve at a Halloween themed party for a sugar-high. A simple chocolate cake is topped with chocolate frosting and drizzled with chocolate ganache, then decorated with an assortment of halloween candy.

My mom decorates the house for every holiday. I don’t just mean just Christmas, I mean full on decorations for the smaller holidays as well – Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, the 4th of July among others. She also has an amazing talent (and patience) for cake decorating. For my 15th birthday party my best friend and I were having a joint-birthday party and we requested a dinosaur holding a disco ball as our cake. (I feel the need to repeat the fact that we were 15 years old at the time of this request.) And it wasn’t just a cake topper – we wanted her to craft a dinosaur and a disco ball out of cake and icing. Instead of laughing at us or telling us to come up with something else, she actually made a cake decorated with a dinosaur and a sparkling disco ball! She will always follow through with the most random and obscure requests.

I have inherited my mom’s love of celebrating even the smaller holidays with decorations and themed food so whenever a holiday rolls around I turn to her for ideas for desserts.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache & Halloween Candy

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Chocolate – Bittersweet chocolate is comprised of about 70% cacao though it can be used interchangeably in this Halloween cake recipe with semi-sweet chocolate which is about 60% cacao. You can use bittersweet baking chips or a chocolate bar broken into pieces.
  • Cocoa powder – Look for high quality cocoa powder. It’s made from the dried and ground cocoa solids. A little goes a long way because the powder is concentrated.
  • Halloween candy – Use any assortment of Halloween candy to decorate this cake. I recommend mostly using chocolate candy to complement the chocolate cake. I chose a combination of candy corn, Kit-kat® bars, mini Reese’s® peanut butter cups, snickers and M&M’s® minis.

How to Make Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache & Halloween Candy

For the chocolate cake:

  1. Heat oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter and shortening together. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Next, add the vanilla.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, mixing to combine.
  4. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk. With the mixer on low speed, slowly alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting with the flour, until all has been incorporated.
  5. Bake. Divide the mixture between the two baking pans. Bake until the top of the cake is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  6. Cool. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning the cakes out onto a wire rack. Let cool to the touch.

For the frosting:

  1. Beat butter and sugar. Add the butter and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until the butter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add cocoa powder and vanilla. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and continue to beat, scrapping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the mixture is completely combined.
  3. Beat in cream. Add the heavy cream and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Taste the frosting and add additional powdered sugar as needed.

For the chocolate ganache:

  1. Heat cream. Add the chocolate to a medium heat-proof mixing bowl. Add the cream to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the cream to a simmer then remove from heat.
  2. Pour over the chocolate and whisk. Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Allow the chocolate ganache to cool slightly, about 10 minutes, before using.

For assembly:

  1. Frost cakes. Place one of the cake layers on a platter. Using a rubber spatula, spread 1/3 of the chocolate frosting over the cake, spreading to the edges. Top with the remaining cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top of the cake and the sides.
  2. Assemble. Pour the chocolate ganache onto the middle of the cake spreading it to the sides so that it just drips over the cake.
  3. Decorate and serve. Chill the cake for about an hour then decorate the top of the cake with the candy until it has been covered.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this Halloween cake recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache & Halloween Candy

Print Pin
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Serves 9

Ingredients:

For the chocolate cake:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus additional for pan
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for pan
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons/ 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

For topping:

  • Candy corn, as needed
  • Snack size Kit-kat® bars, as needed
  • Reese’s® peanut butter cups, as needed
  • Snickers minis, halved, as needed
  • M&M’s® minis, as needed

Instructions:

For the chocolate cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans.
  • In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter and shortening together. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Next, add the vanilla.
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, mixing to combine.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting with the flour, until all has been incorporated.
  • Divide the mixture between the two baking pans. Bake until the top of the cake is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  • Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning the cakes out onto a wire rack. Let cool to the touch.

For the frosting:

  • Add the butter and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until the butter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and continue to beat, scrapping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the mixture is completely combined.
  • Add the heavy cream and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Taste the frosting and add additional powdered sugar as needed.

For the chocolate ganache:

  • Add the chocolate to a medium heat-proof mixing bowl. Add the cream to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the cream to a simmer then remove from heat.
  • Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Allow the chocolate ganache to cool slightly, about 10 minutes, before using.

For assembly:

  • Place one of the cake layers on a platter. Using a rubber spatula, spread 1/3 of the chocolate frosting over the cake, spreading to the edges. Top with the remaining cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top of the cake and the sides.
  • Pour the chocolate ganache onto the middle of the cake spreading it to the sides so that it just drips over the cake.
  • Chill the cake for about an hour then decorate the top of the cake with the candy until it has been covered.

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