The spooky season calls for a spooky cake, and my Black Widow Red Velvet Cake is the perfect dessert for any Halloween gathering! Rich, moist, and homemade red velvet cake gets a ghastly makeover with a scary spider web design right on the cake! Slice into the cake to reveal a delicious blood-red inside that is both festive and frightening!
Need a dessert recipe for this year's Halloween party? Look no further!
Everyone likes to be a little spooked each Halloween, so why not give your spooky dessert the same vibe? This Black Widow Red Velvet Cake is sure to impress all of your ghoul-friends! A homemade red velvet cake is blanketed in delicious cocoa-scented cream cheese frosting and festive marshmallow webs.
This cake is sure to please everyone, from kiddos to vampires. The blood-red insides make this cake perfect for a late October gathering!
After many trials and errors when baking, I have worked out quite a few rules to live by when baking the perfect cake.
You want to first have the right tools for baking a cake. That means having spatulas, a cake stand, layer cake pans, parchment paper, and if you're an avid baker, a stand mixer. Having your tools prepped and ready to go is key.
Use high-quality food coloring! Some food coloring is made with different dyes, which can drastically change the color of your cake. In this instance, you want a very deep red color that is vibrant!
Incorporate your eggs one at a time. This allows the cake to mix more evenly, leading to a better texture within the cake.
Unless otherwise advised, bake with all room-temperature ingredients. Ingredients at room temp will keep the batter at a similar temperature when mixing. Cold eggs and soft butter will cancel each other out and not mix as well due to the temperature difference!
Sift your dry ingredients, but do not overmix! Sifting eliminates any lumps or undesirables within your dry ingredients. Once the dry ingredients have been added, only mix the batter until all flour is moistened and then stop. Overmixing will lead to a dense cake!
For the Cake:
4 cups organic all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons organic cocoa powder
2 ½ tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ cups organic cane sugar
1 cup almond milk (You can also use whole milk)
3 large organic eggs, at room temperature
1 cup hot water (boiled and then cooled to hot/warm)
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3-4 tablespoons natural red food coloring
For the Cream Cheese Buttercream:
4-5 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
4 oz. organic cream cheese, softened at room temperature
½ cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons organic heavy cream
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons organic cocoa powder, optional
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease (with butter) AND line with parchment paper the bottoms of THREE 8-inch cake pans.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt until combined. Set aside.
In a bowl, add the oil and sugar, beating them together using a hand-mixer (on high-speed), until pale and combined, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the eggs (one at a time) followed by the vanilla, red food coloring, and apple cider vinegar, mixing until combined. At low speed, add in the dry ingredients followed by the milk and hot water, continue to mix until combined and the batter is smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
NOTE: The batter should be thick, yet slowly run off the whisk once lifted.
Divide the batter evenly into each of the cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick or butter knife comes out clean when tested in the centers.
Remove cakes from the oven and let them rest in the pan for 10 minutes or so before removing the cakes and placing them onto a cooling rack to fully cool.
NOTE: Let them cool for at least 1-2 hours in a cool place.
Simply beat the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand-mixer) on medium-high speed, until smooth and pale. Add in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, and milk, continuing to mix on medium speed until you reach the desired consistency—-smooth and fluffy.
NOTE: Add more milk (1 tablespoon at a time if too thick) or powdered sugar (for more thickness).
Place the first cake layer on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with buttercream. Now, top with 2nd layer and add more buttercream atop that layer. Finally, top with final layer and top with remaining buttercream, spreading it over the tops and sides of cake, evenly and thinly.
Once fully frosted, add small little designs of the buttercream using a piping bag + tip or add spider webs around the sides and top of cake using marshmallows. Chill for 5 minutes to ensure that buttercream sets.
When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator. Slice and enjoy!
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