I have been thinking about this particular cake for about a month now, but I just never felt good enough to make it. Well, I am feeling better and better every day, and I suddenly had the urge to tackle this cake! And, it’s just in time for Halloween! For other Halloween treats, check out my Halloween Candy Overload Cookies and my Pumpkin Buttercream Cupcakes with Chocolate Halloween Toppers!


5 from 1 vote

Boo-tiful Halloween Cake

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 29 minutes
Total Time 39 minutes
Topped with sweet ghosts and ganache, no one will be afraid to eat this Boo-tiful Halloween Cake!



  • 1 cup (240g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. McCormick vanilla
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 oz red food color
  • 2 cups (450g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cups (224g) vegetable oil, or olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (320g) cake flour
  • 1/4 cup (32g) good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder


  • 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 12 ounces heavy cream


  • 2 sticks butter, unsalted
  • 2 cups (250g) powdered sugar
  • 1 (7oz) jar marshmallow fluff
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract



  • Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8-inch round baking pans by spraying with baking and lining with parchment or spreading GOOP and lining with parchment.
  • In a 2 cup measuring cup (or medium bowl) pour buttermilk.
  • Add the vanilla, vinegar, and red food color to buttermilk and whisk to fully combine. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl add sugar, oil, and eggs and whisk together by hand until it is smooth and light yellow.
  • Add cake flour, cocoa, and baking powder to the sugar mixture and whisk until just combined.
  • Now add the buttermilk mixture and whisk until just combined. You do not want any lumps, but I do recommend being gentle with this batter.
  • Pour about 1 3/4 cup batter into each pan and bake for 22-32 minutes. When using my convection oven I will bake these at 325°F for 22 minutes. The cake is done when it does not appear wet on the top and if you press your finger gently in the center of the cake it feels firm.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack. Chill cakes until ready to assemble.


  • Chop chocolate into fine chips (or use a bag of chips) place in heat-safe bowl.
  • Heat cream to a soft rolling boil then pour over chocolate.
  • Stir and cover with saran wrap. Let sit anywhere from 1 hour to overnight.


  • In a bowl, add room temp. butter and sugar together. Mix until fluffy.
  • Add marshmallow and vanilla, and mix well.

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Boo-tiful Halloween Cake

Boo-tiful Halloween Cake

What did the ghost that crashed the Halloween party say? I am looking for the Boo-tiful Halloween Cake! Ha! Well, I have what the ghost is looking for! This red velvet cake layered with ganache and sweet (literally) ghosts will not scare anyone; it will simply be so cute that it will be hard to eat it! But, you better, since it’s so delicious!!!!


Boo-tiful Halloween Cake with chocolate ganache

Boo-tiful Halloween Cake Recipe

There are three main parts to my Boo-tiful Halloween Cake. There are the ghosts, of course–BOO! Then, there is the ganache layered over the all-important red velvet cake. I will break down each of the parts so it’s not so scary to make😉.

Red Velvet Cake Ingredients

  • Buttermilk–Make your own homemade buttermilk for this recipe, and all your other recipes that call for buttermilk!
  • Vanilla
  • Vinegar
  • Red food color
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable oil–You can also use olive oil if that is what you have on hand.
  • Eggs–Room temperature eggs work best for baking!
  • Cake flour
  • Cocoa powder
  • Baking powder

Ganache Ingredients

  • Bittersweet chocolate
  • Heavy cream

Frosting Ingredients (for your ghosts)



Boo-tiful Halloween Cake on a cake stand

How to Make a Boo-tiful Halloween Cake

Let’s start with the all-important Red Velvet Cake. This cake has been around forever and started out with simple ingredients like cocoa, buttermilk, and vinegar. The red color was added later, resulting in the vibrant colors we see today. For this recipe, I recommend using the highest quality ingredients. You could use a special dark cocoa or apple cider vinegar or extra rich vanilla which would all impact the flavor. I recommend making your own homemade buttermilk for this recipe! While the cake is baking, heat the cream to pour over the chocolate for your ganache. This will be the chocolaty goodness your ghosts will sit on!

Boo-tiful Halloween cake topped with sweet ghosts

How to Make your Ghosts (Frosting)

Before you make your ghosts, you need to mix the ingredients together to make the frosting. Then, I used a piping bag fitted with a 2A (large open round) tip. I used this tip to create my ghosts. It is not essential to use a 2A tip, you can achieve a similar effect by just cutting off the tip of the piping bag. You can make your ghosts as big or small as you want them to be!


Ghosts on top of Boo-tiful Halloween Cake

How to Bring the Ghosts Alive!

I used a bit of my glaze icing and added some scary (or not so scary) expressions to the ghosts. Ok, ok, so they aren’t scary. My kids even laughed at me. But I sorta liked them. Just mix 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, 1 tablespoon corn syrup, and 1-3 drops of lemon juice together. You can add more milk if you need to. Have fun with giving your ghosts facial expressions!

And there you have it! Boo-tiful Halloween Cake is a boo-tiful and fun cake that is sure to be the hit of any Halloween celebration!

Boo-tiful Halloween Cake showing Red Velvet cake inside

Don’t be afraid to try a few more Halloween Treats!

Halloween Saltine Toffee

Halloween Cake {with an awesome surprise treat!}

Monster Cake with Monster Cookies

Giant Monster Cookies


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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Your cake is fantastic, but how did you make your ghosts? Did you pipe them? I keep looking at them and can’t decide. Could you please let me know, as I really want to make them for my sons 4th birthday. Thank you.

  2. what a nice cake, i wonder if the ghost icing set firm or soft? will it melt easily ?
    can u teach me anything frosting that set firm after drying like icing, i try royal icing but my kids dont like it, and frosting with butter, any simple and easy recipe that i can mix with marshmallow, pipe with piping bag to create shape and set firm also like marshmallow texture. or anything that u could recommend me to try, please oh i teach me, oh i have too many questions, if u can give me some idea it would be great, i want to prepare it for my son’s bday.

  3. hi i wonder if any marshmallow frosting u can recommend me to try, i’ve been looking for frosting that set firm and can be shaped with piping bag, texture like marshmallow, but not royal icing, i want to make it on the ice cream cone presenting it in my son’s bday, please do teach me, your cake is super cute.

  4. Very cute. I will have to experiment to make a vegan version of those adorable ghosts! I don’t get the attraction to red velvet cake though. That is so much food coloring, which does not have a good flavor. I think a dark chocolate cake under all of that white covering would be much more appealing, aesthetically & gastronomically.

  5. I’m confused. Did you use the white marshmallow frosting to frost the cake and make the ghosts. If you did then you would have to double the recipe to make both? How did you make the ghosts? Piping?

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