Halloween Cake {with an awesome surprise treat!}

filed under: Cakes on October 6, 2018

What more can you ask for than a decadent chocolate cake covered in a seriously amazing treat??? You will not be able to stop looking at or snacking on this EASY Halloween Cake {with an awesome surprise treat!} Try my Zucchini Double Chocolate Cake for another chocolaty treat!


5 from 1 vote
Halloween Cake {with an awesome surprise treat!}

A decadent chocolate cake covered in a seriously amazing treat, this EASY Halloween Cake {with an awesome surprise treat!} is not one to be missed!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Halloween Cake
Servings: 12
Calories: 399 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke-iambaker.net
  • 1 3/4 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (112g) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (240g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (90g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (237g) freshly brewed hot coffee, (I use decaf)
  • 12 ounces (bag) milk chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces heavy cream
  1. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl and mix until combined.
  2. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
  4. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Pour the batter into two 8-inch round prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350°F, until a cake tester or toothpick comes out mostly clean (not wet).
  6. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely
  1. Bring heavy cream to a boil and remove from heat.
  2. With chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl, pour cream over chips and slowly stir until all chips are melted.
  3. Pour the ganache over the cake, and top with donut holes!



Halloween Cake {with an awesome surprise treat!}

Halloween Cake

I was testing out an idea for my book and whipped up this cake. It’s my favorite chocolate cake, covered in milk chocolate ganache with chocolate-covered donut holes on top. I couldn’t stop there, so I sprinkled some sugar and stuff on top of the donuts to add more sweetness!

Donut holes to top Halloween Cake

Halloween Cake Recipe

There are two main parts to this recipe that you will have to make–the perfect chocolate cake and the chocolate ganache. Yes, there are three parts to the whole presentation, but I simply went out and bought donut holes to add to the top of the cake. If you are feeling up to it, you can always make your own cake pops, too. I just wanted to have more time to make other delicious Halloween treats, like my Pumpkin Buttercream Cupcakes with Chocolate Halloween Toppers!

What makes chocolate cake recipe so perfect? First off, it is inspired by Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe which is the same recipe my grandma used. They added coffee to their cake which does magical things to chocolate. Second, this is truly a MOIST and flavorful chocolate cake. Is there anything worse than dry cake? Nope. You will never have that problem with this recipe!

I used two 8-inch pans for my cake, but you can also use 9-inch pans. If using 9-inch, you will want to decrease the bake time by up to five minutes. And don’t forget to use GOOP to prepare your pans… it is the BEST!

1. Yes, you cannot leave it out.

2. I mean it.

Ok, ok, so you can if you want. But here is what the coffee does… it enhances the flavor of the chocolate. The cake does not taste like coffee at all… it simply tastes richer.

If you simply must not use coffee, you can substitute hot water.


Overhead of Halloween Cake {with an awesome surprise treat!}

How to Make Halloween Cake

Making the Perfect Chocolate Cake

First, I recommend reading through the ingredients and making sure everything is out and ready. The eggs and buttermilk should be room temperature so getting them out of the fridge ahead of time will solve that for you. If you haven’t already, I recommend making your own homemade buttermilk to have on hand for all your recipes that call for it.

Make sure dry ingredients are sifted and measured properly. When measuring flour, get out your container or bag. Open it and use a fork to stir it, or sift it, loosening it up. Spoon the flour into a dry measure cup then use the back of a knife to level the cup off. (Or you can measure your ingredients on a scale.)

Use the proper tools. For instance, this recipe used a stand mixer. You can use a hand-held mixer (or even stir by hand) but make sure the ingredients are fully mixed and incorporated before moving on to the next step in the recipe.

Use the best quality ingredients if you are able! Dark cocoa’s or high-quality cocoa, fresh eggs, and good quality vanilla make a difference! Feel free to upgrade to all organic ingredients. When it comes to substitutions though, I do recommend making the recipe as-is first, then altering it to make it yours.

Preparing the Ganache

Bring your heavy cream to a boil and pour it over your chocolate chips, mixing it together until the chocolate has melted. Pour the ganache over the cake and top it off with the donut holes.

I ‘faked’ the cake pops on top of the cake because I was too lazy to make another cake just to see how this would look.  The donut balls are a convenient substitution, but as you can see are very lumpy and not as visually appealing as the real thing.

I really enjoyed the flavors.  I mean, it’s chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate-covered devil’s food donuts.  Who wouldn’t like all the chocolate deliciousness?


Halloween Cake {with an awesome surprise treat!}

Looking for More Chocolate Treats?

Dark Chocolate Cake with Buttermilk Pecan Frosting

Chocolate Espresso Cookie

Dirty Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Pound Cake

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  • Nancy says:

    Well, I am no expert but I think the cake looks perfect just as it is… your creativity and talent never cease to amaze me… I always look forward to see what you have come up with!!

  • Well, I am no expert but I think the cake looks perfect just as it is… your creativity and talent never cease to amaze me… I always look forward to see what you have come up with!!

  • Lorie says:

    I actually lime the ‘bumpy’ effect. It is Halloween after all. ;). And the winter/snowball idea mentioned above, THAT would be beautiful too!

  • christine says:

    I think it looks fabulous! I wouldn’t change a thing….you are amazing.

  • I think it looks fabulous! I wouldn’t change a thing….you are amazing.

  • Wenderly says:

    I think it’s a darling Halloween cake love!

  • Teresa says:

    Hi Amanda!
    This cake is amazing as everything you do. A daily inspiration for me, a humble portuguese food blogger. Recently I’ve tried to recreate your lilac cupcakes. You can see the result here:
    Thanks a lot for your sharing!

  • Lisa Thomas says:

    Such a simple yet WONDERFUL idea! Why haven’t I thought of this for my hubby who adores doughnut holes! Thanks for figuring out what cake I’ll be making for his 52nd birthday next month (which just happens to be the same day as my 50th)!!

  • Deborah says:

    I think this is absolutely gorgeous and perfect the way it is!!

  • Russell at Chasing Delicious says:

    Wow. This cake looks stunning! I love everything about it. I personally love the doughnut hole look – but maybe that’s because I love doughnuts.

  • naomi says:

    Well I still love the idea of the cake. The donut holes are a good shortcut. But I can’t wait to see what cake pops you do. And pouring straight chocolate on top of a cake is so hard to get smooth.

  • Mighty Morgan.com says:

    I think it works well….the pictures of it look beautiful enough…I would love to see the other version of it, if you do decide to make it at some point!! The Donut holes were a great idea though, I love the way they are piled up so high, they just give it a look that demands respect 🙂

  • TidyMom says:

    oh you silly girl……..I love this! and those doughnut holes look incredible! I like that they aren’t perfect, but what I really like is all the textures and colors!

  • Georgia Pellegrini says:

    I love it just the way it is girl! The pops on top are so fun and whimsical.

  • trisha says:

    how unique is THIS! cool!

  • Jen says:

    This is so cute!! I know I’d have an issue with the donuts disappearing from the top of the cake in this household, though. 🙂

  • Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction says:

    This is so cute!! I know I’d have an issue with the donuts disappearing from the top of the cake in this household, though. 🙂

  • Nancy says:

    This cake looks absolutely sinful… and delicious. I love it!!

  • lisa skiles says:

    A belated congratulations on the book – you deserve it! Hugs and blessings to you.

  • Cookin' Canuck says:

    This is such a cute cake. I actually like the chocolate poured over the top – makes it look very “Halloween-y”.

  • FunkySteph says:

    Hello I am not new to the blog, but new to leave a comment, I love this cake! I found it lovely, love the color combination.

  • Juicy says:

    i feel a little hungry…
    looks really delicious !!!

  • www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003018778367 says:

    Cake pops ON a cake!! Love it!! I’m just started outin my baking blogging adventures. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • wazzra says:

    this cake is perfect in every aspect!

  • Lori Nusbaum says:

    12 days later, and 10 dollars shorter, I was thinking, TRUFFLES! Ok, well, cake. But I wouldn’t change a thing. Perfect is all in the eye of the beholder, and as a fellow artist, while we can rip, shred, cut and dice apart our work, we are the only ones that do not see the beauty in lumpy, bumpy and not perfect. I LOVE THIS LOOK. Of course next time I wrap or knit a wire, I may have to pop back over and read my own words, because I am certain I will come up with plenty of things to do differently next time! 🙂 Love the cake!

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