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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love making creepy cookies that look like spider webs and cupcakes with brains on top of them or cupcakes with witch hats on top. Most of my Halloween creations are scary and the kids at school love when I make them. However, every now and then I want to do something pretty and I think I did well with this Halloween Layer Cake.
The cake is made with two layers of orange cake and one layer of chocolate cake. The orange layers have a subtle yet bright orange flavor from orange zest and orange extract. The chocolate cake is made with cocoa powder. The combination of orange and chocolate is really nice together.
The frosting is a simple buttercream that is dyed orange to go with the cake. It looks great in between the layers and then on top of the cake. The finishing touch is chocolate ganache on the top. I poured it in the center on top and and made pretty drips down the side.
I wanted to add some decoration so I put candy corn around the base of the cake. Then I found a fun sprinkle mix and put it all over the top. It looked so fun and festive I couldn’t wait to dig into this cake.
I cut myself a big slice and was pleasantly surprised by the flavor. I’m actually not a huge orange fan and I don’t love chocolate cake but the combination was really lovely. Plus the buttercream and ganache totally made this cake. I’m pretty sure the inside of the cake was just as good looking as the outside.
I took the rest of it to work and it looked like people there enjoyed it too. Two different people came up to me and told me that they really liked the orange flavor. I think I’d like to try an orange cupcake with chocolate frosting next time but if you are looking for a pretty Halloween dessert I would definitely make this cake.
For the cake:
- 1 c. butter (2 sticks)
- 2 c. sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 c. flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 c. milk
- 1/4 c. cocoa powder
- 1/4 c. warm water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
For the frosting:
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
- 6 c. powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- orange food coloring
For the ganache:
- 3 oz. dark chocolate
- 1/3 c. heavy cream
- candy corn
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 9 inch cake pans with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer beat the butter until smooth. Add in the sugar and eggs and mix on medium speed.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
- Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Add the milk and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until combined.
- Remove 2 cups of batter and place in a medium bowl.
- Stir together the cocoa powder and water and mix until combined. Add this mixture to the 2 cups of cake batter and stir until combined.
- Add the vanilla, orange extract, and orange zest to the remaining batter and beat for 1 minute.
- Pour the chocolate batter into one of the prepared cake pans.
- Divide the orange cake batter between two remaining pans.
- Bake all three cakes for 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.
- Remove from oven and cool completely. Remove cakes from pans.
- To make the frosting place the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and beat with a mixer on medium high speed until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar a cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add in the milk and food coloring and mix until the frosting is orange.
- To make the cake place one of the orange layers on a cake plate. Spread 1 cup of frosting on the orange cake and place the chocolate cake on top of it. Spread 1 cup of frosting on top of the chocolate cake and place the remaining orange layer on top.
- Use remaining frosting to cover top and sides of the cake.
- To make the ganache heat the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mix constantly until the chocolate is melted and everything is combined. Heat for 2-3 minutes or until it begins to thicken.
- Allow the ganache to cool for 10-15 minutes then pour over top of the cake, allowing it to run down the sides.
- Press candy corn into the bottom of the cake and put sprinkle on top.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home
Check out these other delicious Halloween recipes:
- All Hallow’s Eve Orange Cake by Family Around the Table
- All Eyes on You Cake Balls by Our Good Life
- Bloody Brainy Pudding by The Freshman Cook
- Candy Calzones by Palatable Pastime
- Eyeball Buckeyes by Big Bear’s Wife
- Ghosts in the Graveyard Trifle by Cooking with Carlee
- Ghoul Fudge by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Graveyard Chocolate Pumpkin Rum Cupcakes by Daily Dish Recipes
- Halloween Layer Cake by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Kiss from a Vampire Cookies by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Mini Mummy Dogs by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Mini Mummy Meatloaves by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Pickled Brains by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Shrunken Head Punch by Kate’s Recipe Box