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This spiderweb cake is perfect for Halloween. A marshmallow cobweb makes this cake a fun and spooky treat.
I really love Halloween. I didn’t always love it, but when the kids started trick-or-treating it really became my favorite holiday. There’s no big elaborate meals to prepare, no driving to visit family and not much preparation. And although Halloween is usually all about the candy, I wanted to create a spooky spiderweb cake for Halloween.
How to Make a Spiderweb Cake
- Make the cake layers – This cake starts with my vanilla cake recipe as a base for the cake layers. I doubled the recipe to make it 4 layers so it would be extra tall, but you don’t have to do that.
- Make the frosting – I used my vanilla buttercream to create the purple frosting around the cake. You’ll want to set aside about a 1/2 cup of white frosting to pipe the spiderweb. I added a few drops of purple food coloring to the rest of the buttercream and about a teaspoon of black cocoa powder to make it darker. If you want a really deep purple color, you can leave the buttercream frosting to sit out at room temperature overnight. Just cover the top with plastic wrap. The time will allow it to deepen the color without adding a ton of food coloring.
- Frost the cake – You’ll want to add a layer of buttercream in between each of the layers of cake. Staking them up and then adding a thin layer to the outside of the cake top and sides. This is called your crumb coat. After crumb coating the cake, pop it back into the fridge for 10 minutes. Remove it from the fridge and then using an offset spatula add a thick layer of buttercream frosting around the top and sides. Smooth out the frosting with a icing smoother. Place the cake back into the fridge for about 10 minutes.
- Make the marshmallow spiderweb – Place about 20 marshmallows into a microwave safe bowl. Heat it for 30 seconds at a time until the marshmallows are melted. Stir in between each interval. It should only take about 1 minute to melt the marshmallows. Let it cool for a minute so that it’s not super hot to touch. You can use plastic gloves if you prefer, but I found them difficult to use so I winded up taking them off. Dip your fingers into the marshmallow and then open your fingers wide and stretch the marshmallow all around the cake. Repeat the process until you’re happy with how it looks. This process was extremely messy, but really fun.
- Pipe the spiderweb – Using #3 tip from the Wilton writing tip set, pipe a vertical line across the cake. Pipe a horizonal line and then two diagonal lines across the cake. You can use your icing smoother to mark out where you will pipe. Once you have the 4 lines, connect the lines by piping curved lines. This creates the web pattern. You can do as many rows of curved lines as you wish. Above is another example with more curved lines.
- Add decorations – You can add plastic spiders along the sides and top. I used a larger plastic spider for the top. You can make these out of fondant, but this was simple enough.
Tips Before You Get Started
- Make sure the ingredients for the cake are at room temperature.
- Wrap your cakes up in plastic wrap and foil and freeze them for a bit before decorating. This makes decorating much easier and seals in the moisture of the cake.
- If possible, let your buttercream frosting sit overnight to get a deeper color.
- Practice piping the spiderweb on parchment paper before piping onto the cake.
- Be very careful working with the marshmallow and make sure it’s not too hot.
Here are some of the supplies I used to complete the spiderweb cake:
See instructions above to create the spiderweb look of the cake. Below is the recipe for the vanilla cake to make the base layers of the cake.
- 2 cups cake flour (280 g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 egg whites
- 2 sticks of butter (226 g) - room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar (280 g)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup milk room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream (125 g) room temperature
- 1 cup butter (227 g) room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco) (100 g)
- 6 cups sifted powered sugar (750 g)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Butter and flour three 6 inch cake tins and line with parchment paper.
- Combine all the dry ingredients (cake flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda) in a medium bowl, whisk together and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the milk, sour cream and vanilla together. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed (4) for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Whisk the egg whites together with a fork and slowly drizzle the egg whites into the mixture. Keep it on low speed (2) until all the egg whites are added and then increase the speed to high (8) for about 1-2 minutes until combined. (May look curdled but it will smooth out as you beat). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- On low speed, add half of the dry ingredients and mix until barely incorporated. Then add half of the milk mixture and mix for a few seconds. Then add the remaining dry ingredients mixing for a few seconds and then add the remaining milk mixture. Turn off the mixer and mix it by hand with a rubber spatula to make sure the batter is combined. Do not overmix the batter.
- Pour the batter evenly into the pans (about a third of the way full). Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the cakes are cooked. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, if it comes out clean then it's done.
- Allow cakes to cool completely (15-20 minutes) and then gently remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to rest on a wire rack.
Make the Buttercream Frosting
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening on medium speed until smooth and creamy (2-3 minutes). Add half of the powdered sugar and beat of low speed for 30 seconds. Add a 1/4 cup of the milk and mix on low. Add the remaining powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Mix on low for 30 seconds and gradually increase the speed to high and beat for 2 minutes. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If is it too thick, add more milk.
- Add a layer of buttercream between each cake layer. Cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Use an offset spatula and a bench scraper to smooth the frosting. Put the cake in the fridge for at least 10 minutes and then apply another thin layer of frosting to the sides and top of the cake. If desired, add food coloring to a small amount of frosting and pipe buttercream flowers on the sides.