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This spiderweb cake is perfect for Halloween. A rich chocolate cake and a marshmallow fluff cobweb that makes a fun and spooky treat.
Y’all already know how much I love Halloween. Our town in the Netherlands doesn’t celebrate Halloween with trick or treating, so we had to get a bit creative. Some towns do trick or treat, but unfortunately our town is not one of them. I’m hoping we can convince them to start! We still wanted the boys to have a fun Halloween experience so we decided to host a Halloween party.
For the party, I created a spiderweb cake with a decadent chocolate cake, marshmallow fluff cobwebs, piped spiderweb and fondant spiders.I really wanted to make a go-to chocolate cake so I made a rich, decadent chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. I’m not a huge fan of death by chocolate cake. I think chocolate cake should taste rich and decadent, but also light enough so it’s not overpowering. I learned two tricks to enhance the flavor of the chocolate:
- Blooming cocoa powder – By using boiling hot water or some other warm liquid (butter), you can “bloom” the cocoa powder which brings out the chocolate flavor.
- Espresso – By adding just a teaspoon of espresso, it enhances the flavor of the chocolate. Some people use hot coffee which essentially both blooms the cocoa powder and adds the coffee to bring out the flavor.
For the spiderweb cake, I wanted a realistic looking cobweb to go on the side of the cake. I got the idea from Handmade Charlotte’s marshmallow web cupcake topper. Instead of the melted marshmallows, I thought I would try marshmallow fluff. I think it worked ok, but it was a bit runnier than I would have liked. I would like to try the melted marshmallows to see it would hold in place. Basically, I took marshmallow fluff with my hands and stretched it out over the sides of the cake. This process was extremely messy, but also really fun.
For the spiderweb top, I used white buttercream and a #3 tip from the Wilton writing tip set. Here are the steps I used to create the spiderweb cake top. I’ll try to upload a video of the process so you can see how to do it. Nerdy Nummies has a great tutorial for a SpiderMan cake that helped me create a simple spiderweb for the cake.
- Pipe a straight line across the cake
- Pipe another straight line that divides the cake into quarters
- Pipe two more diagonal lines across the cake
- Put dots along the lines so you have a guide of where to put the inner webbing
- Pipe upside down smiley faces to connect the dots
- Continue connecting the dots until you have a complete spider web
For the spiderweb cake, I had to have a few spiders. I used store bought black fondant because making black fondant from scratch is a pain. I rolled out the spider body and head and attached it with a little water. Then, I rolled small pieces of black fondant to make the legs and let them dry for about 2 hours and then attached them to the spider. I used white and black fondant to make the eyes and used a shell fondant sculpting tool to “scratch” up the spider.
Tips Before You Get Started
- Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature.
- Let the liquid ingredients come to a small boil and be careful not to boil it for too long. Once it starts to bubble, take it off the heat.
- Pipe the spiderweb on a piece of parchment paper before you pipe it onto the spiderweb cake.
- Let the fondant spiders dry a few hours, preferably over night before attaching them to the cake.
Here are some of the supplies I used to complete the spiderweb cake:
- Wilton writing tip set
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Offset spatula
- Digital food scale
- Black fondant
- Shell fondant sculpting tool
- Silicone mat
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- 2 cups all-purpose flour 300g
- 2 cups sugar 400g
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cups cocoa powder 75g
- 1 teaspoon expresso powder or instant espresso
- 1/2 cup butter 120g
- 1 cup water 195g
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil 100g
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk 120g
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper. If you don't have buttermilk, add 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar to the 1/2 cup of milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl or mixer, add the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk the ingredients together.
- In a medium saucepan, add the cocoa powder, espresso powder, butter, water and oil. Heat over medium heat and whisk together over a medium-low heat. Once you see bubbles the sides of the pan, remove from the heat.
- Slowly add the hot chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix on low (1) for about 2-3 minutes. Feel the sides of the bowl, if they are slightly warm then you can continue. If the sides are really hot to the touch, stop mixing and let it sit for a 1-2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and eggs to the buttermilk and add the liquid mixture slowly to the rest of the cake batter.
- Mix the batter on low (1-2) for about 2 minutes to make sure it is combined. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. The batter will be runny.
- Distribute the batter evenly among the two 8" cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until it a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.
- Once they have baked, remove the cakes onto a cooling rack and let them completely cool to the touch (about 30-40 minutes). Then remove the cakes carefully from the pans and leave them on the cooling rack.