Thursday, 29 October 2015

Halloween Chocolate Ghost Cake

Ah fiddlesticks.

Or, strictly speaking, as this is a Halloween themed post, broomsticks*.

There is, officially, a shortage of pumpkins. This 'crisis' has led to calls that the large rounded, orange squash-plant (pumpkin definitely has a better ring to it) should be replaced by the turnip. I'm not convinced. Not only because a turnip is reportedly harder to carve, but its rather like replacing Nigella in her latest TV series with the part-time chef from your local; disappointing, cheerless and a lot less glamourous.

But for all those of you dishearteningly chipping away at your turnip Jack o' Lantern this Halloween, comfort yourself by baking this super-easy, family-friendly (well, the ghost is a happy 'un) chocolate traybake.

* doesn't quite have the same impact, admittedly.

Cheerio Ghosty

Halloween Chocolate Ghost Cake
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 110ml boiling water
  • 100g soft butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 large  eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125ml milk
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125g full fat cream cheese
  • 250g sifted icing sugar
  • Black fondant icing

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 30x23cm/12x9in traybake tin 
  2. Place the cocoa powder in a large bowl, add the boiling water and mix until smooth. Add the softened butter and beat into the cocoa until smooth. Add the remaining cake ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined
  3. Pour into the tin, spread evenly and bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until well risen, firm to the touch and the cake is shrinking away from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
  4. Cut out a ghostly template from a piece of parchment paper to help guide your icing:

5. Beat together the sifted icing sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Pipe the icing around the ghostly template and spoon the remainder of the icing inside the piping, smoothing over. Decorate with the fondant icing shaped into your ghost's eyes, nose and happy smile!

Baker's Notes...

  • If you prefer a white chocolate icing simply beat together 50g melted white chocolate, 70g sifted icing sugar and 70g softened butter until smooth and thick
  • The cake would also suit a spooktastic spider's web design
  • This recipe is based on a recipe from the Queen of Traybakes, Dame Mary Berry 
  • Happy Halloween!


  1. It was years ago now, but I have actually seen a carved Halloween turnip. I don't think there was a shortage back then though, just somebody using what they had at the time! I love your cute ghostie decoration - you've made me want to bake something Halloweeny.

  2. I love this cake, the ghost is actually quite cute! I'm not sure about the pumpkin shortage as there's loads of them in my local Tesco!

  3. The cutest ghost - ever! Bet he tasted good too

  4. Same here, our local Tesco had mountains of them.......perhaps that 's why there's a shortage in the rest of the country.
    The cake looks wonderful, great fun and delicious.

  5. Such a cute Halloween cake! I'd happily eat my way through it :)


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