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Halloween Layer Cake Recipe

Halloween Layer Cake Recipe

There's nothing "scary" about this cake. I make it every Halloween for my husband, Mike, and our three children. —Karen Wirth, Tavistock, Ontario
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. YIELD:12-16 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 10 drops yellow food coloring
  • 6 drops red food coloring
  • 9 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 5-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 8 drops yellow food coloring
  • 6 drops red food coloring
  • GLAZE:
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Candy corn for garnish


  • 1. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add alternately with milk to creamed mixture. Mix well. Combine cocoa, water and vanilla; stir in 2 cups cake batter.
  • 2. Pour into a greased and floured 9-in. round baking pan. Add orange extract, peel and food coloring to remaining batter. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
  • 3. In a bowl, beat all frosting ingredients until smooth. Place one orange cake layer on a cake plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with chocolate layer; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with second orange layer. Frost the sides and top of each.
  • 4. Microwave chocolate and cream on high 1-1/2 minutes or until blended, stirring once. Stir until smooth; let cool 2 minutes. Slowly pour over cake, letting glaze drizzle down sides. Garnish with candy corn. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 529 calories, 18g fat (10g saturated fat), 99mg cholesterol, 307mg sodium, 89g carbohydrate (67g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

Reviews for Halloween Layer Cake

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MinnieCooks User ID: 8912535 256138
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2016

"I made this cake yesterday for a Sunday School treat. I read other reviews that stated that it was dry so I was very careful with the baking time. I baked the layers for 19 minutes instead of the 30 called for in the recipe and checked the doneness with a toothpick so as not to over bake. It was EXTREMELY dry. As a matter of fact I threw the uneaten cake in the trash. And there was a lot uneaten! It was a very cute cake and had good orange flavor but I wouldn't spend time making it again."

MrsGoodrich User ID: 7704397 256115
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2016

"This recipe didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. The cake layers are a bit dense, almost like pound cake consistency. I didn't have any problems with the thickness of the frosting, as others have had, but it's very, very sweet. And the chocolate glaze didn't turn out well either, it was smooth as first but as it cooled, it almost looked like it curdled so when I poured over the top of the cake, it just sat there. I had to use a spatula to get it to run down the sides. I do like the subtle orange flavor of the two layers, and mixed with the frosting, it tastes like candy corn or an orange creamsicle. I like the idea of the cake but I think next time, I will use my own recipes for the cakes and frosting and just add the colors."

LynsIn User ID: 7741838 11642
Reviewed Oct. 26, 2014

"Would not make. Almost 6 cups of sugar. So who needs that for your health plus all the cream chees? Crazy to have that much sugar in one cake."

jimmie785 User ID: 7639109 16206
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2014

"this so good you will see all guest say . give the recipe"

merrikat User ID: 759638 201358
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2014

"It's okay but the cake is pretty dry. I used a cream cheese frosting recipe that uses butter and it was delicious. This makes a pretty cake but there are better cake recipes out there. Will not make again."

fnstlug User ID: 3658849 16140
Reviewed Sep. 3, 2014

"Pretty standard orange chocolate cake. It turned out a little dry, but that might just be me :("

Shirleyewing User ID: 6874330 38917
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2013

"Great cake!"

mkaskela User ID: 6061564 28526
Reviewed Oct. 27, 2013

"Not as difficult as it looks."

MY REVIEW User ID: 3163983 9431
Reviewed Nov. 21, 2012


tulip969 User ID: 6932609 11641
Reviewed Oct. 22, 2012

"I would make this recipe again with the following modifications. Double the frosting so that the layers, especially the chocolate layer, aren't' visible. Chill the layers after each addition of frosting to prevent sliding and insert wooden skewers. Some people said this cake was dry, while others thought is tasted like a cream sickle. I'll give it one more try before Halloween."

marilyn402 User ID: 4632391 21283
Reviewed Nov. 5, 2011

"I made this cake for a dinner with friends. I had no problem with the frosting, but the glaze, although tasty, was more like a glob. Everyone enjoyed it and looked very pretty."

Steponme User ID: 5923750 12487
Reviewed Nov. 2, 2011

"I used this recipe to make marble cupcakes with the orange & chocolate batters for my daughter's birthday last night. They turned out excellent! The cake, frosting and glaze taste great and had wonderful texture."

ESauer5155 User ID: 7807 11640
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2011

"I also was excited to make this cake for my daughter's birthday. I had the same problem with the frosting as CARLInU11. The cake slid around and it was hard to keep the frosting on. I am a pretty good baker, but this one didn't work because of the frosting. I too kept adding more sugar to get it to thicken, but it didn't work. The cake was fine though. I really have never had this happen before. I may give it another try sometime, but use a different frosting recipe."

DAORLO User ID: 5816876 12469
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2011

"Looks impessive, fairly easy to make, tastes great. The texture was a little coarse, but othewise a great cake!"

CARLInLU11 User ID: 6145929 12300
Reviewed Oct. 28, 2011

"I was so excited to make this cake and felt let down with the outcome. The texture of the cake was overall "gooey" and the flavor of the chocolate layer was very bland. The frosting was way to runny and I had to add more sugar to it to thicken it. If I were to make it again I would use my own cake recipe or even a boxed mix would be better than this recipe. My party is tomorrow and I feel as though I need to make something else...really bummed!!"

msm93 User ID: 34416 5484
Reviewed Oct. 25, 2011

"Didn't make this. But I will make with a box mix and tint a can of icing:)"

sharib123 User ID: 5181417 12467
Reviewed Oct. 25, 2011

"Fabulous and oh so pretty! Big hit!

"I was thrown off by "stir in 2 cups of batter", I believe it should actually read "reserve 2 cups of batter". " It actually means stir the cocoa, water and vanilla into 2 cups of the batter. That way the center layer is cocoa and the other two layers are orange."

cafeheaven2 User ID: 4340441 12299
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2011

"Ok, just to clarify for myself and everyone; in the first directions paragraph, I was thrown off by "stir in 2 cups of batter", I believe it should actually read "reserve 2 cups of batter". Now it makes sense. This cake just looks and sounds too good to pass up, and I really wanted to try it. Thanks."

bonnmsamp User ID: 114208 37242
Reviewed Oct. 23, 2011

"I haven't made this cake yet! Just trying to print recipe."

woodcrestfoodlady User ID: 6267012 38903
Reviewed Oct. 23, 2011

"Haven't made the cake yet, but it looks adorable. The recipe says it makes 12 to 16 servings. The nutrition information doesn't clarify whether the serving they calculated is 1/12th or 1/16th of the cake.

This is troubling."

chefette13 User ID: 4336825 11638
Reviewed Oct. 23, 2011

"Wonderful cake!! Great for an adult group or kids! thanks for sharing."

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