So-Easy-It’s-Spooky Bat Cake

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 25 min. + cooling


16 servings

Updated: Apr. 24, 2022
This gorgeous dessert starts with a boxed cake mix. Then it’s an easy and magical trick to make the bat silhouette with cocoa. —Crystal Schlueter, Babbitt, Minnesota


  • 1 devil's food or orange cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 teaspoon orange food coloring, optional
  • 4-2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Orange food coloring
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa, sifted
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 10 peanut butter cups, finely chopped
  • Dutch-processed cocoa or confectioners' sugar


  1. Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions, using two 9-in. round baking pans. If preparing orange cake, add orange food coloring. Cool as package directs.
  2. For bat design, cut a bat pattern from card stock. Wrap with foil.
  3. For devil's food cake, prepare orange frosting by beating confectioners’ sugar, butter, vanilla, food coloring and enough milk to reach a spreading consistency. For orange cake, prepare chocolate frosting by beating confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, butter, vanilla and enough milk for spreading.
  4. Using a long serrated knife, trim tops of cakes if domed. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting; sprinkle with chopped candies. Top with remaining cake layer, bottom side up. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
  5. Lay bat pattern on top of cake. Using a fine-mesh strainer, sift Dutch-processed cocoa or confectioners' sugar over frosting. Lift pattern carefully to remove.

Can you freeze So-Easy-It's-Spooky Bat Cake?

Wrap cooled cake layers in plastic, then cover securely in foil; freeze. To use, thaw cakes before unwrapping. Assemble as directed.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • This recipe is extremely flexible. Get creative by switching up your stencil or the flavor of your cake layers, and use any color frosting that floats your boat!
  • Less is more: Use a very gentle touch when sifting your cocoa or confectioner's sugar over the stencil. You can always go back and add more later, but you can't remove what's already there.
  • Nutrition Facts

    1 slice: 470 calories, 23g fat (10g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 424mg sodium, 63g carbohydrate (48g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.