This Spiders Web Cake is a delicious Halloween themed vanilla cake, with purple, green and orange cake layers. Decorated with black chocolate food colouring and marshmallow spider’s web.
I am so excited to kick off Halloween season with this A-M-AZING cake! I mean just look at it. It is so much fun to make especially the marshmallow spiders web effect.
This spiders web cake style has been around for a few years now but I just had to put my own spin on it.
Spiders Web Cake
I made this cake a simple vanilla flavour but decided to colour it in Halloweeny colours. The cake is three layers similar to my Ultimate Chocolate Drip Cake and Cookie Dough Showstopper Cake. I used 8” loose-based cake tins it makes it so much easier to get the cake out once it has baked. I grease the bottom and sides of the cake and line them with greaseproof paper.
To make the Spiders Web Cake I started by creaming together the butter and sugar until it was lovely and fluffy. Next, I added in the remaining ingredients and mixed again.
To colour the cake batter I split the mixture into three bowls. I used Pro Gel Food Colouring in purple, orange and bright green but of course, you could use any colours you preferred.
I would recommend using a little food colouring at a time and gradually building the colour up. If you put too much in, to begin with then you can’t dull the colour down and you are stuck with it.
The reason I like Pro Gel Food Colouring is that you only need to use a tiny bit of colouring to get such vibrant colours.
Pour the mixture into your cake tins and bake in the oven until they are golden brown in colour. Don’t worry if the colour dulls when you bake it, it is most likely the caramelisation on the top and sides of the cake. You will decorate the sides and top of the cake so when you cut into it the colour will still be as vibrant.
Are my cakes ready?
There are a few ways you can check that your cakes are ready. First off if you touch the cakes and they spring back then they are ready. You can also insert a cake skewer into the thickest part of the cake if it comes out clean then they are ready.
You can also listen to the cake if you can hear it bubbling and popping away then it is not ready. Pop it into the oven for another 3-4 minutes and check it again. Repeat until you remove the cake from the oven and it is silent.
While your cakes are cooling you can make the buttercream. I will say this does look like an awful lot of buttercream but when you are smoothing the sides you will scrape some of the buttercream off if you do have any leftover buttercream you can use it on cupcakes.
The buttercream on this cake is chocolate flavoured as you get such a better black colour using chocolate and food colouring compared with vanilla and black food colouring. I made the buttercream by mixing together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter until it was fully incorporated.
Next, I add in the black food colouring and whisk. Again I used Pro Gel Food colouring. It will go a darkish grey colour don’t worry you now need to leave the colour to develop, it will gradually go black.
If your cakes are cooled you can put the dark grey food colouring on and it will develop while it is on the cake. This is what I did. It was a dark grey colour when I started and by the time I had finished decorating the buttercream was completely black.
Filling and Crumb Coat
To smooth the buttercream onto the cake I used a piping bag with a large round nozzle. I spooned all of my buttercream into a piping bag and put my first cake on my cake drum. The easiest way to help smooth the buttercream would be to use a turntable. I piped the buttercream onto the top of my first cake and smoothed using a palette knife. Don’t worry if the buttercream splodges out the side we will use this as our crumb coat later.
I place the next cake on top and repeat until all my cakes are stacked. I stacked mine green on the bottom, purple in the middle and orange on top but you can stack the cakes in any order.
Now you want to go around the sides of the cake with your cake smoother and smooth the buttercream that has splodged out into the sides of the cake. This will fill in any gaps.
If once you have smoothed the buttercream around the sides of the cake there are still gaps pipe some of your buttercream onto the gaps and smooth again.
The crumb coat is just a light coat of buttercream to make sure all the crumbs are sealed in so they don’t show through in your top layer of buttercream. So, if you can still see the colours of the cake through the buttercream don’t worry. We will cover these.
Once you have done your crumb coat pop the cake into the fridge for the buttercream to set. This normally takes around 30 minutes.
Decorating the Sides of the Cake
Once your buttercream is hard, pipe the remaining buttercream around the sides of the cake and on top and smooth around the side again. I find the easiest way to do this is by using a turntable. Once the sides of your cake and lovely and smooth using a clean palette knife smooth the edges on the top of the cake into the centre. This will give you a lovely sharp edge on the top of your cake.
Pop your cake back into the fridge for your buttercream to set. Again this takes around 30 minutes.
Spiders Web Decoration
Once your buttercream has set we can make the marshmallow spiders web.
I used white marshmallows to make the web rather than the white and pink mixed marshmallows. If you can’t find plain white marshmallows you could always separate them out from the pink. Or you could use the pink too it would just make your spiders web pink.
You can make the spiders web two ways. The way I did it was by putting my marshmallows into a heatproof bowl and popping them into the microwave on 20-second bursts until they were melted and sticky.
If you don’t have a microwave or don’t want to use the microwave you can add the marshmallows to a saucepan and melt on the hob on a low/medium heat.
You will know they are ready because when you touch it, it will stick to your fingers and be stringy. If when you touch them your marshmallows are wet and not stringy you have warmed them up too much. Don’t worry though, leave them to cool for a few minutes and they will go stringy.
Now, this is the fun/messy part. It is quite hard to explain but if you put your fingers into the marshmallow and pick up lumps of it, the marshmallow should stretch wrap it around your cake. You don’t need to wrap it in the same direction you can wrap it right left and of course over the top until your cake is spider webby. You can finish it off using edible eyes or why not use spiders.
Caster Sugar – I used Tate and Lyle Caster Sugar in this recipe. The caster sugar helps add sweetness to the cake.
Unsalted butter – In the cake, you can use either Stork or Unsalted Butter. However, in the buttercream, you MUST use unsalted butter. If you don’t and use Stork or another baking spread instead it will just make your buttercream runny.
Self-Raising Flour – I use self-raising flour in my cakes because the flour is mixed with baking powder. This means that you will automatically get a lovely rise from your cakes.
Baking Powder – I always add in extra baking powder to my recipes. I use Dr Oetker Baking Powder. It just ensures that I always get a great rise in my cakes.
Eggs – I use eggs to my cake and a leavening ingredient. The yolk in the eggs also adds fat and makes the cakes lovely and light.
Vanilla Extract – I used Neilson Massey Vanilla Extract in this cake. It gives the cake a lovely vanilla flavour.
Icing Sugar – I used Silver Spoon icing sugar I don’t think you can make buttercream without icing sugar.
Cocoa Powder – I used a supermarket own brand cocoa powder in this recipe. Cocoa powder is the dry components of the cocoa bean after the cocoa butter has been extracted from chocolate liquor.
Marshmallows – I used a supermarket own brand of marshmallows. As I said above I used white marshmallows rather than the mixed pink and white.
Food Colouring – I used Pro Gel Food Colouring in this recipe to colour my cake batter and my buttercream.
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Spiders Web Cake
For the Cake
- 425 g Caster Sugar
- 425 g Unsalted Butter or Stork
- 425 g Self-Raising Flour
- 8 Large Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- Green, Orange, Purple Food Colouring
For the Buttercream
- 1 kg Icing Sugar
- 500 g Unsalted Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 50 g Cocoa Powder
- Black Food Colouring
For the Decoration
- 100 g White Marshmallows
To Make the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 170C (150C Fan). Line three 8 ”cake tins with greaseproof paper and leave to one side.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add in the flour, eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder and cocoa powder. Whisk until all combined.
- Split the mixture into three seperate bowls. Add the green food colouring to one bowl, the purple to another and the orange to another and mix. Until the cake batter reaches your desired colour.
- Pour the mixture into the individual cake tins and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. You will know they are ready when they are springy to touch.
- Leave them to cool in the cake tin for 15-20 minutes and then remove and put them on a wire rack to cool fully.
To Make the Buttercream
- Once your cakes have cooled make the chocolate buttercream.
- In a bowl mix together the icing sugar, butter, vanilla and cocoa powder until combined. The mixture will be quite thick.
- Add in the black food colouring and mix. It will go a dark grey colour to begin with but don't worry it will depelop into black.
- Put your buttercream into a piping bag with a large round nozzle and leave to one side.
- Place your first cake on your serving plate and pipe the buttercream on top. Smooth using a palette knife, don’t worry is any of the buttercream splodges out the side. Repeat until your cake is stacked.
- Using your cake smoother smooth around the sides of the cake. Don’t worry if you can see the cake through the buttercream, this is just the crumb coat. We will cover the cake soon.
- If there are any gaps, pipe buttercream into the gaps and then smooth again using your cake smoother.
- Once there are no gaps in your cake pop it into the fridge until the buttercream has hardened. Keep your buttercream in the piping bag and leave to one side.
- Once the buttercream has hardened, pipe the remaining buttercream onto the top of the cake and around the sides.
- Using your smoother, smooth around the sides, if there are any gaps fill these with the buttercream and continue to smooth around the sides until the cake is smooth. You will most likely take some of the buttercream off the cake if you do pop this back into your bowl.
- Using a palette knife smooth any buttercream into the top of the cake so you have nice sharp edges.
- Put the marshmallows into a heatproof bowl and put it into the microwave on 20-second bursts until they are sticky and stringy.
- Nowthis is the fun/messy part. It is quite hard to explain but if you put yourfingers into the marshmallow and pick up lumps of it, the marshmallow shouldstretch, wrap it around your cake
- Finish your cake off by using edible eyes or spiders.
- This cake will last in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
If you do have any questions about this Spiders Web Cake recipe or any other recipes on my blog you can contact me either by the Facebook message symbol in the bottom right corner of your screen. You can also send me a DM on social media or an email. You can find all my details on the right-hand side of this page.