Chocolate spider cake



35 min


2 hrs 30 min


8 servings

* PLUS 1Hr 30Min cooling time
Chocolate spider cake

Photo: Erik Putz

The itsy bitsy spider cake just took your Halloween party to the next level. Guests will fight over the adorable cookies spiders.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk , at room temperature


  • 2 3/4 cups icing sugar , sifted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder , sifted
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/4 cup 35% cream


  • 1/3 cup 35% cream
  • 100 g finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate , or chips (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white chocolate , or chips


  • Preheat oven to 325F. Butter two 9-in. round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment.
  • Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Beat butter with sugars in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium, until fluffy, about 3 min. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down sides of bowl after each egg. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed and beat one-third of flour mixture, then add half the buttermilk. Repeat, scraping down sides until flour is well mixed. Divide batter evenly between pans and smooth tops.
  • Bake until a cake tester inserted in centre of cakes comes out clean, 25 to 30 min. Cool cakes in pans on a rack for 10 min. Run a knife around inside edge of each pan, then turn cakes out onto rack. Remove parchment. Let cool completely, about 1 hr.
  • For icing, whisk icing sugar and cocoa in a medium bowl. Beat butter in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high, until fluffy, about 1 min. Reduce speed to medium-low and add icing sugar mixture, alternating with cream and ending with icing sugar mixture, until blended. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, 2 to 3 min.
  • Place one cooled cake layer on a large plate or cake stand and spread 1 cup icing on top, right to edges. Top with second cake layer and thinly spread remaining icing on top and around sides of cake. Refrigerate until icing is firm, about 30 min.
  • For glaze, microwave cream in a small bowl until hot, about 45 sec. Add semi-sweet chocolate and stir until smooth. Microwave white chocolate in a small bowl, stirring every 20 sec, until melted, about 1 min. Scrape melted white chocolate into a small resealable zip-top bag.
  • Pour glaze over cake, spreading right to edges, letting it slightly run down sides. Cut small piece off one corner of zip-top bag, and pipe white chocolate in concentric circles on cake, 1/2 in. apart, starting from outside and moving to centre. From centre of cake, drag a toothpick or tip of a knife outward to form a spider web.

To make spiders

Cut black licorice candy string into 1½-in. pieces. Gently twist apart mini chocolate sandwich cookies. Press three strings into cookie icing, with ends sticking out. Reattach top cookie, using melted white chocolate as glue. Pipe two dots of white chocolate on top of cookies for eyes.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 842,
  • Protein
  • 10 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 114 g,
  • Fat
  • 43 g,
  • Fibre
  • 5 g,
  • Sodium
  • 505 mg.

Originally published in the Today’s Parent September/October 2019 issue. Photo by Erik Putz.