Halloween Skeleton Cake

I've always loved dressing up.  For any reason.  Halloween's no exception.

My friend Maddie's parents have a record of amazing Halloween parties.  I was not disappointed!  There were decorations from floor to ceiling and they had tons of themed food.  

I brought a two-layer chocolate cake.  It was filled with organic raspberry jam and coated with melted chocolate.  So easy and delicious!  The decorations were the challenging part :-)

Ingredients for the cake*:
Adapted from The Pretty Bee

1 1/2 c. cake flour
1 c. organic sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (I used a blend of cocoa powders)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder, aluminum-free
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vinegar
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. dark spiced rum, like Kraken

*You will need to double this recipe for a two layer cake, using 8-9 inch cake rounds.

Chocolate coating:
1 c. vegan chocolate, melted
1 tsp. coconut oil, melted

Decorations:
vegan royal icing
vegan sprinkles or other decorations

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a cake tin with organic shortening or coconut oil.  

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Combine the materials and make a well in the middle of the bowl.

Have the liquid ingredients measured and ready to go before you start to pour.  Pour both the water/rum and vinegar/oil into the well.  Stir well.

This recipe make one 8 inch cake.  Pour the batter into the cake tin(s).  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Insert a toothpick into the center and see that it comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool completely.

Once the cakes are cooled, use a knife to even them out.  I could have done a better job, but I also knew that I could fix it later with the coating.  Spread the raspberry jam between the layers and then stack them on top of each other.  (I usually position the original tops so that they are facing the middle filling; they're usually the ugliest haha!)

  Ideally, these cakes should be a bit closer together.  Shave yours down a little more before stacking them.

  Ideally, these cakes should be a bit closer together.  Shave yours down a little more before stacking them.

While this is going on, melt the chocolate, either in the microwave, stove top in a double boiler, or in the oven.  Simply pour the melted chocolate on top of the cake and spread it out evenly with a spatula.  Even if you are messy, you can always clean up the excess chocolate on the plate.  Don't dwell too much on the cracks and crevices; you can go over them again later.  Stick the cake in the fridge for 30-45 minutes to let the coating harden.

After, take the cake out and fill in any cracks or weird spots with more chocolate.  Allow it to harden again.

You're now ready to decorate!  Make your icing and place it in a squeezy bottle or piping bag.  I love the way many colors look, but I hate making them.  You can always do a black/white/sepia colored cake.  I kind of did that :-)

There are a lot of photos online to look at for inspiration.  I'd like to think that mine is a simple pattern that you can follow.  Fancy decorating is not my strong suit.

Whatever you decide to do, this cake tastes delicious!  Happy Halloween!

Cheers,
-Aileen