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Halloween Layer Cake

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.
  • Makes
    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 zest
  • 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


  • 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.
  • Pour into a greased and floured 9-in. round baking pan. Add orange extract, zest 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 529 calories, 18g fat (10g saturated fat), 99mg cholesterol, 307mg sodium, 89g carbohydrate (67g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

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  • Donielle
    Oct 12, 2020

    Ive made this every October for years.If it doesnt come out right.Its because you screwed up.The recipe requires the freshest ingredients.As well as attention to measurements and baking time.I use Pillsbury flour and large brown eggs.The frosting and glaze are perfect.Use the best chocolate and vanilla.Fresh heavy cream and fresh orange zest.Dont over bake your layers.

  • Channel
    Jul 13, 2020

    It's gonna be awesome & fun to make at ma new ??

  • Aman
    Dec 21, 2017

    What a nice and so haunting cake it is.

  • mikelssword
    Oct 30, 2017

    I made this cake for a Halloween party this past Saturday and it was a great hit!! I baked it in 3 8-inch pans and doubled the frosting recipe so I would have enough to put a border around the bottom and the top, I made a mound of frosting on the top, put a pile of candy corn on and around and drizzled the ganache over the candy corn! It was a beautiful cake!

  • MinnieCooks
    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
    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
    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
    Oct 24, 2014

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

  • merrikat
    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
    Sep 3, 2014

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