Save on Pinterest

So-Easy-It’s-Spooky Bat Cake

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 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


  • 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.
  • For bat design, cut a bat pattern from card stock. Wrap with foil.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    Freeze option: 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.