Whilst you can enjoy red velvet cakes anytime of year I do think they lend themselves particularly well to Halloween with their bright red centres. This Halloween Red Velvet Cake is made with three gloriously scarlet sponges, filled with red fruit jam, covered in sweet vanilla buttercream and dripping in a blood red white chocolate ganache for that spooky factor! It would make a great centrepiece for a Halloween party, try displaying it with a plastic knife stabbed in the centre! Or if it’s not the time of year to scare your guests then omit the ganache and serve a pretty red velvet cake instead.
To make the sponge I started by creaming the butter and sugar together, then whisking in the eggs and buttermilk.
Then I added the flour, cocoa powder and red food colouring and whisked until combined.
I divided the mixture equally between my cake tins and baked them for 25 – 30 minutes. Then I left them to cool completely.
Next I made the buttercream by mixing the butter, icing sugar and vanilla together until smooth.
I layered up the cakes, first piping a ring of buttercream around the edge, and then filling the middle with jam.
Once they were stacked up I gave the whole cake a crumb coat and put it in the fridge to firm up.
Then I gave the cake a final coat of buttercream, and put it back in the fridge.
I made a white chocolate ganache that I coloured red with food colouring.
After I’d covered the cake with the ganache and let it drip down the sides, I added some extra buttercream around the top and some red sprinkles.
I thought the Halloween Red Velvet Cake looked perfectly creepy with the blood red ganache dripping down the sides! It could also take on a prettier effect at another time of year!
Despite it’s creepy appearance, the Halloween Red Velvet Cake was delicious and my friends and family were impressed by both the look and taste of the cake. And the dripping ‘blood’ didn’t put anyone off!
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Red Velvet Cake
For the sponge
- 500 g Butter or baking spread
- 500 g Caster sugar
- 6 Eggs
- 195 ml Buttermilk
- 500 g Self raising flour
- 3 tbsp Cocoa powder
- Red food colouring
For the buttercream
- 400 g Butter or baking spread
- 800 g Icing sugar
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
For the filling
- 200 g Strawberry or raspberry jam
For the ganache
- 110 g White chocolate
- 90 ml Double cream
- Red food colouring
- Red sprinkle optional
For the ganache
Make the ganache first so it has time to cool and thicken up
Heat the double cream in a pan on a low heat until it starts to steam
Remove from the heat, add the white chocolate and stir until it melts into the cream
Add the red food colouring until you have the desired shade
Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and put in the fridge to fully cool down
For the cake
Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line three 8" cake tins
Make the sponge by mixing the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl with a spoon until fluffy, or mix using an electric mixer
Add the eggs and buttermilk, and whisk until fully incorporated
Add the self raising flour and cocoa powder and whisk in until you can't see any flour anymore
Add the red food colouring and whisk until you get the desired shade
Divide the mixture between the tins, use scales for accuracy
Bake them for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave them to fully cool either in the tins or remove from the tin and place on cooling racks
To make the buttercream mix the butter and icing sugar together. Once it starts to come together add the vanilla extract and mix until smooth. I use my electric hand whisk to do this but you can also do it by hand with a spoon
If the cakes have domed on top, level them off with a cake leveller or a serrated knife
Put one of the sponges on a decorating turntable and use the crumb coat buttercream in the piping bag to pie a border of buttercream around the edge of the sponge - this is to stop the jam seeping into the buttercream that you will spread around the sides of the cake
Fill in the centre of the sponge with half of the jam, then add the next sponge on top
Do the same again - pipe a buttercream border and fill the centre with the remaining jam, then add the final sponge
Use more buttercream to fully crumb coat the cake, then put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up
Remove from the fridge and smooth on a final thicker layer of the buttercream, using a palette knife or icing smoother to make it smooth all over. Refrigerate again for 30 mins
Put the ganache into a piping bag and snip a small section off the end
Pipe blobs around the edge of the cake, allowing the ganache to drip down the sides in varying amounts
Pipe more ganache on top of the cake and use a palette knife to smooth it out
Then put the remaining buttercream into piping bags fitted with a nozzle of your choice and pipe rosettes in a circle on top of the cake
Add sprinkles if desired
Move the cake onto a serving plate or cake stand. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in a cool place or in the fridge for 2-3 days
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