Cuisine Fiend

spider web chocolate cake


Halloween chocolate cake

The main thing is the decoration – my lame attempt at spider web is just a suggestion. Lots of sugar bats, ghosts, witchy sprinkles can be thrown onto it instead.

The cake is so easy to make it’s embarrassing – but excellent for the kids to be engaged. It's Nigella's recipe from 'Feast'.

For a grown-up non-Halloween version I would slice it, layer with apricot conserve or chocolate buttercream – and keep the dark chocolate topping. You can’t beat good ganache.

Spider web cake

spider web chocolate cake


  • For the chocolate cake:
  • 200g plain flour
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 175g softened butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • chocolate extract (optional, but the cake isn’t very chocolaty so for extra oomph)
  • 150ml soured cream
  • For the topping:
  • 60g good quality dark chocolate
  • 50g double cream
  • a little knob of butter
  • For the spider web drizzle:
  • 30g white cooking chocolate
  • 10g double cream


To make the cake, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well until all the lumps disappear. Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking parchment and preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Pour the cake mix into the tin and bake for about 30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a cake rack.

Prepare the dark chocolate glaze: chop the dark chocolate as finely as possible. Place the cream and butter in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 30 seconds until boiling. Immediately add the chopped chocolate and leave to stand for a couple of minutes, then whisk until smooth. Spread over the cooled cake with a palette knife.

Make the white ganache in a similar way but because there’s so little cream this time, microwave it with the chopped white chocolate for 20 seconds, then let it stand for a minute. Whisk together, put into a piping bag and drizzle the spider web pattern over the cake: drizzle a spiral starting from the centre, drag lines across the spiral from the middle outwards and pipe more ganache along those lines. Leave to set.

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