Wacky Web Halloween Cake

45 minutes + 30 minutes Serves 12


  • 375 g butter, softened
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups plain flour
  • 2 Tbsp cornflour
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp red food colouring
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 500 g cream cheese, softened
  • 5 cups soft icing sugar
  • Liquorice strips for web
  • Brown & orange M&Ms or other lollies, for decoration
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1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan-forced). Grease 2 deep 22cm round cake pans; line bases and sides with baking paper.

2. Beat 125g butter (leave remaining for icing), 1 tsp extract (leave remaining for icing) and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between additions.

3. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; stir in sifted flours and cocoa and then combined buttermilk and food colouring, in 2 batches.

4. Combine vinegar and soda in a cup; allow to fizz then fold into cake mixture. Divide mixture between pans.

5. Bake cakes for about 30 minutes or until cooked when tested. Stand cakes 10 minutes before turning top-side up onto a wire rack to cool.

6. Freeze cakes for 40 minutes to make splitting and decorating easier.

Cream Cheese Icing

1. Meanwhile, make cream cheese icing: beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.

2. Add butter and vanilla, beat until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sifted icing sugar.

3. Split cold cakes in half so that you have 4 layers of cake. Place one layer on serving plate, cut-side up; spread with icing.

5. Repeat layering, finishing with remaining icing spread over top and side of cake.

6. Use licorice strips to create web on top. Decorate with spiders and sweets, if desired.

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