I’m going to show you three fun Halloween cake ideas for mini cakes but any of these designs will work on bigger cakes, too!
Jack-o-lantern Halloween cake
To assemble a mini cake you’ll need mini cake layers. I'm using my Very Vanilla 4 inch cakes. Level them using a serrated knife like a bread knife so that your cake will be straight. Divide your cake layers in half horizontally if you want to add filling to the middle. Then assemble the cake on a cake board so it’s on a flat surface. I’ll show you how to transfer the cake to a cake stand or platter later.
You can use whatever fillings you like for these. I’m using my 4 Minute Buttercream tinted with orange gel for this cake because it’s going to be a jack-o-lantern.
It’s always a good idea to apply a crumb coat of frosting to the top and sides of the cake. This is a thin layer of frosting to trap any crumbs that come off the cake. Let that set for 30 minutes in the fridge or 15 minutes in the freezer before applying your final coat of frosting. Once it’s nice and smooth, put the cake in the fridge for an hour or the freezer for 30 minutes. This chills the frosting and makes it firm, which is essential for decorating it next.
Meanwhile, make your own cake stencil using a piece of parchment paper or wax paper or baking paper. Draw a jack-o-lantern face with a pencil, referring to your cake or cake pans to check the size. Pencil is the easiest to use on parchment paper because pen doesn’t work very well on the coating on the paper. Cut the design out and when the frosting on the cake is firm, place the stencil on top.
Spread black frosting over it. I share all of my tips for tricky frosting colours like black frosting in this tutorial. Cover the whole design and then scrape off the excess to smooth it. You want a really thin layer so it doesn’t bulge up from the cake.
Peel the stencil off straight away and voila! A creepy jack-o-lantern!
Mummy mini cake
Next up: a mummy cake. Spread or pipe a dot of frosting on the middle of the cake board and press the first cake layer into that. The dot will set and hold the cake in place while you frost it. This is especially important for mini cakes because they weigh so little that with just a bit of pressure from your offset spatula or cake comb, they’ll slip and slide all over the cake board if you don’t attach them with something. Cover the cake with a crumb coat and let it set. You can speed up the process by chilling it. Then spread a smear of black frosting over the top of the cake. This will stick out from between the mummy’s bandages. Pipe two big dots of frosting for the eyes using a round tip like a 1A or 2A. I used yellow but you could choose green or red or whatever colour you like.
Smooth the dots with an offset spatula. Then dip a toothpick into the black frosting and poke it into each dot. This makes the black centers of the eyes.
I think it’s easiest to pipe bandages around the sides of the cake first. Use a petal tip or a flat petal tip or a ribbon tip. You can hold a petal tip either way around for these, with the narrow part of the teardrop shape facing upwards or downwards. The wide end makes a thicker bandage and the narrow end gives the bandage a more ruffly edge. You can criss cross these if you want to.
For the top of the cake I like to outline the eyes first. You can touch up the lines with an offset spatula to nudge them or smooth them. Then I like to pipe a ribbon around the curve at the bottom of the mummy to create a neat edge.
Fill in the rest of the top of the cake with piped bandages. This is a fun design because it doesn’t need to be perfectly neat, which takes the pressure off as you’re decorating!
Spiderweb Halloween cake
The next of these Halloween cake ideas is a spiderweb cake! Cover a cake with black frosting or dark purple would look great too. Check out this tutorial for black frosting that won’t stain your teeth.
Chill the cake in the fridge for an hour or the freezer for 30 minutes. The frosting will get very firm, which is perfect for this technique. Place a spiderweb stencil on top of the cake. Intricate stencils like this are too detailed to make with parchment paper but you can buy them online. This one is made by Sweet Stamp and you can use my code BGB10 for a discount! Spread plain white frosting on top of the stencil and scrape off the excess with an offset spatula.
Then peel the stencil off to leave a perfectly detailed spiderweb behind!
Now I’ll show you how to add finishing touches and how to transfer these cakes to cake stands.
How to move a cake to a cake stand or platter
For any of these Halloween cake ideas, it's easiest to frost the cake on a cake board. After chilling the cakes so the frosting is very firm you can move it to a cake stand or platter. Slide an offset spatula underneath the cake and all the way around. This loosens the bottom of the frosting from the cake board. Make sure you slice through the dot of buttercream in the middle of the cake board too, since that’s holding the cake in place. Then lift the cake up and move it onto a cake stand!
Here are a few tips for this. Have your cake stand or platter ready, right next to the cake, before you move it. This way you'll have the shortest distance to travel with the cake! After you push your offset spatula underneath the cake, hold it still as your spin your turntable. Push down to make sure the bottom edge of the frosting on the cake stays straight.
You'll need to balance the cake with your fingers as you lift or lower it and that's fine! If you’ve chilled your cake properly, the frosting will be very firm and pressure from your fingers won't damage it.
Add any borders around the bottom of the cake after transferring the cake onto the cake stand. This is a tiny #18 tip for this spiderweb cake:
For this jack-o-lantern cake I’m using a slightly bigger #199 open star tip:
I hope this tutorial has been useful! Tell me in the comments which mini Halloween cake is your favourite! Check out my cake school for online courses on hundreds of cake designs and techniques.