Some people jump out of airplanes, others climb into cages in shark infested waters, and some, dare I say the bravest, decide to try to bake a cake with two kids. I used to think I had a problem with saying “no” to the kids when they asked to do something, but I’ve come to realize that I’m actually just an adrenaline junkie.
That has to be it, because I can’t think of any other reason as to why I got so giddy when Ben asked to make a Halloween cake rather than go to the zoo.
*Disclaimer: Do NOT let the cute baking picture with my kids fool you.
I strategically planned to make the batter 10 mins before nap time. They got to crack an egg, dump in some oil, & turn on the mixer. They loved it. Then I sent them up to bed and got to work. I loved it.
Anyway, lets get down to business on this SPIDER CAKE:
I used 2 strawberry (15.25oz) box cake mixes from Pillsbury to make the actual cake, which leads me to my first tip— I strongly recommend going with a vanilla cake. It took me an entire batch of white frosting to completely cover up the pink cake. Benjamin wanted strawberry however, so strawberry it was.
Next, I used my ALL TIME FAVORITE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING recipe which you can find here. I love it because it holds. It doesn’t ooze down the sides of the cake like canned frosting or other recipes I’ve tried.
For the ganache, I used:
- 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 11oz of white chocolate chips
- Wilton’s Icing Coloring, black (~half teaspoon or until desired color)
*I found my ganache to be a little thicker than I wanted. Consider adding ~1 tablespoon more of heavy whipping cream to achieve an better dripping effect.
- Make 2 boxes of your cake mix according to the box. I wanted three even layers so I measured 2 cups of batter per 8 in. cake pan (heavily greased), and baked them at 350° for 22 mins. There was leftover batter that I used to make 4 cupcakes. No batter left behind.
- After the cakes have cooled, cut the excess cake off the top of each layer so the cake has a flat surface on both sides.
- Wrap them individually in plastic wrap and rest in fridge while you make the frosting— link above.
- Put about 3 tbsp of frosting on the surface where you’ll be assembling the cake and place your first cake layer on top. Add frosting to the top of the first layer and smooth until thickness is about 1/2 inch thick. Do not frost the sides yet. Continue for next two layers.
- Put the remaining frosting in a large ziplock bag and cut a large hole out of the bottom corner of the bag to pipe frosting onto cake while rotating. Then go in with your icing spreader (or butter knife) and spread frosting until smooth.
- You can skip this step and spread frosting on without piping it, but I find it MUCH easier to pipe it on first then spread after.
- Next, make the ganache by heating the heavy whipping cream in the microwave for 45 seconds. Pour the white chocolate chips into the cream, and fold repeatedly. Heat milk and chips in 15 second intervals, folding in between, until completely melted and ganache is smooth.
- Reserve 3 tbsp of ganache in small ziplock bag (white ganache used for spider web)
- Add 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream to larger amount of ganache and fold in, then add black food coloring. Fold in until color is even, and pour into large ziplock bag.
- Cut a small hole in bottom corner, and beginning piping at the edge of the top of the cake. Rotate cake with one hand while gently squeezing piping bag every inch until complete. Try to use different pressure when squeezing so drips end up being different lengths. Start piping inwards towards the center of the cake until top is completely covered. Smooth TOP ONLY with icing spatula.
- Immediately after spreading, cut small hole in small ziplock bag with remaining white ganache and make a small 1 in. circle in center of cake. Continue making circles 1.5 inches apart until you reach the edge.
- Take a toothpick, and make a line from the center of the cake outward toward the edge. Do this about 6-8 times until desired “spider web” effect is achieved.
- Steps 10 & 11 must be done in about 5 mins. Once ganache sets, the toothpick will leave trenches rather than a smooth, blending finish.
There you have it- done. I know all the steps may seem daunting, but I finished it during a 2 hour nap span, so hopefully you can, too!
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment and I’ll answer them as best I can! If you end up trying this, I’d love to see your pictures! Mine certainly isn’t perfect, but the kids think I’m the new Duff Goldman, so at least I’ve got that going for me.