Boo! This spooky season, why not give this cute pink Halloween cake a try?
It has three layers of soft moist vanilla sponge with a dreamy pink vanilla buttercream frosting and a purple white chocolate drip. Top with edible eyes and other fun Halloween candy and sprinkles.
It's the best pink Halloween birthday cake!
✏️ Recipe creation
I wanted to make a big Halloween cake that would go great for sharing at a Halloween party dessert table or even a Halloween-themed birthday celebration. Because it’s an 8-inch Halloween layer cake, there’s plenty to go around.
It’s an adorable baby pink colour and combined with the purple drip, it’s the perfect happy Halloween cake for babies, kids (girls and boys) as well as adults to enjoy. It even has mini pink monsters topping it!
I’m a huge fan of a drip cake, so I just had to add a ganache drip to this Halloween treat.
This pink Halloween drip cake recipe calls for the following ingredients:
1. Vanilla cake
- Unsalted butter: room temp for easier mixing.
- White sugar (caster or white finely granulated sugar)
- Vegetable oil (or other neutral-flavoured oil)
- Vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste): extract or paste has a richer flavour than essence.
- All-purpose flour (plain flour)
- Baking powder
2. Pink buttercream
- Unsalted butter: room temp for easier mixing. Using unsalted allows you to control the amount of salt added.
- Icing sugar (powdered confectioners’ sugar)
- Vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
- Pink food colouring: gel-based colouring is best to reduce extra liquid added.
3. Purple ganache drip
- Heavy cream: use full-fat heavy cream e.g. double cream
- White chocolate: using baking white chocolate is best for ease of melting. Chop into small pieces or using baking melting chips.
- Purple food colouring: gel-based or oil-based food colouring is best for ganache.
- Halloween sprinkles
- Halloween eyes
See the recipe card for quantities.
Top tip: For accuracy, it’s best to weigh your ingredients rather than using cups.
This recipe is for a homemade vanilla cake with pink vanilla frosting from scratch.
However, you can instead swap either the cake or frosting for a store-bought version. You can also use a yellow cake or white cake boxed mix for the cake sponges.
I like to use a white sugar for the sponge cake, but you can instead swap this for golden caster sugar instead. This will give it a delicious caramel hint.
You can use any neutral flavoured oil for the cake sponge, such as vegetable, canola or sunflower oil.
Swap the plain all-purpose flour for self-raising flour and reduce the baking powder to only 1 tsp.
For the frosting, instead a pink food colouring for the frosting, you can use a small amount of red colouring.
For the ganache, instead of purple food colouring, you can swap this for a mix of red and blue colouring.
You can swap the pink icing in this recipe for another flavour.
If you’d like a naturally pink frosting, give this raspberry buttercream a try – it uses real raspberries for a punchy flavour!
Or for another Halloween colour, give this matcha buttercream or orange buttercream a try – gives your cake a deliciously spooky green or orange colour!
For a classic flavour, try this lemon buttercream – simply add a colouring of your choice!
Shades of pink
I like to make this Halloween cake with a cute baby pink shade for the frosting. However, you can pick different shades, like hot pink or pastel pink instead.
To do this, alter how much pink food coloring you add and only use a few drops at a time until it’s the colour you want.
Also, colouring normally intensifies over time, so it will develop a brighter shade after a few minutes to hours.
To level-up your easy Halloween cake, why not fill it with a homemade strawberry cake filling. It’s made from scratch using real strawberries!
Alternatively try this lemon curd cake filling – so much zesty flavour!
You can scale down the buttercream by ¼ if you’re swapping the frosting for a sauce filling.
Decorations and toppings
I love using a 1M piping tip to swirl the pink buttercream on top of the cake to make the mini monsters toppers.
You can instead pick any other piping tip of your choice and make your own shaped monsters! Just stick candy eyes in any pink blobs and you’ve got a cute Halloween monster cake.
I use mini bones and bats sprinkles for the cake sides, between the drips. I mean, who doesn’t love tiny bats??
You can use any kind of Halloween sprinkle you find, or even your favourite Halloween candies like candy corns!
Another Halloween topper idea is to use pink Halloween decorations like pink skull candies.
You can also swap the orange candy melts for pink ones in this pumpkin cake pop recipe – leave out the sticks and use them to make edible pink Halloween cake toppers!
To make a gluten-free Halloween cake, swap the plain flour for gluten-free flour. I recommend using a gluten-free plain flour blend, such as King Arthur's measure for measure flour or Freee from Doves Farm.
You should also add 1 teaspoon of xantham gum to the vanilla cake batter if your flour blend doesn’t already include this in the ingredients.
For gluten-free cake success, add an extra 4 tablespoon milk to the batter. Beat your batter really well and let it stand for 30mins before pouring it into your cake tins and baking.
You might also need to bake your cakes for an extra 5-10mins.
Alternatively, why not give this gluten-free tequila rose white chocolate Halloween cake instead!
I use the following equipment for this recipe:
- 8inch / 20cm round cake pans (x3)
- Parchment greaseproof paper (or parchment cake circles)
- Cake belts (optional, but highly recommend!)
- Electric hand mixer or stand mixer
- Large and medium mixing bowls
- Silicone spatula or wooden spoon
- Weighing scales (or measuring cups)
- Measuring spoons
- Wire cooling rack
- Piping bag and piping tip (e.g. Wilton 1M)
I usually use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer for the cake and frosting in this recipe – makes it super easy!
However, you can also use a whisk, spatula or fork. It might take some elbow grease, though…
If you’re after a smooth and pro finish, use a cake leveller or knife to cut any domed peaks on your cake.
Next, use a cake turntable, offset spatula and cake scraper to decorate your cake. Cover your cake in a crumb coat of frosting first, refrigerate for 15mins, then add another layer of frosting, scraping to smooth it.
- Before you start baking, prepare your cake tins first. Grease them with butter or cooking oil spray, then line them with greaseproof paper (baking parchment).
- For extra non-stick power, grease your paper once it’s in the tin and you can also sprinkle in all-purpose plain flour too.
- I use greaseproof paper circles, already pre-cut for the cake tin size, to line my cake tins. You can also use a strip for the sides, but for simple cakes I usually skip this - I’m a lazy baker!
- I like using digital scales for weighing my ingredients as it's easy and accurate.
- It’s best to use actual measuring spoons. Cutlery teaspoons and tablespoons aren’t actually the correct volume - who knew!?
- I’d also recommend levelling off any heaped scoops for a more accurate measurement.
- When using a stand mixer, I like to use the paddle attachment with a low speed for the cake batter and a medium speed for the buttercream.
- It’s a good idea to scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl every so often so you get an even mixture.
- Leave your vanilla sponges to cool in the tins for at least 20mins before transferring them to a wire rack to finish. If they’re too warm, the sponges might break when you remove them from the tin.
First, preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C (fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F.
Steps 1 - 2: For the sponges, cream together the butter, sugar and oil using a spatula, electric hand mixer or stand mixer, until light and pale.
Steps 3 - 4: In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, milk and vanilla until combined.
Step 5: Beat half of the wet ingredients mix into the butter mix.
Step 6: Sieve in half of the flour and beat in until smooth.
Steps 7 - 8: Stir in the remaining wet mix.
Steps 9 - 10: Sieve in the remaining flour and the baking powder, folding in until only just combined.
Step 11: Divide the batter evenly between three greased and lined 8-inch cake tins and bake in the oven for 25-30mins until risen and a skewer comes out clean from the middle of the cakes.
Step 12: Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 20mins before removing and transferring them to a wire rack while you make the frosting.
Step 1: Beat the butter (either by hand, using an electric mixer or stand mixer) until pale, light and fluffy. This could take several minutes.
Steps 2 - 3: Sieve half of the icing sugar into the butter and beat until combined.
Step 4: Repeat this with the remaining half of the icing sugar.
Steps 5 - 6: Add in the vanilla extract, salt and milk (1 tablespoon at a time until you get a spreadable consistency), beating until smooth.
Steps 7 - 8: Stir in pink food colouring, a few drops at a time, until you get the desired pink colour.
Step 1: Cut off any domed peaks to your cooled sponges (optional).
Place roughly ⅕ of the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice (I like an open-star tip like Wilton 1M) and set it aside for later.
Step 2: Place one cooled sponge onto a flat plate or cake board and spread roughly ¼ of the remaining buttercream on top.
Step 3: Place the second sponge on top and spread on another ¼ of buttercream.
Step 4: Place the final sponge on top and cover the cake (top and sides) in the rest of the frosting, smoothing lightly with a spatula and cake scraper.
Step 1: Heat the cream over a double-boiler or in the microwave (20 secs at a time), until hot but not boiling and add the broken-up pieces of white chocolate to the hot cream.
Step 2: Let it sit for 5mins and then stir until smooth. You can heat this in the microwave for another 20secs at a time if not fully melted and smooth.
Step 3: Stir in purple (or red and blue) food colouring.
Step 4: Allow the ganache to cool uncovered at room temperature for 15-20mins until the ganache is still runny but has cooled and thickened.
Drip and decoration
Step 1: Dip a teaspoon in your ganache and test a drip at the top edge of your cake.
If this creates a thick line and only runs partway down the side, you’re good to go. If it hits the bottom, refrigerate your ganache for 5mins and try another test drip. Repeat until your test drips are to your liking.
Drip the ganache from your spoon at the edges of your cake until you have enough drips. Then fill in the middle of your cake top, smoothing gently with an offset spatula until you get an even layer.
Step 2: Decorate the sides of your cake with candy eyes and other Halloween sprinkles between the drips.
Steps 3 - 4: Using the buttercream set aside previously, pipe big swirls onto the top of the cake in a ring and place candy eyes into each swirl.
Top your cake with more sprinkles and enjoy!
🎥 Recipe video
Check out the recipe video below for how to make the best pink Halloween cake!
Your moist pink Halloween vanilla cake should last up to 4 days at room temperature stored in an airtight container.
If it’s quite warm where you live, you might want to store your cake in the fridge. It should last up to 5 days in the fridge (but might start to dry out towards the end!).
I’ve found some brands of candy eyeballs can start to run, so your little Halloween monsters might look slightly high after a few days, depending on moisture levels. Don’t be alarmed, in a weird way, they kinda look cuter!
You can also freeze your cake for up to 3 months before defrosting and eating.
It’s easiest to cut your cake into wedges for freezing. Wrap your cake pieces in cling film (plastic wrap) and a layer of foil before placing in the freezer.
Label your frozen treats with what they are and when they were frozen so you don’t forget about them!
💭 Top tips
- Recipes with raising agents don’t like being over-mixed. You’ll end up with a dense sponge if you over-mix your cake batter. Try to mix sparingly once you add the baking powder!
- Position your cake pans in the centre of the oven on the middle shelf when possible. This gives a more even bake.
- Don’t open the oven mid-bake. You may have heard this before, but it’s an important tip. We’ve all been there and nobody likes their cake with a sinkhole!
- You’ll know your sponges are cooked once they’re risen and springy to touch. An inserted toothpick or skewer should also come out clean from the centre of the cake.
- For creamy frosting, beat your butter until it’s pale, light and fluffy first. This could take several minutes with an electric mixer.
- If you’re using an electric mixer, you can sometimes get a cloud of powdered sugar kicked up into the air. To stop this, stir your sieved powdered sugar into the butter with a wooden spoon or spatula briefly before using the electric mixer again. Though if you want to breathe tasty sugar air, I won’t judge you!
- If your frosting is too thick to spread easily, then you can stir some more milk or cream (½ tablespoon at a time) to thin the consistency.
- If your frosting is too thin, you can try chilling it in the fridge for 10-20mins before use. Alternatively, you can beat in a few more tablespoons of butter to thicken it.
Purple ganache drip
- Heat your cream so it’s hot but not boiling. If your cream is too hot, it could burn the white chocolate.
- If your sprinkles or candies aren’t sticking to the side of your cake, you can use any leftover ganache like glue.
Your Halloween cake should last for up to 4 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.
Yes! You can freeze your pink Halloween cake wrapped in a layer of cling film and layer of foil for up to 3 months.
Yes, you can make your vanilla sponges ahead of time and freeze them.
Alternatively, you can make the cake layers and/or pink buttercream a few days in advance. Your cake layers should be stored wrapped in cling film at room temperature. Your pink frosting should be in an airtight container in the fridge.
This could be caused by a few things. You might have scooped in too much baking powder, e.g. instead of using a levelled scoop from a measuring teaspoon.
Another reason could be that you opened the oven partway through baking which caused your oven temp to drop rapidly and sinkhole your cake.
No, cake flour is actually different to both plain flour and self-raising flour. It has a different composition and your cake will have a different consistency if you use cake flour.
🧁 Other goodies
Looking for some other goodies to make?
For more Halloween goodness, why not check out this Halloween graveyard dirt cake (no cool whip needed) or these spooky Halloween spiderweb orange cakesicles.
If you’re planning a pink-themed Halloween party, why not add these adorable pink cake pops or swap the orange candy melts for pink ones in this pumpkin cake pops or Halloween boo bark recipe!
Or why not make this scary pink tequila rose skull cake with a black drip. You can even change the sponges for the vanilla ones in this recipe if you’re not avoiding gluten.
Looking forward to some new recipes? Check out my Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages for a few sneak peeks and some sweet inspiration!
Or if you’d like to hear about our latest recipes, why not subscribe to our newsletter?
Pink Halloween Cake
Rate this recipe here:
- 350 g unsalted butter softened
- 400 g white sugar caster or granulated
- 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 7 eggs
- 100 ml milk
- 4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 400 g plain all-purpose flour
- 5 teaspoon baking powder
- 375 g unsalted butter softened
- 815 g powdered icing sugar
- 2-3 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
- 2 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pink food colouring
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
Purple ganache drip
- 160 g white chocolate broken into pieces
- 70 ml heavy cream e.g. double
- purple food colouring
- Halloween sprinkles
- candy eyes
- Preheat oven: 180°C / 160°C (fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F
- For the sponges, cream together the butter, sugar and oil using a spatula, electric hand mixer or stand mixer, until light and pale.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, milk and vanilla until combined.
- Beat half of the wet ingredients mix into the butter mix.
- Sieve in half of flour and beat in until smooth, then stir in the remaining wet mix.
- Sieve in the remaining flour and the baking powder, folding in until only just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between three greased and lined 8-inch cake tins and bake in the oven for 25-30mins until risen and skewer comes out clean from the middle of the cakes.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 20mins before removing and transferring to a wire rack while you make the frosting.
- Beat the butter (either by hand, using an electric mixer or stand mixer) until pale, light and fluffy. This could take several minutes.
- Sieve half of the icing sugar into the butter and beat until combined, then repeat this with the remaining half of icing sugar.
- Add in the vanilla extract, milk and salt mixing until only just smooth.
- Stir in pink food colouring, a few drops at a time, until you get the desired pink colour.
- Place roughly ⅕ of the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice (I like an open-star tip like Wilton 1M) and set this aside for later.
- Once the cake sponges have cooled, place one onto a flat plate or cake board and spread roughly ¼ of the remaining buttercream on top.
- Place the second sponge on top and spread on another ¼ of buttercream.
- Place the final sponge on top and cover the cake (top and sides) in the rest of the frosting, smoothing lightly with a spatula and cake scraper.
Purple ganache drip
- Heat the cream over a double-boiler or in the microwave (20 secs at a time), until hot but not boiling.
- Add the broken up pieces of white chocolate to the hot cream. Let it sit for 5mins and then stir until smooth. You can heat this in the microwave another 20secs at a time if not fully melted and smooth.
- Stir in purple food coloring (or red plus blue) until you get the desired colour.
- Allow the ganache to cool at room temperature for 15-20mins, until the ganache is still runny but has cooled and thickened.
- Dip a teaspoon in your ganache and test a drip at the top edge of your cake. If this creates a thick line and only runs partway down the side, you’re good to go. If it hits the bottom, refrigerate your ganache for 5mins and try another test drip. Repeat until your test drips are to your liking.
- Drip ganache from your spoon at the edges of your cake until you have enough drips. Then fill in the middle of your cake top, smoothing gently with an offset spatula until you get an even layer.
- Decorate the sides of your cake with candy eyes and other Halloween sprinkles between the drips.
- Using the buttercream set aside previously, pipe big swirls onto the top of the cake in a ring and place candy eyes into each swirl.
- Top your cake with more sprinkles and enjoy!
- You can swap the plain flour for self-raising flour of the same quantity and reduce the baking powder in the recipe down to 1 tsp.
- Instead of pink food colouring, you can use a small amount of red colouring.
- Instead of purple food colouring, you can use a mix of red and blue colouring.
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator, actual values may vary.
Looking for some sweet inspiration? Subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates on tasty treats, tips and more!
Leave a Reply