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Death-By-Chocolate Halloween Cake Recipe
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5 from 2 votes

Death-By-Chocolate Halloween Cake Recipe

With this Death-By-Chocolate Halloween Cake is a perfect Halloween night and chocolate indulgence guaranteed! Dark chocolate cake layers frosted with dark chocolate buttercream.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time20 mins
Chill Time3 hrs
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Death-By-Chocolate Halloween Cake Recipe
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 583kcal


death-by-chocolate cake layers

  • 2+¼ cups all-purpose flour (270g)
  • ¼ cup dutch-processed cocoa powder (21g)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature (113g)
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil (120ml)
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar (200g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean* (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (240ml)
  • 1+½ cups semi-sweet chocolate, melted (255g)
  • black gel or paste food coloring

death-by-chocolate buttercream

  • 1 cup butter (226g)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (240g)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled (170g)
  • black gel or paste food coloring

DECORATION: chocolate tombstones, trees, skulls, and bones sprinkles to your preference


    • Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line the bottom and the sides of three 8" (20cm) baking pans with parchment paper. Lightly grease the sides of the pan with butter or oil that the paper sticks to the pan. Set aside.
    • In a medium bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt and stir to combine. Set aside.
    • Make the death-by-chocolate cake layers: In a large mixing bowl with a stand or handheld mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat butter, oil, and sugar until creamy for about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla* and mix until fully incorporated. Alternately add dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir just until combined. Add chocolate and stir just to combine. Add food coloring (amount depending on which food coloring you take – read instructions on the label) and stir to combine. The batter should be black. The batter will be very thick. Transfer to the prepared baking pans equally and spread evenly. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake or the cake will be dry. Let cool to room temperature.
    • Make the death-by-chocolate buttercream: Beat butter on medium-high speed until soft and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and beat on medium-low speed until fully combined and smooth. Add chocolate and stir until creamy. Add food coloring and stir to combine. The buttercream should be black.
    • Assemble the cake: Cut a layer off the tops of your cakes to create a flat surface. Transfer cut tops to a plate. Place uncovered on your kitchen counter. Place the first chocolate cake layer on a cake stand, turner, or serving plate. Spread about ¼-1/3 of the chocolate buttercream evenly on top of the cake. Repeat with the other two chocolate layers. Frost the outside and the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Level the top and the sides with an offset spatula. Chill 3 hours in the fridge. 
    • While the cake is chilling, prepare the decoration. Read blog post above to read what I did and which tools and products I used to make the chocolate tombstones and the tree. The decoration is up to your preference. You can also prepare the decoration the day before.
    • Decorate the cake: Remove the cake from the fridge and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes that the buttercream lightly softens. Then crumble the cake tops with your fingers into fine crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs on top of the cake to cover it completely. Press the rest of the crumbs with your fingers against the sides. The cake should be covered on the top and around the sides completely. Reserve a few crumbs. Place your decoration on top of the cake and sprinkle a few bones and skulls sprinkles in front of the tombstones. Sprinkle the remaining cake crumbs on top.
    • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.



    *First, cut off the straight end of the vanilla bean. Then place the tip of your knife below the curled end and cut the vanilla bean through the middle of the bean lengthwise with a sharp knife. Although you don't need to cut it all the way through, it's ok when you do so. Then open the vanilla bean and scrape out the flavorful seeds with the back of your knife. Just use the seeds.


    Calories: 583kcal