Cookies & Cream Spiderweb Cake
Something you may not be aware of yet is that I’m kind of obsessed with Halloween. I mean, it’s probably my favorite time of year. I’m all about creepy things. I love haunted houses, scary movies, all that stuff.
So, naturally, I needed to share some Halloween desserts with you guys.
This cake is absolutely perfect to take to a Halloween party. And, It’s way easier to make than you might think. Really. It’s one of those cakes that doesn’t need to look perfect whatsoever. The more rustic and messy it looks, the better.
It also tastes freaking amazing. For real, who doesn’t love cookies and cream? Okay, I’m sure some people don’t. But let’s just ignore the naysayers, we don’t need to associate with their kind.
This cake consists of three layers of ultra-moist and fluffy chocolate cake, it’s filled with a rich and fudgy chocolate ganache as well as a cookies & cream frosting that’s loaded with tons of crispy cookie bits. Finally it’s decorated with a simple frosting spiderweb and some cute little mini Oreo spiders with candy googly eyes.
This recipe makes one tall 6 inch round cake. However, if you’re wanting a larger cake, I’d recommend following the measurements for these cake layers. The cake layer recipe is basically the same, I just adapted it to make a smaller cake because I personally wanted this cake to be a bit smaller. I also like how tall it looks when made with smaller layers. If you make this into a 9-inch cake, I’d also recommend multiplying the frosting and filling measurements by 1.5 so you have enough.
Now, recipe time. If you make this, please be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @Bitchy_Baker <3
Vegan Cookies & Cream Spiderweb Cake
Yield: 1 Three-Layer 6-inch Round Cake
Time: About 2.5 Hours
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 2/3 cup very hot water
1/2 cup cocoa powder (this is my favorite brand)
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil (such as vegetable or canola)
1 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup unflavored vegan creamer (I like Ripple Half & Half, see note)
1 1/4 cup vegan butter, softened (see note)
6 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 cups chocolate cream cookie crumbs (see note)
Candy googly eyes (see note)
2.) In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the hot water with espresso powder, cocoa powder, and the sugar until thoroughly combined. Add in the non-dairy milk with apple cider vinegar, oil, applesauce, and the vanilla, mix to combine. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk together until combined. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated.
3.) Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Gently tap the filled pans on the counter to knock out any air bubbles. Bake on a center rack in the preheated oven for 27-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out cleanly, or with just a few crumbs.
4.) Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely. At this point I would recommend transferring the cakes to your freezer or refrigerator if possible as this makes the cake easier to assemble and decorate.
1.) In a small sauce pan, heat about an inch of water over high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium. Place a small, heatproof bowl over the pan of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Add all of the ganache filling ingredients to the bowl. Stir gently until the chocolate has melted. The ganache should be smooth, creamy, and shiny. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow to stand at room temperate for about an hour, or until ready to use. The ganache should thicken and become spreadable.
1.) Add the softened vegan butter to the bowl of mixer. Mix on high speed until light and fluffy.
2.) Slowly add in six cups of powdered sugar, about a cup at a time. Lastly, add in the vanilla extract and salt. Whip on high speed for one to two minutes, or until light and fluffy.
3.) Check the consistency. If it seems too soft, add an additional cup of powdered sugar. If the consistency seems too stiff, add in a very small splash of non-dairy milk. Mix to combine. Remove about half a cup of the frosting from the mixer and set aside. This will be the frosting we use to create the spiderweb.
4.) Add the cookie crumbs to the frosting left in the mixing bowl. Mix on low to incorporate the crumbs before increasing the speed to whip it in. Set aside until ready to use.
1.) Begin by tinting the 1/2 cup of reserved buttercream black. Stir in small amounts of black gel food coloring until you’ve reached your desired shade. Prepare a piping bag with a small, round tip. I used a Wilton #4 round tip. Fill the bag with the black buttercream and set aside.
2.) Prepare your mini Oreo spiders by separating the two halves of the mini Oreos. Scrape off the filling using a butter knife. Decorate by piping two small dots of black buttercream onto the outside of each Oreo half. Place a candy googly eye onto each dot of buttercream. See photos for reference. It’s really up to you how many Oreo spiders you wish to use for your cake, I used about two thirds of a 3.5oz Go-Pak container of mini Oreos for my cake. Set aside until ready to use.
3.) Begin assembling the cake. Place one cake layer, flat side down, onto a cake board or serving tray. Spread on a thick layer of the cookies and cream buttercream, then spread a thick layer of ganache over the frosting. Place the next cake layer on top before repeating the same filling process. Place the final cake layer on top. Frost the cake with cookies and cream buttercream as desired.
4.) Using your black buttercream, pipe a spiderweb on top of the cake. I followed a process similar to this tutorial, but I also piped lines down the sides of the cake. Place your Oreo spiders on the web as desired. Use photos for reference. Pipe legs on the sides of each spider.
5.) Serve and enjoy!
1.) I like using Ripple Half & Half for ganache, but you could also use another neutral-flavored, unsweetened vegan creamer, such as Silk Original Creamer or Trader Joe’s Soy Creamer.
2.) The corn syrup or brown rice syrup improves the shine and consistency of the ganache. You can omit it if you wish, but I do recommend using it.
3.) I advise only using a stick-style vegan butter, such as Earth Balance Sticks, Country Crock Plant Butter, Miyoko’s Vegan Butter, etc. Spreadable vegan butters contain too much water, which can create a liquidy frosting.
4.) I used about two dozen chocolate cream cookies to create two cups of cookie crumbs. I recommend Trader Joe’s JoJos, Oreos, or Newman O’s. I just placed them in a food processor and pulsed them to break them up. Then I blended them on low for about 30 seconds to reach a fine consistency. If you don’t have a food processor, you can place the cookies in a ziploc bag and break them up with a rolling pin until you they become crumbs. Just make sure they’re fine enough, otherwise it’ll make it difficult to frost the cake.
5.) I managed to find vegan candy eyes at Walmart on the baking aisle. Be sure to check the label as many contain shellac/confectioner’s glaze, which is not vegan-friendly. If you’re unable to find vegan candy eyes, you can make your own using royal icing, or by following this tutorial.
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