September 28, 2014

Itsy Bitsy Spider Cake

I had no actual reason for making this cake except that I was really in a Halloween mood and wanted to make it! 

In fact, I baked it up the day before I went out of town and the whole thing went over to the neighbor’s house.

I played around with a red velvet cake recipe, since I wasn’t impressed last time I tried one.  I was also sure to use a “no taste” red food dye, which yielded much more pleasing insults, in my humble opinion.

This was my very first time making ganache, so it’s a little gloppy – I think I let it set just a hair too long before pouring, but the results were still delicious!

Happy Halloween!

Click here for my cake inspiration.

Red Velvet Cake

1 box yellow cake
1 (3.9 oz) package vanilla instant pudding
1 cup sour cream
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
4 eggs
½ cup water
2 ½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp white vinegar
Red food coloring (preferably “no taste” gel)

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 ½ (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
¾ cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate Ganache
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray two 8-inch round pans.

Mix all of the cake ingredients together with a stand mixer, then pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Move the cakes to wire racks and cool in the pans for 15 minutes.  Then, run a knife along the edges and invert the cakes.  Cool completely.

Once the cakes are cooled, make the frosting by beating together the cream cheese and butter until very smooth.  Mix in the vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth. And frost the cake.

Place the cake in the refrigerator to allow the frosting to firm up.

Meanwhile, make the ganache.  Place the chocolate into a heat proof bowl.  Place the cream into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it just begins to simmer.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and set aside for 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.  Set aside to cool for another 3-5 minutes.  Then pour over the cooled cake, coaxing the ganache over the edges of the cake to drizzle down the sides.  Allow ganache to set.

Use remaining cream cheese frosting to pipe a spider web and spiders over the ganache.

Serve within 2 hours or refrigerate until serving.

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