October is always the best time to come up with an easy Halloween cake ideas or recipes. I decided to share with you an in-depth tutorial on how to make vegan black ganache and create a perfectly smooth finish on a 6 inch, 3 layered cake. Then decorate with these cute scary fondant ghosts. Once you practise it a few times it’s very easy to master this skill. It’s an easy cake idea if you’re looking for something spooky but not to detailed.
For this cake you will need three six inch sized cake layers baked and ready for decorating. Below is a list of recommended tools you need to create this Halloween cake.
Recommended Cake Decorating Tools for this Vegan Halloween Cake
- Cake turntable
- Cake board (I recommend a black card cake board or a ceramic base that won’t stain)
- Cake scraper
- Rolling pin
- Large off set spatula
- Small palette knife
- Serrated knife
- Black edible ink marker
- Ghost cookie cutter
- Piping bag with a swirl or star nozzle, I use 1M size nozzle
- Kitchen blow torch (optional)
Recommended Ingredients for this Vegan Halloween Cake
- Vegan dark chocolate
- Vegan plant based cream
- Vegan black gel based food colouring
- Vegan black petal dust (optional)
- Vegan butter or margarine
- You will also need some vegan fondant for the ghosts
Step By Step Guide To Make Your Vegan Black Ganache
First, let’s make our vegan black ganache… (see recipe for measurements and detailed instructions)
Here Are A Few Tips For Troubleshooting This Vegan Black Ganache
- Using black petal dust is absolutely optional. It only adds the slightest simmer so if you don’t have it don’t worry
- To create a super shiny finish, use a kitchen blow touch and brush quickly across the finished cake with the gas flame
- To make your ganache softer, add more cream starting with 100 grams
- To make your ganache harder, increase the chocolate starting with 100 grams
- If your ganache is too thick to add to your cake, add around 20 grams of cream until it’s at the consistency you want
- If your ganache is too thin to add to your cake, melt some chocolate and add it into your ganache
- If your chocolate is not melted enough and your ganache is lumpy, you can blend it using a bar blender/hand mixer
- If you ganache splits remelt your ganache too runny liquid, stir thoroughly and allow to set again
- Cover with plastic wrap so it doesn’t create a crust on the top that can add lumps back into your chocolate
Step By Step Guide To Decorating Your Easy Vegan Halloween Cake
First, we need to prepare our cake layers. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the domes off the top of your cakes so they are perfectly even and all are the same height.
Next, secure your cake board to your turntable.
TOP TIP: I add a small wet paper towel between the board and the turn table to secure it in place and stop it from moving.
For this cake, my ganache is quite runny. You can use it when it’s a little thicker but it will be harder to spread. If your ganache has set too firm, heat in the microwave in 20 second intervals until it’s runny, but still thickish like a slightly runny mayonnaise.
Dollop a small amount of the ganache onto your cake board and place your first layer, top facing up in the centre of your cake board. Add some more ganache to your off set spatular and cover the top of your cake. Using the motion of your turntable, spin in a continuous motion whilst holding your spatula on top of your cake with a slight tilt of the wrist inward. This will flatten the top of your ganache.
Add your next layer with the bottom facing up and repeat this process on this layer and the next layer. You will need to clean your spatula between layers as the ganache will start to set and you don’t want that harder ganache on top of your fresh ganache.
TOP TIP: If you’re having trouble smoothing your ganache, clean and heat your tools using boiling water or a kitchen blow torch.
Then start to add a thin layer of ganache to the sides of your cake using your small palette knife. I start from the bottom and brush the ganache upwards to the top. Do this quickly as you want to get it around the whole cake before it sets.
Once you have covered your entire cake, heat your cake scraper with boiling water or your blow torch and spin your turntable in a continuous motion whilst holding your scraper perpendicular to your cake board and slightly pushing the ganache inward into the cake whilst spinning. Then use your small palette knife to flatten the ganache that has come up over the top edges. Fill in any gaps with ganache and repeat the process until it’s relatively smooth. Place ganache cake in the freezer for 15 minutes to set the ganache until it’s firm to touch.
TOP TIP: The first layer of ganache doesn’t need to be perfect. It acts as our crumb coat to secure crumbs and create structor for the next coat of ganache.
For the next coat you are going to repeat the same process. Make sure your ganache is still quite runny. This coat needs to be a little more close to perfect before we add our final layer.
TOP TIP: You can chill your cake without fixing the over lapped corners and use a sharp knife to trim it when it’s set
For the final coat melt approximately 1/4 cup of your ganache until it’s very runny, enough to pour it. Pour a third of that amount onto the top of your cake and use your large off-set spatula to smooth it out whilst spinning your cake.
Lace the edge of your cake scraper with chocolate and quickly smooth it around your cake for a perfect finish. Simultaneously using your palette knife to smooth the top edges over the top of your cake. Continue to do this until you have covered your entire cake. Allow to set by chilling in your fridge or freezer.
TOP TIP: When adding the final coat move quickly to cover your entire cake. You don’t need to clean the scraper between each coat of runny chocolate.
TOP TIP: To get that super shiny finish, use a kitchen blow torch on the surface for a quick second.
Now for the vegan ganache swirls ….
By now the remaining ganache should be set. If not, place in the fridge for 30 mins until firm. Then add the remaining ganache to a mix master with a whisk attachment and whip until light and fluffy. Using your piping bag with a large star nozzle of your choice, fill with ganache frosting. Hold piping bag straight above your cake and pipe swirls around the edge of your cake.
Let’s make our spooky vegan ghosts…
Get all your tools and ingredients ready to make your ghosts. Dust a pastry mat or a clean bench with a small amount of icing sugar and roll out your fondant to about 2-3 mm thickness. Use your ghost cookie cutter to cut out two ghosts. Use your black edible marker to draw on a ghost face.
TOP TIP: Not sure which fondant is vegan? Check out my vegan fondant list.
Now, for the final touches…
Cut the bottom half, at an angle, off one of your ghosts. Using the kitchen blow torch, slightly heat the surface of your ganache so you can stick your ghost onto the ganache. Alternatively you can melt a small amount of chocolate and paint it onto the back of your ghost to act as a glue. Gently press your ghost onto your cake in the direction you desire – see images below for my pattern.
Want more Halloween bakes?Print
Easy Vegan Halloween Cake
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 5 cups 1x
- Diet: Vegan
Learn how to make this easy Halloween cake with black vegan ganache.
Black Vegan Butter Ganache
- 450 g full-fat plant based cream
- 750 g high quality vegan dark chocolate (50-65% cocoa), roughly chopped
- 150 g vegan butter or margarine
- 10 ml vegan black food colouring (more if needed)
- 1/2 teaspoon vegan black petal dust (optional)
- 100 g vegan fondant
- Vegan black edible marker
- Heat cream in a large, heavy-bottomed pot on low heat, until small bubbles appear around the edge and it starts to steam. You want to catch it right before it’s about to start to boil. Alternatively, you can heat in the microwave.
- Remove from the heat and add black food colouring and petal dust. Mix with a whisk until combined. If it’s not black enough you can add more food colouring. I ended up adding about 30ml (maybe a little over kill) but you can start with 15ml and see how you go. It doesn’t effect the flavour of the ganache.
- Add chocolate, making sure it is covered by the cream. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Stir vigorously using a whisk, until smooth.
- If there are any lumps, put the pot back onto the stove over very low heat. Stir until the lumps have melted and the ganache is shiny. Alternatively, heat in the microwave in short intervals whilst stirring in between.
- Add butter and stir through until smooth and creamy. Cover with plastic wrap and push it down into the ganache so it covers everything. Allow to sit until it comes to a runny mayonnaise consistency.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Chocolate
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: ganache, vegan, halloween
Need more help mastering your ganache skills? Check out this workshop…
Discover recipe ideas, get advice and join in on vegan baking conversations with 24,000 keen bakers on Facebook.
I learnt so much from this post. Thanks sara, you’re always so helpful
This was really fun! Thank you
Gorgeous recipe! Love it!
Sara Kidd says
Thanks so much Traci
what cake recipe did you use for the cake in this
Sara Kidd says
The recipe for this cake is coming out on the website shortly… xox