Halloween in February?

What is this Halloween in February nonsense, you say? It’s called…I could delay this post and schedule it in October of this year but it seems so weird when these were all done pre-Chiplet and I want this October to be with ideas for a family with 2 kids and not just the Fudgelet. So, maybe you don’t have a need for a spider cake in February, but maybe you do? Maybe you can use the same idea to make a heart cake? Or something else fun?

Let’s start with the easiest snack…Pretzel Monsters! Taken from Endlessly Inspired, I did a slightly different version based on what supplies I had at my disposal.

Basically, we took mini pretzels and I spooned a bit of white candy melts into 2 of the openings for half, then did half with some chocolate ganache I had leftover from the spider cake. The Fudgelet’s job was putting the eyes in the middle. We did this on wax paper which made it easy to pull them up when they had set.

Easy peasy, peachy squeezy as we say here. And, since they are monsters (or aliens if that is what your family wants to call them) they can look weird and messy. The dark sticks surrounding them? Those are from candy melts and were spider legs that didn’t make it into the cake below…

We made this cake inspired by a spider cake on Hungry Happenings using a cake pop recipe from Rosanna Pansino. The cake recipe from Rosanna was awesome. It’s a great 9×13 inch cake pan chocolate cake recipe to have. It requires no mixer, no waiting for butter to come to room temperature…but it does use sour cream which I don’t keep on hand. The chocolate flavor is on the lighter side, so if you want something more chocolatey, I would go for a different chocolate cake if that is what you want. I used half the cinnamon she called for, and would just leave it out entirely next time. It wasn’t bad, but you can definitely taste it and it wasn’t my favorite. You can try it for yourself to see what you think.

If you are like me and make this cake with a toddler, he might decide to put your extra eyes on top of the head, and use broken legs as “ears” and then you let it be because it is fun having him help and be creative. It’s not supposed to be a pretty spider after all, we were going for a scarier kind.

I also made a different Halloween treat that I might share later but these were the sweet treats that were fun to make and yummy to eat.

Directions for Chocolate Cake Pop Spider

Slightly adapted from Rosanna Pansino

  • 4/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed)
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I would omit this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 4/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) chopped chocolate

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a greased 9×13 inch pan (at least 2 inches deep) with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon (if using), salt, and both sugars. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, vanilla, sour cream, and oil. Then, whisk the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until well-combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs on it.

Allow the cake the cool completely. Then, cut it into slices and put the slices into a stand mixer bowl. With the paddle attachment and low speed, use the mixer to break up the cake into crumbs. You might not be able to fit all of the cake into the bowl. I ended up leaving out a couple pieces as chef snacks.

When the cake is broken apart, make the ganache.

Heat the cream in the microwave for about 1-1.5 minutes until bubbling a little. Add the chocolate to the cream (or pour the cream on top of the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl). Wait a minute, then whisk gently until it gradually combines and becomes smooth. Pour the ganache into the mixer bowl and stir on low speed until the cake crumbs come together in a dough-like way.

If making a spider, line a small bowl and a larger bowl with plastic wrap, then smoosh the cake/ganache mixture into the bowls, smoothing the tops. Cover the tops with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. When ready to decorate, remove from the bowls using the plastic wrap to easily pull out the cake.

Decorating the cake

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) chopped chocolate
  • Candy melts in black/dark chocolate and white

Begin by making the legs and eyes. Melt the candy melts and put in a piping bag, beginning with the chocolate/black ones. Pipe out L’s for the legs onto wax paper. Allow to set completely. Pipe out black eyes as well. Pipe out extras in case of accidents.

For the white, you can wait and pipe it directly onto the spider cake, then while it is wet put the black eyes onto them.

Before attaching the legs/etc. to the cake, make the ganache. Heat the cream in the microwave for about 1-1.5 minutes until bubbling a little. Add the chocolate to the cream (or pour the cream on top of the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl). Wait a minute, then whisk gently until it gradually combines and becomes smooth.

Place the cake bowls upside down onto a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.

Pour the ganache onto the inverted cake bowls with the small bowl (head) touching the large bowl (body). While the ganache is still wet and warm, stick the eyes onto the head. Use a chopstick or similar tool to poke holes for the legs. Then, gently push the legs into the holes.

Touch up the cakes with ganache as needed, and put more around the legs to help hold them in place. Allow to set before moving onto your serving plate.

Directions for Chocolate Cake Pop Spider (without pictures)

Slightly adapted from Rosanna Pansino

  • 4/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed)
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I would omit this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 4/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) chopped chocolate

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a greased 9×13 inch pan (at least 2 inches deep) with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon (if using), salt, and both sugars. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, vanilla, sour cream, and oil. Then, whisk the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until well-combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs on it.

Allow the cake the cool completely. Then, cut it into slices and put the slices into a stand mixer bowl. With the paddle attachment and low speed, use the mixer to break up the cake into crumbs. You might not be able to fit all of the cake into the bowl. I ended up leaving out a couple pieces as chef snacks. When the cake is broken apart, make the ganache.

Heat the cream in the microwave for about 1-1.5 minutes until bubbling a little. Add the chocolate to the cream (or pour the cream on top of the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl). Wait a minute, then whisk gently until it gradually combines and becomes smooth. Pour the ganache into the mixer bowl and stir on low speed until the cake crumbs come together in a dough-like way.

If making a spider, line a small bowl and a larger bowl with plastic wrap, then smoosh the cake/ganache mixture into the bowls, smoothing the tops. Cover the tops with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. When ready to decorate, remove from the bowls using the plastic wrap to easily pull out the cake.

Decorating the cake

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) chopped chocolate
  • Candy melts in black/dark chocolate and white

Begin by making the legs and eyes. Melt the candy melts and put in a piping bag, beginning with the chocolate/black ones. Pipe out L’s for the legs onto wax paper. Allow to set completely. Pipe out black eyes as well. Pipe out extras in case of accidents.

For the white, you can wait and pipe it directly onto the spider cake, then while it is wet put the black eyes onto them.

Before attaching the legs/etc. to the cake, make the ganache. Heat the cream in the microwave for about 1-1.5 minutes until bubbling a little. Add the chocolate to the cream (or pour the cream on top of the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl). Wait a minute, then whisk gently until it gradually combines and becomes smooth.

Place the cake bowls upside down onto a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Pour the ganache onto the inverted cake bowls with the small bowl (head) touching the large bowl (body). While the ganache is still wet and warm, stick the eyes onto the head. Use a chopstick or similar tool to poke holes for the legs. Then, gently push the legs into the holes. Touch up the cakes with ganache as needed, and put more around the legs to help hold them in place. Allow to set before moving onto your serving plate.

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