Photo: Mark Thomas
8 Servings

Colored candies are all you need to transform a chocolate cake into a creepy, crawling Halloween-themed cake. Don't worry, even with the spiders you won't be able to resist this delicious confection.

How to Make It

Step 1

Make cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 2 (8- or 9-inch) round cake pans; line with parchment, grease again and dust with flour.

Step 2

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream, then cocoa, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Reduce speed to low; beat in apples and flour until blended. Stir in raisins and pecans (batter will be thick).

Step 3

Spoon batter into pans, smoothing top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, turn out onto racks; remove wax paper; cool. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Cakes can be made a day ahead, wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated, or up to 3 weeks ahead and frozen.)

Step 4

Make brown-sugar frosting: Melt butter over medium heat; stir in brown sugar and cook over low heat, stirring, until sugar and butter are blended, about 5 minutes.

Step 5

Stir in milk and cook over medium heat just until mixture comes to a boil, stirring often. Let cool, about 1 hour.

Step 6

Add confectioners' sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, whisking until smooth and spreadable. Whisk in vanilla. Add food coloring in small increments until icing is desired shade of pumpkin. Use immediately.

Step 7

Assemble cake: Spread about 3/4 cup frosting evenly on top of a layer. Place second layer on first and frost top and sides with remaining frosting.

Step 8

Using black icing, pipe on a spiderweb (see photo). Make spiders with M&M's, adding eyes and legs with icing. (Cake can be loosely covered and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Ratings & Reviews

alabamajec's Review

October 11, 2012
Saw this recipe several years ago, I have made it every year. Mine's never as pretty, but the point is made, and it tastes wonderful!

Kats49200's Review

October 21, 2011

momshome's Review

November 03, 2009
Very good recipe BUT I turned it into 2 loaves of bread rather than a cake. Didn't frost, moist enough without anything else. Yes! If needed for a party I'd go the entire route, just trying to save calories (and time). Am freezing 1 loaf for Thanksgiving Brunch. Will make again & am saving recipe. Smells so good while baking. Thanks for the recipe!

Scarlett007's Review

October 30, 2009
Loved the spice cake, one of my weakness's, but I didn't do that style of frosting. Halloweens not my fave holiday, so just put plain frosting on. Now, if I was making 4 kids or party, you bet, instructions for it seem easy, most important, the cake IS DELICIOUS!!!** WILL MAKE AGAIN, MANY TIMES! ENJOY, RSB from Tucson, AZ