Ghost cake

Get seasonal and spooky with this simple but effective ghost cake – the perfect bake for a Halloween party with friends

  • Prep:45 mins
    Cook:30 mins
    plus cooling
  • Serves 12
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 874
  • fat 37g
  • saturates 8g
  • carbs 125g
  • sugars 103g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 9g
  • salt 1.07g


  • 300ml rapeseed oil plus more for the tins
  • 325g self-raising flour
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 4 large large eggs, beaten
  • 300ml milk
  • 750g white fondant icing
  • black food colouring (or black fondant icing)
  • 100g butter, very soft
  • 225g icing sugar, plus more to dust
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil and line the base of two 16cm (or smaller) sandwich tins and a 1.2L pudding basin. Mix the self-raising flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and beat in the golden syrup, eggs, oil and milk with an electric whisk, until smooth.

  2. Pour the mixture into the pudding basin until it is ¾ full, then divide the rest between the two sandwich tins and bake for 25-30 mins until the cakes are risen and firm to the touch. The sponge in the pudding basin may need longer depending on whether the basin is metal or ceramic. Cool for 10 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

  3. Meanwhile, to make the icing beat the butter until it is creamy, beat in the icing sugar a little at a time, beat in the cocoa powder and 2 tbsp water.

  4. Cut the pudding basin cake in half horizontally and sandwich it back together with a little icing. Put a round sponge on a cake board or plate, sandwich the next one on top with a little icing. Sandwich the pudding basin cake onto the top of the round cake. If the bottom cake sticks out beyond the bottom of the pudding basin cake then trim the top edge of the lower cake at an angle to make the sides flatter. Ice the outside of the cake with a thin layer of chocolate icing, using it all up.

  5. Roll the fondant out on a surface dusted with icing sugar to make a sheet shape that is big enough to cover the whole cake. Drape it carefully over the iced cake and press it on around the top to make your ghost, with ruffles around the edges, cutting off the excess round the base. Colour some of the excess icing black by kneading in the food colouring, or use the black fondant icing. Roll it out to a few mm thick. Cut out eyes and a mouth and stick them on.

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