Halloween Cake with Macarons
This cake looks like you ordered it from a bakery or professional cake maker, but it is shockingly simple to make.
While I added some chocolate drips and piped on some chocolate spiders, the macarons really do all of your hard cake decorating work for you – and you can totally skip a step and grab those from the store! (When people ask if the cake is homemade, the answer would still be yes…)
Use edible markers/pens or a piping bag with melted candy melts to embellish the macarons with faces, if desired.
I also made a fun chocolate cat – just Google search for a cat outline and print one off. Place the outline underneath a piece of parchment or wax paper and pipe on melted chocolate to create your chocolate cake silhouette. (I cannot provide the printable as I don’t own the image rights for the clipart I used.)
The important thing about this gorgeous cake is to just have fun with it. I actually ran out of frosting towards the end and used mini chocolate chips to cover up those lesser-frosted areas. Be creative, have fun, and don’t stress if things don’t turn out perfectly. (It’s just going to get eaten anyways.)
I even used boxed cake mix to make the cake, but I draw the line at canned frosting. Homemade buttercream completely MAKES this recipe and I encourage you not to take a shortcut on that.
If you’re planning on making your own macarons, check out our quick video for how to make macarons first, and then scroll down to grab your free printable recipe:
Ingredients for Halloween Cake with Macarons
For the cake:
- 2 boxes cake mix
- Plus ingredients called for on the box
- 2 cups butter
- 4-5 cups icing sugar
- 2-3 Tablespoons cream or milk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- Orange dye, optional
- Sprinkles, optional
- 1 cup chocolate, optional (use the chips to decorate or melt it for drips or embellishments)
For the macarons:
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 cups white sugar
- 1 2/3 cups powdered icing sugar
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 teaspoons strawberry powder
- Food dye, optional
- Edible black food marker
Tip: you can use store-bought macarons if that makes this cake less intimidating for you.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Electric mixer
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Parchment paper
- Cookie sheet
- Cake pans
- Offset spatula
How to Make a Chocolate Macaron Cake
Start off by baking the cakes according to package directions. We wanted a 4-layer cake so we baked 2 boxes of cake mix.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare your macarons (if not using store-bought).
In a small bowl, combine the almond flour, icing sugar and strawberry powder. Mix thoroughly to combine, and then set aside.
Place the egg whites in a large bowl and beat on medium speed for about 6 minutes, until glossy, stiff peaks form (as shown below). You should be able to pull your beater away and have some of the egg whites form a little “tuft” on the tip of the beater.
Preheat oven to 285F
Carefully but thoroughly fold in the dry ingredients – some people will say exactly 25 folds, some 30 – just make sure you don’t have dry patches and that everything is well incorporated.
Divide the batter into as many bowls as you want colors of macarons and dye the batters.
Spoon the macaron batters into individual piping bags and snip the tip off for about a half inch opening.
Pipe the batter into circles on a parchment paper-lined baking tray.
Bang the tray on a hard, level surface to remove any air bubbles, then wet your finger and smooth down any “peaks” on the macarons.
Bake for 10 minutes, until the glossy appearance has become matte, the macarons have “feet” (that little bubbling at the bottom) and the feet look cooked through. (If they look uncooked when you take them out, immediately return them to the oven.)
Cool, then add faces to the macarons using your black edible food marker.
For the buttercream frosting, simply combine the butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and 1 Tablespoon of cream in a large bowl for 2 minutes. Adjust the consistency by adding more cream to soften.
Spoon about 1 cup of the frosting into a piping bag, securely wrap and tie the end and then snip off the tip of the bag. Apply about a half tablespoon of frosting to the side of the macaron that was on the baking sheet, and then sandwich with a second macaron on the same end.
Use the remaining frosting to frost the cake: first start by applying a thick coat of frosting to the top of each cake layer and layer them together.
Apply a thin crumb coat to the cake to trap in any crumbs (a thin, rough layer of frosting). Let set for at least one hour and then apply a thicker, more generous coat of frosting all over the cake.
Add embellishments as desired. There is no such thing as “too much” when it comes to this cake.
Grab your free printable for our fun Halloween chocolate cake recipe:
For the cake:
For the macarons:
This gorgeous Halloween cake is so much fun to make and serve – and even if you make a mistake, just be creative and add something new to cover it up!