Dairy Farmers of Canada

Sparkly Spider Cakes

Everyone will be happy when these spiders join in on the Halloween fun. Moist chocolate cakes are dressed up with a little icing and a whole lot of fun with sparkles, spider legs and googley eyeballs!

  • Prep: 45 min
  • Cooking: 15 min
Yields 12 spider cakes
sparkly spider cakes


  • 1 cup (250 mL) 10 % half-and-half cream
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • Icing
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) 10 % half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter softened
  • 1 cup (250 mL) icing sugar
  • Black food colouring (optional)
  • Decorations
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) black decorator sugar or sprinkles (approx.)
  • 15 26-inch (65 cm) pieces black string licorice (approx.)
  • 24 small white or yellow candies
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Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C) with racks positioned in upper and lower thirds of oven. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, gradually whisk cream into cocoa until smooth; stir in chocolate chips. Heat over medium-low heat, whisking often, for about 3 minutes, until melted and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla extract. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture alternately with cream mixture, making 3 additions of flour and 2 of cream, until blended.

Divide batter into 12 mounds (6 on each prepared baking sheet), dropping about 1/4 cup (60 mL) batter for each cake at least 3 inches (7.5 cm) apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, switching pans on racks halfway, until tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cool on pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack to cool completely.


In a small saucepan, heat chocolate chips and cream over medium-low heat, whisking often, for about 2 minutes, until melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy. Beat in about 1/3 of the icing sugar until blended; beat in chocolate mixture. On low speed, beat in remaining icing sugar, in two additions until blended and smooth. If desired, beat in black food colouring to tint icing a dark brown/black.

To assemble:

Set 2 tbsp (30 mL) icing aside. Spread mounded tops of cakes with a thin layer of icing. Cut ninety-six 4-inch (10 cm) lengths of string licorice and insert 8 into each cake to resemble legs. Holding each cake over a shallow dish (to catch excess sugar), sprinkle decorator sugar all over icing to coat, pressing lightly to help it stick to icing. Using reserved icing, stick 2 small candies on each spider for eyes. Use the tip of a toothpick or paring knife to dot icing onto candies for pupils. Let stand for about 30 minutes at room temperature for icing to set.


Cooled, baked undecorated cakes can be layered with parchment paper and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 1 month. Decorated spiders can be stored in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap on a large tray or baking sheet in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours before serving. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

If you can’t find plain white or yellow candies to resemble eyeballs, cut miniature marshmallows into thin, crosswise slices.

If you’re planning to have kids help with the decorating, be sure to buy extra candies to make sure there is enough for the cakes and for sampling and snacking!

Note: Paste food colouring provides the most intense colour with just a small amount. You can find the paste colours in cake decorating supply section at craft stores and many bulk food stores; you’ll also find black decorator sugar there.

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 347 Calories
Protein: 4 g
Carbohydrate: 56 g
Fat: 14 g
Fibre: 1.9 g
Sodium: 102 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 5 % / 51 mg
Folate: 15 %
Iron: 11 %
Magnesium: 13 %
Selenium: 16 %