Halloween Cake Decorating Ideas & Inspiration

A hand icing a spiderweb onto a black cake for Halloween

Spooky season is approaching and we’ve got some awesome Halloween cake ideas for you to try out! From the super simple to the slightly more complex, check out our how-to guides and see some of our older bakes – don’t forget to let us know how they work out for you!

Pumpkin stencil cake

Ingredients

Carving pumpkins is a classic Halloween activity, but what about icing them? No, not covering your pumpkins with icing, but taking one of your cut-out pumpkin stencils and using it to ice a sweet decoration onto your delicious cake!

Pumpkin cake stencil printed out with orange icing, black sugar sparkles and a pair of scissors

Start off with a cake of any kind, and cover it in orange roll-out icing

Grab a pumpkin stencil – we’ve made one for you that fits perfectly on a 10” cake, but you could use any of the stencils over on our Free Printable Pumpkin Stencils post.

Lie the cut-out stencil on top of the cake, securing the corners if you need to. Then spread a very thin layer of icing – just enough for sprinkles to stick to. Finally, finish up by sprinkling black sparkle sprinkles over the cut-out design.

Leave for ten minutes for the sprinkles to set, then very carefully lift up the paper stencil – you want to stop as much of the extra sprinkles from getting on the cake as possible.

Orange frosted cake with pumpkin stencil sparkling decorations on a table surrounded by mini pumpkins

Et voila! A super cute, super spooky pumpkin to carve up that’ll taste absolutely delicious.

Graveyard Halloween Cakes

How amazing are these graveyard cupcake picks? As soon as we saw them, we just knew how they needed to look in action – and that’s on top of a gorgeously frosted chocolate brownie. This recipe is so easy to make, and you can add whatever nuts or chocolate chips you like!

 Chocolate brownies topped with green icing, gravestone and zombie hand picks

Ingredients

  • 145g unsalted butter
  • 80g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 250g granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs from the fridge
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 65g plain flour
  1. Line a square or rectangular baking tray with baking paper. The best way to do this is to butter the inside of the tin, lay in the baking paper, then butter on top of the baking paper. It’s totally worth the extra effort!
  2. Preheat your oven to 165°C/Gas Mark 3
  3. Melt together the butter, cocoa powder, salt and sugar on a stove – you can either do this directly in a saucepan or in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. It’ll look as gritty as the grave!
  4. Take off the heat and leave for five minutes
  5. Stir in the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time. Stir very well after each
  6. You should have a lovely shiny batter that’s fully blended. Now add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined and thick
  7. Beat the batter well until it comes away from the edges of the bowl, or use a stand mixer
  8. Stir in nuts or chocolate chips if you like
  9. Pour the batter into the lined cake tin, making sure it’s roughly even
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Set your alarm for 20 minutes, then test with a pick – it should come out with a few moist crumbs, but not be wet. Try not to go over 25 minutes, as they’ll cook more once out of the oven
  11. Leave to cool completely and cut them up into perfectly grave-sized pieces

To decorate, take a green icing pen or whip up some simple green buttercream to make the mossy top. As an alternative, you could make a very small amount of green cake and crumble it on top.

Hand drawing green icing onto a chocolate brownie

Pop the gravestone picks at the top of the cake, and the creepy zombie hand coming up through the middle.

Hand placing a zombie hand cake pick into a chocolate brownie with green frosting

Iced cupcakes with witch hats, ghosts and bats

You could use absolutely any kind of cupcake to make these wonderful cupcakes, but we love the idea of guests biting into a creepy looking cupcake to find it as red as blood – so here’s our red velvet cupcake recipe!

A selection of cupcakes with bright orange swirled icing topped with ghost and bat sugar decorations

Ingredients

  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225 unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 190g plain white flour
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 10g baking powder
  • Red food colouring (amount needed may vary)
  1. Preheat your oven to 180c and fill your cupcake trap with black baking cases (these are ideal for hiding the bloody nature of your cupcakes!)
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar until they’re pale and fluffy
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating in thoroughly before adding the vanilla extract
  4. Sift in the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa and baking powder – and then fold in without stirring too much
  5. Use red food colouring to dye the mix red. The amount you’ll need depends on whether you’re using a gel or liquid – gel food colouring tends to be a lot brighter so that’s what we’d recommend
  6. Fill the cupcake cases until they’re ⅔ full and then bake for 25 minutes
  7. You’ll know they’re done when a skewer comes out from them clean, or when they spring back when touched
  8. Leave to cool on a cooling rack
  9. For the icing, you can use any colour but orange just goes so perfectly! Either buy a can of ready-made swirl icing or make up some orange buttercream icing and use a piping bag to get a gorgeous swirl
  10. Top with a selection of Halloween cupcake toppers – we’ve got bats, witches hats, and these cute happy ghosts that are holding pumpkins

Spiderweb Halloween Cake Design

This is a classic spiderweb design that’s super simple to do for Halloween – and there are two easy ways to do it! Just start off with a delicious cake and cover it in black rolled icing.

A woman's hands are seen decorating a black cake with a white spiderweb design

Method One

Grab a bag or pen of white icing and start by drawing a line down the middle of the cake. 

Then draw another line intersecting that one, so you have an equal cross. 

Put another two lines in at right angles, so you’ve got an eight-line star (these also make great cake-cutting guide lines!)

Take your icing pen and draw a shallow arc between two outside points. Then another two, then another. You can keep your pen connected and keep going or you can stop between each line.

Repeat but draw the arcs inside. Continue until you have enough to make a cute spiderweb (we had a little cake, so only did two)

Method Two

Start by drawing three concentric circles with an icing pen or icing bag, with a solid blob of icing right in the middle

Then take a pick, cake prod or cocktail stick and run it from the central blob to the outermost circle

Repeat as many times as necessary, dragging the stick through the icing to pull the circles out slightly at each point

This cake design looks gorgeous placed on one of our clear cake stands, filled with spiderwebs and toy spiders to really freak out the arachnophobes! 

A black cake with white spiderweb icing on top, sat on a clear cake stand filled with spiderwebs and toy spiders

Day of the Dead Cookies

Switching to biscuits, these Sugar Skull cookies are so cute you won’t want to eat them (but we’re sure you’ll muscle through anyway!)

A baking tray full of sugar skull iced cookies

Ingredients

  • 200g plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon each baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice
  • 50g dark muscovado sugar
  • 100g salted butter softened and diced
  • 50g black treacle

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and all the spices into a bowl. Add the sugar, then mix well

3. Add the butter. Using just the tips of your fingers, rub the ingredients together until they resemble fine breadcrumbs

4. When all the butter is evenly mixed in, make a well in the centre and add the treacle. Bring the mixture together to form a soft dough, combining lightly until it has an even colour with not too many streaks of treacle (you can do this in a food-mixer if you have one). Lightly form into a ball

5. Divide into two and squash it into two even-sized flattish discs

6. Place one disc of dough on a sheet of baking parchment. Begin by gently squashing the dough down with the rolling pin or your hands, cover with a second sheet of parchment then use the rolling pin to roll properly. If the top sheet crinkles, just peel it off, smooth it down gently and start rolling again. Gently roll the dough until it is 5mm thick all over

7. Transfer the sheet of rolled dough, still sandwiched between its parchment, to a baking tray and place in the fridge to chill for at least 20-30 minutes before cutting. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough

8. Using a skull shaped cutter, cut out the biscuits as close together as possible. Lift each one on to a parchment-covered baking tray, making sure that they are not too close together, as the dough will spread a little on baking

9. Evenly space the trays in the oven and cook for 10-16 minutes, depending on your oven. Keep a close eye on the first couple of batches you cook until you get used to the recipe and your oven

10. Leave to cool on a wire rack. When the biscuits are totally cool, you can begin to ice them!

11. If you’re sticking with monochrome skulls like we did, you’ll need four sets of icing – two white and two black, with one of each colour a piping thickness (think toothpaste consistency) and the other suitable for flooding or filling the cookies (with double cream consistency)

12. Draw your outline on each biscuit first, then flood the centre

13. Leave to dry for a couple of hours and then, using a piping bag with a small nozzle, add your decorations to the skulls. Let these dry totally before serving

Two sets of skull shaped cookies, one set covered in black icing with white detail and the other with white icing waiting for black detail

How cute are these?! And not that difficult at all!

Witch Hat Cookies

One more full recipe for you, this is how we transformed a humble digestive into a witch’s hat with the help of an ice cream cone and some piping icing! Set aside plenty of time to work on these, as they’ll be best with a few hours to set before the little ones get their hands on them!

A plate full of witch's hat cookies which have been made out of digestives, ice cream cones and icing

Ingredients

  • Round biscuits (like digestives, rich tea or hobnobs)
  • Ice cream cones
  • Purple and yellow candy buttons
  • Piping bag
  1. Start by melting your purple buttons and filling a piping bag
  2. Cover each round biscuit with a thick layer of purple icing
  3. Move onto the ice cream cones, covering each one in purple icing, and wait for them all to set
  4. Make up some darker purple or black icing, dip the edge of each cone in to make the hat’s brim, then place it directly onto the round biscuit
  5. Almost there – you’ve got your shape, so all you need to do is melt some yellow candy buttons and using a piping bag to draw on cute little buckles
  6. Hey presto, you have a cute purple witch’s hat!

Four steps to making a witch's hat cookie - icing the digestive, icing the ice cream cone, dipping the cone and then assembling

And that’s not all!

If you have a look through some of our older blogs, you’ll find plenty of baking ideas there too!

Over on our Halloween buffet ideas blog, you’ll find how-tos to make Oreo spiders, satsuma pumpkins, ghost bananas and gingerbread skeletons!

We’ve also got a simple vanilla cupcake recipe that you could use for your bat and ghost cupcakes, and if the sugar decorations aren’t to your taste you can grab some of our free printable cupcake toppers.

And our final excellent bakes to share are this fantastic Sugar Skull cake, and this perfectly wicked Ursula-inspired cake! We really went all out on these, and it definitely shows.