Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over 20 years. She has cooked on multiple television stations, including the Food Network.
We've always gone a little overboard at Halloween—partly because I've had a houseful of kids for so long, partly because it's also my daughter's birthday, and partly because it's really just an excuse to have fun. All of those are perfectly valid in my opinion!
Because we love layer cakes so much, celebrations don't seem quite complete without one. So I decided to come up with something extra special for Halloween this year—and this black velvet cake fits the bill perfectly.
The recipe looks a little intimidating at first—but don't worry, it really isn't. The big tricks are to combine the different steps in separate bowls first. After that, it's truly just a matter of mixing everything together in order. I will say, take the time to scrape down the sides of your bowl as you work, making sure that all your ingredients are fully incorporated at each stage. This ensures when you come down to the final step —the coloring—the food coloring will mix in completely, ensuring that the final cake is a deep, gorgeous, luscious black all the way through.
I really think you'll love this cake—everything about it is just right, from the color to the flavor to the moist texture.
For the cake:
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup dark cocoa powder
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups white sugar
- 2 ounces black food coloring
- Start by preparing three 8-inch cake pans by spraying them with cooking spray and lining them with parchment paper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350F°.
- Pour boiling water over dark cocoa powder, and whisk well until you have a very loose, smooth paste. Set aside to cool while you prep the other ingredients.
- Crack eggs into a small bowl and add vanilla. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as you work.
- Add half of the flour mixture and beat well, then half the chocolate mixture. Mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you work, then repeat with remaining flour then chocolate. Stir in food coloring.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake at 350F° for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely. Frost however you'd like—I used homemade buttercream frosting, then topped it with dark chocolate ganache. The little marshmallow ghosts were for a Halloween treat!
Prepare the Cake Pans
Make a Paste
Add Vanilla to the Eggs
Whisk Together Dry Ingredients
Cream the Butter and Sugar Together
Add Eggs One at a Time
Add Half the Dry Ingredients
Add Half the Cocoa Mixture
Add the Food Coloring
Divide Batter Between Pans
Bake Until Centers Are Set
Cool on Wire Racks
Any Frosting You Wish!
Video: Black Velvet Cake
Video: Marshmallow Ghosts
© 2017 Jan Charles
Jan Charles (author) from East Tennessee on October 23, 2017:
Rachel - I've been seeing your kind comments forever and couldn't figure out how to respond - thank you so very much!
Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on October 23, 2017:
Hmmmm! Very interesting, Black Velvet Cake. It's pretty and looks so yummy. I love the decorations. Thanks for sharing.
Blessings to you.