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Chocolate Marshmallow-Ghost Cake and Mini Cupcakes

Don't be afraid of these friendly ghosts -- they're easy to make.

  • yield: Makes three 6-inch layers or about 6 dozen mini cupcakes

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 6-inch round cake pans. Dust with cocoa powder, and tap out excess; set aside. Alternatively, line six mini muffin tins with paper liners.

  2. Step 2

    Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

  3. Step 3

    Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk. Mix until just combined. Divide batter evenly among pans (about 2 cups batter per pan) or lined muffin cups (about 1 tablespoon batter per cup).

  4. Step 4

    Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes for cake layers and 14 to 16 minutes for mini cupcakes. Let cool in pans or muffin tins on a wire rack.

  5. Step 5

    To frost the ghost cake, cover each of two layers with two-thirds cup Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting, and stack the layers; spread remaining frosting over top and sides of assembled cake. To frost the mini cupcakes, use the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (for vanilla frosting, omit the chocolate).

  6. Step 6

    To make the ghosts, you will need a miniature marshmallow, 2 regular marshmallows, and 2 chocolate sprinkles. Twist top of miniature marshmallow into a point by rolling it between your thumb and index finger. Trim all 3 marshmallows, and stick together. Twist top 2 slightly to shape. With a toothpick, poke holes, and insert sprinkle eyes.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, October 2006

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Reviews (35)

  • 24 Oct, 2013

    Followed the directions exactly for the frosting and really came close to not having enough frosting to cover the dark cake beneath. Next time I will make 1.5 the amount of frosting for the look that is here... we improvised with additional ghost-shaped marshmallows as a border around the base to cover the thin-ness of the frosting.

    I'd also recommend, highly, using edible food markers to make the ghosts' eyes... this cute cake is already a winner for our school's fall cakewalk tonight!

  • 12 Sep, 2012

    Enter your review...

  • 12 Apr, 2010

    Where can I get the black candles used on this cake?

  • 12 Apr, 2010

    Where can I get the black candles used on this cake?

  • 19 Mar, 2010

    i am from australia i saw on one of your putting strawberrys and cream and i dont know what the other ingredients were i am unsure if therewas a biscuit base but they were put into moulds and set they didnt need geletine for setting please help me out

  • 31 Oct, 2008

    If you don't have chocolate sprinkles, like me, you can dab the end of a toothpick in powdered cocoa and then poke the holes on the marshmallows to resemble eyes. It effect was the same and maybe even a little faster to make. For the tops, I tried following the directions but didn't look quite right. So instead, I cut up a large marshmallow into small triangles and used those as the tops. I took tem to a party and the kids knew immediately they were ghosts and also liked the cupcakes!

  • 31 Oct, 2008

    If you don't have chocolate sprinkles, like me, you can dab the end of a toothpick in powdered cocoa and then poke the holes on the marshmallows to resemble eyes. It effect was the same and maybe even a little faster to make. For the tops, I tried following the directions but didn't look quite right. So instead, I cut up a large marshmallow into small triangles and used those as the tops. I took tem to a party and the kids knew immediately they were ghosts and also liked the cupcakes!

  • 29 Oct, 2008

    I am looking for the directions to the Halloween Bat made with a coffee filter and held by a clothespin. Could you put that on this website. It was on your program on October 27th or 28th. Thank you.

  • 29 Oct, 2008

    I am looking for the directions to the Halloween Bat made with a coffee filter and held by a clothespin. Could you put that on this website. It was on your program on October 27th or 28th. Thank you.

  • 29 Oct, 2008

    I am looking for the directions to the Halloween Bat made with a coffee filter and held by a clothespin. Could you put that on this website. It was on your program on October 27th or 28th. Thank you.

  • 26 Oct, 2008

    If you click on the words vanilla frosting, the actual recipe comes up. That may be why it is printed in a color that is different from the rest of the text.

  • 25 Oct, 2008

    charisszczurek, the recipe for the frosting is in the description for the cake above, but in case the link is not working for you here it is. :-)

    Makes enough for one 6-inch 3-layer cake

    16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    1 cup confectioners' sugar
    Directions
    Put cream cheese and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Use immediately.

  • 25 Oct, 2008

    I was really wishing that they would of had the frosting recipe here also. The cake recipe is just half of what makes this a interesting cake. But the frosting is what really catches your eye. It would of been nice to know how to do the whole thing. Its not even worth making the cake if the recipe for the frosting and decorations are with in.

  • 25 Oct, 2008

    the mini cupcakes are just an alternative way of making the dessert in case you want to do it the easy way and not make a regular size layer cake. also all directions are posted above the recipe directions.

  • 25 Oct, 2008

    Yes, you CAN do it with Betty Crocker and if that's what you like, go for it! But there are still some of us who LOVE to make things from scratch and I for one especially love to BAKE from scratch. To each his own!!

  • 19 Oct, 2008

    So I have made this cake twice now. To simplify I used 2 white cake mixes and 2 tubs of white icing, making 4 8 inch layers. I put toothpick thru marshmallows to keep them together, but smeared a little white icing on marshmallows and just stuck eyes to them. I used orange candles. Very cute

  • 16 Oct, 2008

    i made this cake and it was easy.ghosts are for sure marshmallows and i used frosting for tips.it turnedout JUST LIKE picture.

  • 16 Oct, 2008

    It says the following regarding the ghosts -

    To make the ghosts, you will need a miniature marshmallow, 2 regular marshmallows, and 2 chocolate sprinkles. Twist top of miniature marshmallow into a point by rolling it between your thumb and index finger. Trim all 3 marshmallows, and stick together. Twist top 2 slightly to shape. With a toothpick, poke holes, and insert sprinkle eyes.

  • 16 Oct, 2008

    I don't think that it is nessary to buy the magazine. I think if you look at it and think of what the name is you will know that the ghost are made of marshmellows. Use your iceing with the marsshmellows and put your goast where you want. On the top of the ghost, that's just made with the iceing. You can do it if you want!

  • 11 Oct, 2008

    So Nice !!

  • 10 Oct, 2008

    Marshmallows, frosting

  • 9 Oct, 2008

    I bet you have to buy the magazine to get full instructions!

  • 9 Oct, 2008

    Without the decorating instructions, this is just a white cake with white frosting. I mean, big deal. I can get that from Betty Crocker for less than 4 bucks.

  • 9 Oct, 2008

    Without the decorating instructions, this is just a white cake with white frosting. I mean, big deal. I can get that from Betty Crocker for less than 4 bucks.

  • 8 Oct, 2008

    What are the mini cupcakes for? Where are the rest of the directions? Looks like an awesome cake but we should have directions on how to actually decorate it. It just says "Decorate as desired"?????? (I desire it to look like the one in the article)

  • 4 Oct, 2008

    What did they use for the ghost's eyes?

  • 27 Sep, 2008

    fsfasdfasdf

  • 27 Sep, 2008

    The ghosts are large marshmallows.

  • 16 Sep, 2008

    I will try it for a birthday party, love it.
    Yes they are made of marshmallows.

  • 11 Sep, 2008

    In October 2006 Issue page 120.
    Looks like fun, I will have to try it!

  • 8 Sep, 2008

    Where is the directions for the ghosts??

  • 8 Sep, 2008

    are the ghosts marshmallows ?

  • 11 Apr, 2008

    i love this cake my sister is having a nightmare before chrstimas birthday party this cake will be the highlihgt

  • 12 Feb, 2008

    LOOKS LIKE YOU USE MINI OR LARGE MARSHMALLOWS AND STACK THEM. MAYBE PUT A SMALL AMOUNT OF FROSTING ON TOP. SORRY I DID NOT SEE YOUR QUESTION BEFORE.

  • 5 Nov, 2007

    On the ghost cake, I would like to know if the ghosts are made with marshmallows or with frosting?