3 layers of vanilla ‘pink velvet’ cake, a cream cheese Italian meringue buttercream, decorated with buttercream & white chocolate ghosts.
Spooky season is here, and that only means one thing- CUTE ‘ SPOOKY’ BAKES!
I have to be honest, I am actually terrified of Halloween, hence why I have made this a ‘cute’ Halloween cake. Come on, I know people want really scary things at Halloween, but it is adorable though isn’t it?!
This cake not only looks gorgeous, but it tastes divine.
What is a pink velvet cake?
Similar to a classic red velvet cake, but this has pink sponge cakes (coloured with pink food gel), along with an incredible dairy-free cream cheese Italian meringue buttercream.
It takes its name from red velvet, but adds the pink…. that’s literally it- haha!
Super simple yet effective dairy-free white chocolate ‘brush stroke’ ghosts flying around the sides of cake, along with some white caviar sprinkles and edible silver stars. It’s a real eye-catcher and Halloween centrepiece.
Where to buy vegan sprinkles?
I use Fancy Sprinkles. They have some of the best vegan sprinkles I’ve ever seen & used!
Use code” LITTLEVEGAN15 for 15% off your order on Fancysprinkles.com.
Why you must make this cake:
- It’s easy to make
- It’s 100% vegan (obviously)
- The ghosts can be made ahead of time
- Super simple yet effective decoration
- The Italian meringue is super glossy and creamy
- It has a strawberry filling which adds a pop of fruity flavour
- The subtle hint of cream cheese in the frosting is DIVINE!
I am super excited to share this recipe as its in collaboration with my lovely friend Amy from NourishingAmy.
We have become close friends, who share the same love for cats, coffee and baking.. as you do- haha!
Amy is a fellow vegan, content creator, and photographer. Her photography is honestly some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen and her recipes are simply dreamy! Her photos give me ‘cosy, home vibes’ whilst also wanting to immediately devour her baking & savoury creations – haha!
For Amy’s part of our fun collaboration, she has made a similar pink ghost cake, but a 2 tier Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cake. Check it out here. Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous! I wish I could try a slice!
How the pink buttercream pops and shows off the white ghosts and little pink pumpkins. They’re super cute!
We went for a ‘cute pink Halloween vibe with matching white ghosts’. I am obsessed with how we both took on the idea and came up with similar yet different bakes which suit both of our styles!
Make sure to follow Amy on her socials:
Instagram (everything is drool worthy)
Looking for more Halloween recipes? Look no further:
What is Aquafaba:
Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of Chickpeas. The Chickpea water or brine as it’s called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, cupcakes and this delicious meringue buttercream. You can also get aquafaba in a carton for easy use. Check it out here.
Why do I use aquafaba (chickpea brine) in buttercream?
American buttercream is exceptionally sweet. Using aquafaba creates a vegan version of Italian meringue buttercream.
Italian meringue isn’t as sweet and allows the flavour of the cream cheese and vanilla (from the cake) to shine. It takes down the sweetness leaving you with a silky smooth, not too sweet buttercream. I always tell people it’s like eating a buttercream cloud- haha!
What vegan block butter to use?
As Italian meringue uses liquid from the aquafaba, having a stiffer butter is key. I like the Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant Based Block Butter Alternative.
Baking time: 28-30 minutes
Ingredients for the cake
- 480ml of dairy-free milk
- 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
- 420g of self-raising flour
- 470g of caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 120g of sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Pink food gel
Ingredients for the buttercream
- 370g aquafaba (chickpea brine) see notes*
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar
- 380g of caster sugar
- 140ml water
- 400g of dairy-free butter (see notes*)
- 2 heaped tablespoons of dairy-free cream cheese
- Pink food gel
Ingredients for the white chocolate ghosts
- 150g of dairy-free white chocolate
- Black food gel
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c fan, and line three, 6 inch cake tins with grease-proof paper.
2. In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.
Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan ‘buttermilk’.
3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix well to combine.
4. Add the oil and vanilla into the ‘buttermilk’ and whisk to combine. Add in a drop of pink food gel. Stir to fully combine.
5. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.
6. Pour equal amounts of batter into the lined cake tins.
Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
7. Pop the cakes into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for around 28-30 minutes.
You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer in and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch. If the knife / skewer is still wet, quickly place it back into the oven for 5 minutes at a time until it comes out clean.
8. Place the cakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully.
Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting.
1. Place the chickpea brine (aquafaba) into a small saucepan and place onto the hob, over medium heat. Allow to reduce to 185g of the original mixture (half). You will need to weigh the aquafaba to check you have the correct weight. You want 185g of reduced aquafaba. Once ready, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
2. Add the sugar and all the water into a small saucepan, place onto the hob over medium heat and allow it to simmer/boil. You want the mixture to ready 116°C (240°F). This will take around 10 minutes. If you don’t have a thermometer, you want to make sure the mixture is see-through and is bubbling. It can begin to burn, so keep an eye on it.
3. In the meantime, pour the cool reduced aquafaba into a large bowl and add in the cream of tartar. Whisk on high speed for 5-8 minutes until soft peaks form. I use a Kitchenaid Artisan stand mixer with the balloon whisk attachment. An electric hand whisk will work great too!
4. When the sugar syrup has reached it’s temperature, reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly drizzle it into the bowl and whip until is incorporated. You’ll want to whisk the aquafaba mixture until the sugar syrup has cooled down. The sides of the bowl shouldn’t be hot!
If you add the butter when the mixture is still hot / warm, it will melt the butter, causing a runny mixture.
5. Once fully cool, add in the dairy-free butter, little chunks at a time until it’s all in the bowl. Add in the cream cheese and whisk to combine.
Once all the butter has been added the mixture be thick like buttercream, continue to whisk on medium speed for few minutes.
6. Transfer half of the buttercream into a separate bowl and add in a few drops of pink food gel, whisk to combine, leaving the other plain white.
7. Place one of the cakes on a turntable, and using the white buttercream, spread a little bit of it over the top then place the second cake on top. Continue for all three layers.
Crumb coat the whole cake with any of the buttercream colours and place into the fridge for 30 minutes. Chilling the crumb coat makes it easier for adding the final layer of buttercream on the cake.
8. Transfer the white buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip nozzle (this will be for the swirls on top).
9. Spread the pink buttercream evenly around the sides and top of the cake (using an off set spatula). Use a cake scraper or pallet knife to smooth out the buttercream. Add as thick or thin layer as you want.
10. Pipe swirls of the white buttercream around the top edge of the cake (as seen in photos).
Method (white chocolate ghosts)
1. Clean and dry a food grade brush. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
You’ll first want to temper your dairy-free white chocolate. Click here to find out how to temper chocolate.
2. Dip the brush in the melted tempered chocolate. Brush a stripe of the chocolate ‘about 2 to 3 inches long on the baking sheet’. As you get towards the end, slowly taper it off, leaving a little ghost like shape If the chocolate layer looks thin or too translucent, dip the brush back in the chocolate and go over the original brush stroke a second time to make it thicker. Repeat until you have as many ghosts as you’d like.
3. With any left over white chocolate, add some black food gel and colour it black. Transfer into a piping bag, snip off the tip and pipe on eyes and mouths.
Allow the ghosts to set fully before adding onto the cake.
4. Press the ghosts onto the sides of the cake. Don’t apply too much pressure as they are easily breakable. Use some buttercream on the backs of the ghosts to help them stick better.
5. Press sprinkles all over the sides and top of the cake (the more the merrier).
Slice and enjoy!!
Store the cake in a sealed container in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before serving. Best enjoyed 4 days of making.
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