I hope you'll love this Gluten-Free Vegan Halloween Ghost Cake - think chocolate sponge, luxurious chocolate buttercream and adorable poached pear ghost decorations!
With Halloween just a few weeks away, I thought it was definitely time to post a Halloween-themed cake! I wanted to use easily accessible, natural ingredients and because I'm definitely an amateur when it comes to cake decoration, I wanted it to be as effortless as possible. So, when I saw some cute poached pear ghosts the other day, I knew they would be absolutely perfect!
Did I mention they're incredibly easy to make? All you need to do is peel some pears, poach them and draw on some little eyes with melted dark chocolate! They're so simple you can even get children involved too.
For the cake, I used my go-to chocolate sponge recipe: it's moist, fluffy, and most importantly, undetectably vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free! It's also easy to make, requires just one bowl and simple ingredients, and really versatile, too.
For the frosting, I've listed several options. You can use:
But, I decided to go with a chocolate cashew buttercream frosting. It's easy to make, and has the same indulgent taste as chocolate truffles! Who can say no to that?
All you need to do to make this magical frosting is to blend some soaked cashews with a sweetener of choice, fragrant vanilla, a pinch of salt, sumptuous cocoa powder and velvety cacao butter. It has a perfect texture for spreading, and has the same melt-in-your-mouth richness of real buttercream!
Once you've frosted the cake, you can drizzle over some chocolate sauce to create a spooky cobwebby look! I made the sauce by melting some coconut oil and mixing with cocoa powder and maple syrup, but you can also just use melted dark chocolate instead.
I really hope you'll love this Gluten-Free Vegan Halloween Ghost Cake! For more amazing chocolate cakes, check out my:
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Helpful tools to make this Gluten-Free Vegan Halloween Ghost Cake:
For the cake:
For the frosting:
Gluten-Free Vegan Halloween Ghost Cake
For the cake:
- 60 g (¼ cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 230 ml (1 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds* (almond meal)
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking power (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
For the chocolate buttercream**:
For the chocolate sauce***:
For the poached pears:
- 3 pears
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
- Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the vinegar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder
- Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
- Divide mixture between two greased baking tins lined with baking paper (I used two 7inch/18cm baking tins)
- Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean
- Once out the oven, transfer cakes from baking tins onto a wired rack to leave them to cool completely before applying the frosting
For the buttercream:
- Drain soaked cashews and add to a food processor or blender along with all the other ingredients*
- Whizz until completely smooth
- Taste and adjust flavour accordingly - add more maple syrup for sweetness, more cocoa powder for chocolatey flavour etc
- Put the mixture (keeping it in the food processor but you can transfer to a bowl if you wish) into the fridge and leave to harden slightly before using to frost the cake
For the poached pears:
- Carefully peel the pears and cut off the bottoms so that they can stand up straight
- Place the pears in a pan with the maple syrup and enough water to roughly cover
- Bring to the boil and simmer for around 10 minutes, until soft enough to gently pierce with a fork
- Once the pears are cooked, remove them from the pan and immediately coat them in the lemon juice to make sure they don't turn brown
- Leave pears to cool before using to decorate the cake
For the chocolate sauce:
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and melt either over a bain-marie or in the microwave, until mixed together well
- Make this sauce just before decorating the cake
- Use a skewer or chopstick to use create eyes for the pears with the melted chocolate
To frost and decorate the cake:
- Place one half of the cake onto a plate or cake stand, and spread just less than half of the frosting onto it
- Place the other half of the cake on top of that and use rest of the frosting to spread on top and around the sides of the cake
- Use a fork or spoon to drizzle the chocolate sauce all over the cake
- Place the poached pears on top of the cake
- Tastes best when fresh but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
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