♫ Listening to: Gimme Hell by The Jesus and Mary Chain ♫
This halloween bat cake is my first time ever trying sprinkle stripes. I had a lot of fun drawing the bats and recipe testing the blackberry cake and blackberry buttercream frosting. I tried to use all organic ingredients* and natural colors when possible (check out my list of vegan food coloring for options on coloring frosting). This cake is fun for Halloween, Friday the 13th, world goth day, or just a birthday for a friend who loves purple and black (ahem Josipa ahem). If you like spookicute foods, you might also like my coffin cake wands and my ghost emoji tea sandwiches.
This recipe makes a 4-layer 8” (or 9”) cake.
Vegan Chocolate Blackberry Cake Ingredients
- 4 cups (600g) organic unbleached flour*
- 1 cup (100g) dutch cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup (35g) black cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups (750ml) nondairy milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or substitute white vinegar)
- 1 cup (250ml) sunflower oil (or sub coconut oil)
- 1 cup (250ml) blackberry conserves or preserves (seedless)
- 2 cups (400g) organic sugar*
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Vegan Chocolate Blackberry Cake Directions
Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 25-28 minutes
If you want to use a box cake mix, just replace some of the liquid with blackberry preserves.
Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper for the bottoms of your pans by setting the pan on the parchment paper and tracing it and then cutting it out. I make so many cakes that I made a template out of cardstock (fine, it was actually an old donut box because I reuse everything) that I store with my cake pans for making the process of tracing onto parchment paper quicker and easier.
Oil your 8" round cake pans and stick the parchment paper on the bottom. Oil the top of the parchment paper too. This may seem like overkill, but if you’ve ever broken a cake trying to get it out of the pan, then you’ll understand why taking all precautionary measures is of the utmost importance.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Mix the nondairy milk with the vinegar and let sit.
Sift the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powders) in a large bowl and whisk until it all turns gray. I use the back of a spoon to force all the little lumps down through the sifter.
Mix the oil, sugar, blackberry preserves, and vanilla extract into the nondairy milk using a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer. (You can also do this by hand, but I don’t like to because I’m lazy, haha.)
Here’s where the recipe differs for each person. At my house, I only have two 8" round cake pans and, therefore, I have to make a 4-layer cake (such as this one) in 2 batches. So, the following instructions are for people like me. If you are superior in that you have four 8” or 9” cake pans, you can skip the next few steps and just combine all the ingredients together now.
Measure your wet ingredients and transfer half to a different bowl and set aside.
Pour only half of the dry ingredients into half of the wet ingredients and mix until there’s no visible powder. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a silicone spatula to ensure you incorporated all of the powder into the batter. Mix again. The color should be black when it’s all mixed.
Divide the batter evenly among both of your 8" round cake pans trying not to get any on the sides of the pans.
Bake at 350º with both cakes on the same level rack in your oven. If you’re baking all 4 cakes at once, make sure they’re all on the same rack in your oven. If they can’t fit, make sure you rotate them halfway through the baking process so they all bake evenly.
Remove the cake pans from the oven after 25-28 minutes (as long as when you insert a toothpick into the center of both, it comes out clean).
Cool on a cooling rack for 20 minutes and then flip upside down onto the cooling rack. Your cakes should fall out of the cake pans on their own.
Wash and dry your 8" round cake pans and repeat all the above steps where you grease the pans, add the parchment paper, grease again, mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, divide the batter evenly in the 2 cake pans, and bake. You want to have 4 cakes when you’re done.
Vegan Blackberry Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
- 1 cup blackberries, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup organic whipped earth balance, at room temperature*
- ⅔ cup organic palm shortening, at room temperature*
- 6 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted (measure before sifting)*
- 2 tablespoons butterfly pea flower powder (or sub wilton sky blue gel color)
Vegan Blackberry Buttercream Frosting Directions
Blend the blackberries for 1 minute.
Pour the blended berries into a mesh strainer over a small bowl.
Press the blended berries through the mesh sieve using a silicone spatula until all that’s left is seeds.
Scrape the bottom of the sieve before you dump out the seeds, because some puree will collect there.
Add ¼ cup of the blackberry puree and whisk for another minute.
Sift in the butterfly pea flower powder and mix for at least a minute.
Sift in the powdered sugar, a cup at a time, mixing for at least a minute between each addition.
Cut the tops off of each cake to make them flat.
Spread around ⅔ cup of the blackberry frosting between each of the 4 cake layers, using an offset spatula to smooth it out.
Spread the remaining blackberry buttercream frosting around the outside of the cake using an offset spatula to create a crumb coat and then chill the cake while you make the vanilla frosting.
Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
- ¼ cup organic whipped earth balance*
- ¼ cup organic palm shortening*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups organic powdered sugar*
- violet gel color
Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Directions
Whisk the shortening, margarine, and vanilla for 1 minute using a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer.
Sift in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing for at least a minute between each addition.
Add violet a few drops at a time (mixing between each addition) until you have the color you like. If you prefer to color your cake naturally, use butterfly pea flower powder and instead of gel color.
Frost the entire outside of the cake with the vanilla frosting, using an offset spatula to smooth it out.
Create stripes in the side of the cake by holding the cake comb at a 45° angle while you spin your cake decorating turntable with your other hand. You may need to stop halfway around the cake to scrape the frosting you removed onto the side of a bowl.
Chill the striped cake for 10 minutes in the freezer or 20 minutes in the fridge while you set up for applying the sprinkles.
Vegan Purple Halloween Stripes Cake Decorations
- vegan sprinkles (I used starry night by Baking Time Club)
- some of the vanilla buttercream you scraped off
- some organic earth balance*
Vegan Purple Halloween Striped Cake Decorating
Pour your sprinkles into a bowl for easy application.
Place your chilled cake on a large cookie sheet to catch all the falling sprinkles.
Paint the indented stripes with buttercream so the sprinkles will stick. Just do one stripe at a time so it won’t dry. I just use a regular paint brush, not a fancy kitchen one.
Rub your finger with earth balance and then dip it into the sprinkle bowl. The sprinkles should stick to your finger so you can then press them into the stripes on the side of the cake.
Repeat with each stripe, but as you get to the bottom stripes, you may need to tilt the cake with your other hand.
Chill the cake in the freezer when the sprinkle stripes are done.
Vegan Chocolate Ganache Ingredients
- ½ cup nondairy milk
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
Vegan Chocolate Ganache Directions
Heat the nondairy milk on the stove until it starts to simmer.
Add the vegan chocolate chips and remove from heat, cover the pot, and swirl it around.
Wait for 5 minutes before uncovering and whisking the chocolate ganache until smooth and melted.
Cool the ganache for around 10 minutes before decorating the cake.
Spoon the ganache around the perimeter of the cake. If you need more detail on how to do this, check out my grasshopper cake recipe. Fill in the rest of the top with ganache.
Cover the top with sprinkles to match the sprinkle stripes.
Chill in the fridge or freezer while you make the bats.
Vegan Chocolate Bats
Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments to save time.
Melt vegan chocolate chips using a double boiler.
Cut parchment paper or wax paper and tape it down to a cutting board or something that will fit in your fridge or freezer.
Fill the disposable piping bag with melted chocolate.
Draw the bats onto the parchment. If you’re not good at drawing, print a picture of a bat and trace it.
Cut a wooden skewer in half and set it on the body of the bat. Pipe chocolate over the skewer to make sure it stays attached to the bat. Chill the bats.
Vegan Purple Halloween Striped Cake Decorating
Optional: Color half of the remaining frosting black with black cocoa powder or activated charcoal or black . Spoon the purple frosting and the black frosting side-by-side inside of a piping bag fitted with a large Wilton star tip 1M (wilton tip 1M) and pipe swirls around the perimeter of the top of the cake.
Stick your bats into the top of the cake after carefully removing them from the parchment paper.
Serve the cake, or if you made it ahead of time, freeze it for a few hours before wrapping it with plastic wrap. Sometimes I freeze cakes for up to 3 weeks so I can get a head start on cakes during weeks when I have more free time.
Thaw the cake 24 hours before you’re ready to serve it by moving it to the fridge. Remove it from the fridge an hour before you want to serve it.
* I use mostly organic ingredients when I cook, but I realize that not everyone has the disposable income to purchase all organic ingredients. Therefore, I only specify organic on the ingredients that really matter - when buying the organic version is the only way to ensure that the item is vegan.