Isla has always been a big cat fan. So much so that her first birthday was entirely cat themed… including handmade cat bunting, scroll way down to see the evidence below! This year, I was scouring Pinterest for cake ideas and cake across this inspiration, which I immediately decided to recreate into an all-vegan spooky black cat cake.
This is a super-easy cake to make, because you can make it either from scratch or using a ready-made mix and frosting. I like to use the basic recipes over on Holly’s The Little Blog of Vegan to make my cake and icing, but honestly, any of your favourite recipes will do!
What you need to make a vegan spooky black cat cake
You don’t need anything fancy, not even fondant (unless you really want to use it to make the ears) or any particularly special equipment. The things I do really recommend are:
Just make sure you’re using gel food colouring and a chocolate buttercream. Gel food colours* are MUCH stronger than liquid, so you’ll need less. Sugarflair are always a safe bet for vegan food colouring btw! The chocolate buttercream ensures that you’re starting off with a darker base, again ensuring it’s much easier to achieve the black colour of the buttercream.
In the original inspiration, the ears were made of fondant – this is pretty easy to do, and black fondant is easy to come by. However, I was trying to avoid opening a whole pack of it to use only the tiny amount I would need for the dainty cat ears, so I gave my black cat cardboard ears instead.
Easy Vegan and Spooky Black Cat Cake
- 4 small round tins (15cm)
- 1 palette knife
- 1 recipe chocolate cake batter
- 1 recipe chocolate buttercream
- 1 tsp black gel food colouring
- 8 pretzel sticks
- 100 g vegan white chocolate buttons
- black edible glitter
- black cardboard
- bake the cake split evenly across four small tins – if your recipe is for 2 layers in larger (20cm) tins, you may need to reduce the cooking time a little. Leave to cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, melt your white chocolate in a mug, in 30 second bursts in the microwave. Stir regularly and, once most of the chocolate is melted, stop microwaving and just stir until the last lumps have melted smoothly.
- Dip your pretzel sticks into the chocolate, place on greaseproof paper, and immediately sprinkle with black glitter. Leave to set.
- Make your buttercream according to the instructions, then add the black food gel, little by little, while continuing to whip the buttercream. Continue until the desired shade is reached.
- Place the first cake layer on a plate or cake stand. Add about 1/3 cup of buttercream, spread evenly, and add the next layer. Continue until your cake is stacked. You can use a cake dowel at this point for extra stability, too!
- Cover the outside of the cake with the rest of your buttercream.
- Once your pretzel sticks are completely set, insert them into the front of the cake at an angle to make the whiskers. If your cake is quite soft, this should be relatively easy. If your cake is a bit more solid, it will help to use a dowel or a knife to make a 'pilot hole' before inserting the pretzel stick, as too much pressure at this stage will just collapse the entire cake (let's not!)
- Cut two triangular ears out of cardboard and set them on top of the cake. Leave the whole cake to set for at least a few hours, ideally over night, before serving.