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5 from 8 votes

Black Velvet Halloween Cake

Black velvet Halloween cake has a deep chocolate flavor and moist, velvety texture. It's frosted with decadent black cocoa buttercream.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: black cocoa, black velvet cake, chocolate, chocolate cake, Halloween, halloween cake, layer cake
Servings: 10 slices


For the Black Velvet Cake

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • ¾ cup black cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup hot coffee
  • 5-6 drops black food coloring, optional

For the Black Cocoa Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 oz. dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • ¾ cup black cocoa powder, sifted
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4-6 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 4-5 drops black food coloring, optional


For the Black Velvet Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 6" cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Set aside.
  • Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl. Cream together for 1-2 minutes with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  • Then add in the eggs and vanilla and mix for 1-2 minutes until pale in color.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, black cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the butter/sugar/egg mixture a little at a time until all is combined together.
  • Lastly mix in the hot coffee and a few drops of black food coloring.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans.
  • Bake the cakes for 38-44 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centers with just a few moist crumbs.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans for five minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to completely cool.

For the Black Cocoa Buttercream

  • While the cakes are cooling make the frosting by adding the softened, unsalted butter and salt to a large bowl. Mix with an electric mixer until the butter is pale in color and fluffy, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add in the melted and slightly cooled dark chocolate and combine. (You want it to be completely melted but just slightly warm to the touch).
  • Next add in the sifted black cocoa powder. Mix until combined.
  • Then add in the sifted powdered sugar a cup at a time until it is all combined. The frosting will be thick at this point.
  • Add in the heavy cream, a tablespoon at a time. Mix until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. (Add the heavy cream as necessary. If the frosting is light and fluffy after only 4 tablespoons, don't add the full amount. If it's still too dry after 6 tablespoons, add more.)
  • Lastly, mix in a few drops of black food coloring, optional.

Assembling the Cake

  • One the cakes are cooled fill each layer and frost the outside with black cocoa buttercream. Add sprinkles to the top and outside of the cake. See the blog post above for all the step by step instructions along with photos.


*Store left overs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days for the freshest, best flavor.