Hallowe'en: Devil's Cakes

When the lovely Jenny from Mummy Mishaps announced that her next 'I Love Cake' linky was going to be cakes for Hallowe'en I started to have a think. The toddler group that we belong to is having a Hallowe'en party and I'll need to take a plate of party food along so I decided to kill two birds with one stone: practise my cakes for the party and link up to 'I Love Cake' at the same time.

I decided on Red Velvet cupcakes. When I was looking for recipes I was intrigued by a couple of things. First of all, it's not just a sponge with red colouring in it. The colouring is achieved through mixing red food colouring with cocoa powder, and then added to the initial wet ingredients. I thought vinegar was a weird thing to put in but according to the never-wrong Wikipedia: "the reaction of acidic vinegar and buttermilk tends to better reveal the red anthocyanin in the cocoa". That's interesting thought I! Then I read on further and discovered that Devil's Food cake (a type of chocolate cake) and Red Velvet cakes often get mixed up in recipe books.

Perfect! I'm making me some Devil's Cakes!


  • 60g room temperature butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 20ml red food colouring
  • 20ml black food colouring
  • 1½tsp vanilla extract
  • 120ml buttermilk
  • 150g plain flour
  • ½tsp salt
  • ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½tsp of white wine vinegar
  • chocolate spread
  • strawberry jam
  • milk chocolate
  • orange & black vermicelli

1. Cream butter and sugar, then add the egg and mix together.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla essence to make a thick, dark paste.

3. Add to the butter mix and stir in thoroughly.

4. Add half the buttermilk and beat. Then add half the flour and mix in. Repeat until all is used.

5. This is a really cool science bit: add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Watch it fizz! Beat well until really smooth.

6. Put a spoonful of cake mixture into the cases, enough to cover the base. Place a small amount of chocolate spread in the centre of each one, and then pour another spoonful of mixture on top; enough to fill two-thirds of the case.

(As I had spare mixture from the 12 that it's supposed to make, I wanted to see what it would like as a black cake. I added a further 20ml of black food colouring (Asda sells it) and put jam in the middle instead of chocolate spread)

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes in a pre-heated oven (170°C).

8. Melt some milk chocolate in a bain marie and pour into the centre of the cake. Smooth over to cover the top and then sprinkle some vermicelli on the top.


Pop over and see the other entries into 'I Love Cake': The Hallowe'en Edition using this widget thing below. The linky will be open from Saturday 15th October and will close at the end of the witching hour (ie. Midnight) on Halloween itself Monday 31st October.

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  1. Jenny Paulin says

    Well I never knew that was how you made the red velvet part. When you said tou had added vinegar I couldn't work out why which is why I sent you a confused tweet at the time.
    Well these look fab don't they? Ideal for a Halloween party. the Boy is good at mixing – very neat. Neater than me!
    Thanks for (almost!) linking up again x

  2. says

    They look fab! When I made the castle cake for S I wanted it to be pink, but when you just add food colouring to a sponge it still goes brown on the edges? Did these stay red on the top? Do you think a castle would stay red/pink?


    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I prefer the black ones as well, think the jam looks amazing oozing out. Thinking of trying them with red buttercream and I wanted to try and do the black ripple like on your ice-cream cones but can't think what would make that. Any ideas?

  3. says

    The red velvetness sounds and looks scrum. The red butter team sounds even more scrum! Maybe a water bottle with those spouty things on top might give you the ice cream ripple effect?

  4. Mum2Four says

    They look disgusting, but in a good way as they should do if they are for halloween!
    I love the picture of The Boy sampling his cooking delights.


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