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Meringue Ghost Halloween Cake

by Nick Makrides
Slice of Meringue Ghost Cake with forkfull taken out

Ghosts are totally delicious when they’re made of meringues! And these little ghost meringues are so easy to make. They sit perfectly on top of my blood red velvet cake which is moist and delicious and perfectly coupled with my cream cheese frosting!

Nicks favourite thing…

The little meringue ghosts on top! Theyre so freaking cute and fun to make! But I can’t not mention how delicious the moist red velvet cake is. It’s my favourite cake recipe and that cream cheese frosting is to die for!

Meringue Ghost Cake

What does it taste like?

The meringues on top are vanilla flavoured. The cake is my delicious red velvet cake. It’s moist and has an iconic deep red color and light cocoa flavor. It’s perfectly paired with my cream cheese frosting and goes really well with my chocolate sauce!

What are the ingredients I need?

Meringue Ghost Cake Ingredients list

White vinegar – this is used to clean the mixing bowl for the meringues.

Caster sugar – also known as superfine sugar.

Egg whites – make sure that when separating the whites form the yolks that no yolks ed up in the whites otherwise your meringue will not whip up properly.

Cream of tartare – this is used to stabilize your egg whites so that they whip up better. Alternatively, you can use 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice.

Vanilla ExtractAlways use good quality vanilla extract when baking, it makes a huge difference. I have a great recipe here for it if you’d like to try your own!

Black food gel – I used chefmaster brand. This is used to draw the eyes and mouth on the ghosts. Alternatively, you can use a food safe marker.

All-purpose flour – also known as plain flour

Cocoa powder – I used unsweetened cocoa powder. This ingredient gives the red velvet cake it’s iconic deep red color and light cocoa flavor which is perfectly paired with my cream cheese frosting!

Baking powder and bicarb soda – these ingredients help the cake rise and become fluffy.

Salt – I used fine salt.

Eggs – I used large eggs.

Vegetable oil – you can also use sunflower oil.

Buttermilk – this helps make the cake moist. You can make your own by adding 1 tsp white vinegar to milk, mixing it and letting it sit and curdle for 5 minutes.

Red liquid food dye – I used red liquid food dye because I find that’s what works best for this recipe. Food gel just doesn’t work as well.

Chocolate sauce – this recipe is an easy and yummy one-bowl recipe! Grab the recipe here!

Cream Cheese Frosting – so light, creamy, tangy and perfectly pipeable! grab the recipe here!

Let’s go through each step.

Meringue Ghosts

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 01

  1. Add the vinegar to a metal or glass mixing bowl. Use a paper towel to clean the bowl with the vinegar until the bowl is dry.
  2. Add the egg whites and beat using a whisk attachment on a stand mixer or beaters from a handheld mixer to beat for 30 seconds.

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 02

  1. Stop the mixer and add the cream of tartar.
  2. Whisk for 60 seconds on high speed until you reach soft peaks.

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 03

  1. Add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time while the mixer is on high speed, letting it mix for 20 seconds in between each addition of sugar.
  2. Once all of the sugar is in there, the meringue will be thick and glossy. Continue whipping on high speed for 5 minutes.

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 04

  1. Stop the mixer, add the vanilla extract and whisk for 30 seconds.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe little blobs of meringue on each corner of the baking tray and stick the baking paper on top. This will help stop it from flying around in the oven. Pipe little meringue ghosts, as many as you can. Bake for 1 hour in the oven. Once baked, leave in the oven to cool completely.

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 05

  1. Once baked and cooled, dip a food safe paint brush into some black food gel and paint little eyes and mouths on the meringue ghosts. See notes for storage instructions.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. To make my cream cheese frosting grab the recipe here!

Cake

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 06

  1. Add the buttermilk, eggs, oil, vanilla extract and liquid red food dye to a large jug or bowl mix until well combined.
  2. Next, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and salt to a large mixing bowl. Combine using a whisk or hand held mixer.

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 07

  1. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is well combined. Scrape down the bowl
  2. Mix for a final 20 seconds on low speed.

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 08

  1. Divide the cake mixture between the two tins. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. If the toothpick is coated with wet batter, continue baking for 10 minutes at a time until fully baked.
  2. Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature in the tins, then chill them in the fridge overnight. Chilling your cakes overnight makes them easier to trim and decorate, so I always bake my cakes the day before I decorate them.

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 09

  1. To trim your chilled cakes, use a cake leveler or large serrated knife to carefully trim the crust off the top of each cake. Then trim each cake in half. You’ll end up with 6 layers.
  2. To crumb coat your cake, add a dab of frosting onto a 10” cake board or flat serving plate. Use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting around

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 10

  1. Add the first cake layer. Gently press down the center of the cake layer to make sure it’s stuck to the frosting underneath.
  2. Add frosting to a piping bag and frost a ring around the top of the cake. Fill the center with more frosting.

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 11

  1. Use your small offset spatula to smoothen out the frosting before you add the next layer of cake.
  2. Add the next layer.

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 12

  1. Add more frosting around the sides and top of the cake.
  2. Use the small spatula to smoothen out the top and sides of the cake, taking care to fill in any gaps in between each layer of cake.

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 13

  1. This should just be a neat, thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the final layer of frosting. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Pipe more frosting on the top and sides of the cake

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 14

  1. Use the cake leveler to smoothen out.
  2. Use an offset spatula to clean up the top edges of the cake.

Instructional image for Meringue Ghost Cake 15

  1. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and
  2. Then finish by placing the meringue ghosts on top right before serving.

Meringue Ghosts on baking tray for Meringue Ghost Cake

My Top Tips!

  • When baking the meringues, do not open the oven door. Let them cool completely in the oven otherwise they may collapse.
  • When piping the ghosts add little dabs of meringue on each corner of your baking tray to stick the baking paper to the baking tray. That will prevent the baking paper from flying around the oven and ruining your meringue ghosts!
  • When making the cake, bake the day before. That way you give them enough time to chill in the fridge which will make trimming them and crumb coating the cake much easier.
  • When putting the cake together, crumb the cake first so that none of the crumbs end up on the outside of the cake.
  • When frosting the cake with the final layer, use a bench scraper to get nice smooth cake sides and an offset spatula to get harp corners!
  • This cake uses cream cheese frosting which is creamy and perfectly paired with red velvet cake. But cream cheese melts really easily in hot weather. Store your cake in the fridge on warm day to prevent it from melting.
  • When decorating the cake, add the meringues on to of the cake last to make sure they don’t soften and stay crisp when served. The moisture from the chocolate sauce will cause them to go soft.

Close up of toppings on Meringue Ghost Cake

Other Halloween Recipes You Might Like!

Slice of Meringue Ghost Cake

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I hope you guys enjoyed this simple but delicious recipe with me. Please comment in the comments section below, or feel free to share with your family and friends on social media.

I’ll see you all on the following recipe. Happy baking!

N x

Pinterest image for Meringue Ghost Cake

Slice of Meringue Ghost Cake with forkfull taken out

Meringue Ghost Halloween Cake

Serves 15

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Total Time: 3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Meringues

  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • black food gel for eyes and mouth

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp red food dye (liquid not gel)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1 cup chocolate sauce

Frosting



Instructions

Meringue Ghosts

  • Preheat a fan-forced oven to 100°C / 210°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Add the vinegar to a metal or glass mixing bowl. Use a paper towel to clean the bowl with the vinegar until the bowl is dry.
  • Add the egg whites and beat using a whisk attachment on a stand mixer or beaters from a handheld mixer to beat for 30seconds.
  • Stop the mixer and add the cream of tartar.
  • Whisk for 60 seconds on high speed until you reach soft peaks.
  • Add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time while the mixer is on high speed, letting it mix for 20 seconds in between each addition of sugar.
  • Once all of the sugar is in there, the meringue will be thick and glossy. Continue whipping on high speed for 3-4 minutes.
  • Stop the mixer, add the vanilla extract and whisk for 30 seconds.
  • Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe little blobs of meringue on each corner of the baking tray and stick the baking paper on top. This will help stop it from flying around in the oven. Pipe little meringue ghosts, as many as you can.Bake for 1 hour in the oven. Once baked, leave in the oven to cool completely.
  • Once baked and cooled, dip a food safe paint brush into some black food gel and paint little eyes and mouths on the meringue ghosts. See notes for storage instructions.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake

  • Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C / 275°For a conventional oven to 160°C / 320°F. Spray two 20 cm (8 inch) cake tins with oil spray and line the bottoms with baking paper. Set aside.
  • Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt to a large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed with a hand mixer until combined.
  • Next, add the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla and red food dye and continue mixing on low speed until everything is well combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix for a final 20 seconds on low speed.
  • Divide the cake mixture between the three tins. I find that using an ice-cream scoop makes it easy to distribute the batter evenly, ensuring that all three cakes will bake at the same rate.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. If the tooth pick is coated with wet batter, continue baking for 10 minutes at a time until fully baked.
  • Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature in the tins, then chill them in the fridge overnight. Chilling your cakes overnight makes them easier to trim and decorate, so I always bake my cakes the day before I decorate them.
  • To trim your chilled cakes, use a cake leveler or large serrated knife to carefully trim the crust off the top of each cake.
  • To crumb coat your cake, add a dab of frosting onto a 10” cake board or flat serving plate. Use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting around before adding the first cake layer. Gently press down the center of the cake layer to make sure it’s stuck to the frosting underneath.
  • Add frosting to a piping bag and frost a ring around the top of the cake. Fill the center with more frosting. Use your small offset spatula to smoothen out the frosting before you add the next layer of cake. Repeat with the remaining layer.
  • Add more frosting around the sides and top of the cake. Use the small spatula to smoothen out the top and sides of the cake, taking care to fill in any gaps in between each layer of cake.
  • Use a cake scraper (otherwise known as a bench scraper) to smoothen out the frosting on the sides and top. Get it as neat as you can. This should just be a neat, thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the final layer of frosting. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Pipe more frosting on the top and sides of the cake and use the cake leveler to smoothen out. Use an offset spatula to clean up the top edges of the cake.
  • Drizzle with chocolate sauce and then finish by placing the meringue ghosts on top right before serving.

Notes

This cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
Meringues
Add the meringues on top right before serving.
You can use a food safe marker instead of black food gel if you prefer.
Store the meringues in an airtight container on top of a piece of baking paper if making ahead of time, up to three days in advance.

Nutrition

Calories : 363kcal
Carbonhydrates: 35g
Protein: 6g
Fat: 15g
Saturated Fat: 11g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
Monounsaturated Fat : 3g
Trans Fat : 1g
Cholesterol: 36mg
Sodium: 325mg
Potassium : 205mg
Fiber: 2g
Sugar : 12g
Vitamin A: 88IU
Vitamin C: 1mg
Calcium: 82mg
Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclosure

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