Rich chocolate cake layers paired with a chocolate buttercream, chocolate ganache all covered in meringue bones. The effect is striking and perfect for Halloween but the execution is so easy! I’ve actually seen a bunch of meringue bone cakes online and just finally got around to trying my hand at one. Piping the bones is really easy. Just whip up a batch of french meringue, transfer to a piping bag and snip the tip off. Then pipe the bone shaped onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The hardest part is waiting for them to dry out in the oven. It takes forever and is so tempting to take them out early.
Broken bones are no problem so don’t worry if they crack! I think they make the cake look all the more menacing. If you really want to up the gore factor you can add some raspberry reduction for blood and drizzle that all over. I opted to skip that as my husband is a bit squeamish…
A spooky cake perfect for Halloween. Moist chocolate cake wrapped in chocolate buttercream all covered in meringue bones.
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup strong hot coffee I use a Moka pot so it's basically espresso
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 lb confectioner's sugar
- 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup Cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla optional
- 1 tsp espresso optional
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup cup cocoa nibs
- 3/4 cup chocolate semi-sweet
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 egg whites large
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch kosher salt
Preheat oven to 215 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a very clean bowl, whisk egg whites with a wire whisk on medium low. (I wiped the inside of my bowl with a lemon.) Add cream of tartar, vanilla and salt
When your egg whites are foamy, begin to beat on medium, then gradually add sugar. Add remaining sugar when whites reach a "soft-peak" stage. Increase speed to medium-high, until "firm-peaks" appear.
Cut off the edge of a piping bag, fill with meringue. On the parchment, piping bone-like shapes. Bake for about 60 minutes.
Butter and flour three 9-inch cake pans. I highly recommend using cake strips for a more even bake.
Sift together the dry ingredients (including the sugar) into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.
Add the wet ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together.
Add the wet ingredients the dry ingredients.
- Whisk to combine then mix on level 2 for two minutes.
- Distribute batter evenly to the three pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes at 350F or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I recommend rotating the pans halfway through the bake.
Allow time to cool for 10 minutes then invert onto wire racks to cool fully.
In a small bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate with 2 tbs of cream then microwave for 40 secs on half power. Stir to combine then set aside.
Whip the butter for about 5 minutes using a paddle attachment (in a stand-up mixer).
Beat in the confectioner’s sugar slowly.
Add the cream.
Slowly mix in the ¼ cup of cocoa powder. Add the salt, as well.
You may add the optional vanilla and espresso at this step.
Mix until you have a fluffy, even consistency.
Beat in the melted and cooled chocolate ganache.
Melt the chocolate and cream in a microwave for a few 30 second bursts at 50% power.
Transfer to a piping bag with and cut the tip off.
Spread chocolate buttercream and chocolate ganache between each layer.
Spread the buttercream on the outside of the cake. Smooth it.
Add a smooth coat of chocolate buttercream to the surface of the cake.
Use meringue bones to decorate outside layer.