Delicious black velvet cake with a smooth cream cheese frosting topped with fun sprinkles! This cake is the perfect Halloween treat.

How to Make Black Velvet Cake

I LOVE HALLOWEEN. And I also love cake. So I decided it was time to make a Halloween-inspired cake. But first things first – let’s talk about Black Velvet cake. 

What is Black Velvet Cake?

It is NOT chocolate cake! Black Velvet cake is just a Halloween version of a classic Red Velvet Cake. Most people don’t know this, but Red Velvet Cake is just a lightly flavored chocolate buttermilk cake with a lot of red food coloring. The actual “red” part of this cake is not important in terms of flavor. So I decided to switch the colors up a little bit. 

Best Cake Baking Recipe - Black Velvet

How do you get the cake so black?

A classic red velvet cake recipe uses cocoa powder. So instead of using the traditional cocoa powder, I used Hersey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder. This helped me get a much darker look. Then, I brought it the rest of the way with black food coloring.  

Quick and Easy Home Cake Instructions

Of course, then I topped it off with a Cream Cheese frosting (just like a classic red velvet cake) and then I added some Sweetapolita Sprinkles. Becuase we all know everything is better with sprinkles. 

Tips for Success 

  • Use a Cake Leveler to make sure your layers are even. There is nothing worse than a lopsided or wonky cake due to domed or uneven layers. 
  • Make sure you use a Crumb Coat when you are icing this cake. Otherwise, you will end up with a bunch of black flecks in your icing – and nobody wants that. 
  • Choose sprinkles that pop! If you are going to go with orange frosting (like I did), I suggest using some variety of black and/or purple sprinkles. 

Moist and Fluffy Chocolate Velvet Cake

Complete Chocolate Velvet Cake Tutorial

Halloween is my favorite holiday. So if you are looking to make more than just this cake, I have listed some of my other Halloween recipes below!

Other Halloween Recipe Ideas

I can’t wait for you to try them! Happy Baking!


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  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar


  • 3/4 cup salted butter
  • 9 oz cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • Orange Food Coloring


For the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8" pans with non-stick spray and parchment at the bottom.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk cake flour, salt, and cocoa - set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, mix sugar and canola oil until well combined.
  • Add in eggs one at a time.
  • Add food coloring and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix until just combined.
  • In a small bowl, mix baking soda and vinegar. Stir it into batter until combined.
  • Pour batter into two prepared 8-inch pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Once they are done, place the cakes on a cooling rack until they come to room temperature.
  • Once cooled, use a sharp knife to cut each cake into two layers.

For the icing:

  • Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whip together butter and cream cheese on high speed until pale and fluffy.
  • Mix in vanilla extract. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth, light and fluffy - about 3 minutes.
  • Add orange food coloring and mix until combined.


*Recipe adopted from I Am Baker
*Makes 1 Cake
Lindsay sprinkling her baked goods | Sprinkles For Breakfast

About Lindsay

I might be the only person in the history of the world that has ever been grounded from baking. That's right. When I was a teen, it wasn't the computer, or the


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