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Vanilla & Black Cherry Halloween Bucket Cake

The children and I love Halloween.  On a number of years we have celebrated one of my daughters birthdays with a Halloween theme and it was great fun.  Of course we do the obligatory trick or treating and some of the children’s favourite sweets and mine are the Refreshers, Love Hearts and Fizzers from Swizzels.  It’s important to have stock as we all know one of the kids won’t get one in their trick or treat stash and then it’s the end of the world.  I need to buy the Swizzel Big Bag Variety Mix which is perfect to cover my children and are also great for any trick or treaters that might visit.

I love that Swizzels also have vegetarian and vegan sweet bags available too, so no one is left out.

Every year I make some Halloween treats for everyone to enjoy and this year I thought I would share with you my latest creation.  It’s a great opportunity for me to get my creative juices flowing and have some fun at the same time.

Vanilla & Black Cherry Halloween Bucket Cake

For this I used a 6 inch tin and a giant cupcake bottom which is equivalent to a 6 inch tin.  This gave me a great base that didn’t need any carving.


For the sponge

4 medium eggs

240g caster sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

120ml milk

120ml butter

215g plain flour

3 and 3/4 tsp baking powder

For the butter cream

205g butter at room temperature

430g icing sugar

3tsp vanilla extract

2tbsp milk

Additional filling

2 x 1.5-2tbs black cherry jam – used between each cake half only.

For the orange coloured sugar paste icing

room temperature butter

icing sugar

3/4 of a 1kg block of Dr Oetkers white sugar paste icing

2 tubes Dr Oetkers orange food colouring gel

For the rest of the decoration

ready coloured black sugar paste

2-3 bags (I used 3) Various Swizzels Halloween sweets

plastic spiders, flies, ants

plastic handle from a Halloween bucket



The sponge

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Line and grease two 6 inch baking tins.

Place the butter and milk in a pan and heat gently until the butter melts.  Once melted set aside to cool briefly whilst you complete the next step.

Combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence and whisk well.  It should turn a very pale colour and grow in height.

Add in the the milk and butter mix to the egg mix and whisk gently until combined.

Measure out the plain flour and baking powder.  Sift into the wet ingredients and gently fold in taking care not to over stir.

Divide equally between both containers and place in the over until the top starts to turn golden (approx 8 minutes).

After this cover each with foil and lower the oven to 180 degrees.  Cook for approximately 18 minutes or until a skewer when inserted comes out clean.

Once cooked set aside to cool.

For the butter cream

When the cakes are almost cooled you can start on the butter cream.

Combine the butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk and whisk well. I always use my mixer for this as it makes it super easy.

Once cooled you can begin to stack the cakes.  First cut each in half.

Then add a little butter cream to one side and the jam to the other.

Chefs tip: I find heating jam a little in a sauce pan (allow to cool before using) can make it much easier to spread.

Sandwich together, then add a little butter cream to the top.

Repeat with the second cake but do not add butter cream to the top.

Instead make a well, not cutting down quite as far as the jam and butter cream layer.

Use the rest of the butter cream to coat the whole cake.

For the sugar paste (orange)

I always allow extra paste when I make cakes just in case. I used approximately 3/4 of the 1kg white sugar paste block and had plenty left over after I used what I needed.

Sprinkle icing sugar onto a clean work surface to reduce the risk of the sugar paste sticking.

Add in some of the orange gel, kneed it well and continue until you get the desired colour.

Make sure you have butter at room temperature to rub onto your hands as this helps prevent the sugar paste sticking to warm hands.  Cover you fingers and palms with a small amount of butter before handling the sugar paste.  Use more as and where required including if the sugar paste begins to dry out which can happen if you need a few attempts to get it the right size and off the work surface without tearing or sticking.

Add a little icing sugar to your rolling pin prior to rolling.

Once the icing is rolled to a size that will cover the cake carefully roll it around the rolling pin, lift it off the work surface and gently lower over the top of the cake.

Smooth down edges and cut off excess.

Ready made black sugar paste

Add icing sugar to the work surface.

Cut off a little of the black paste and roll it to the desired thickness.  You don’t need the paste too thick for the eyes, nose or mouth.

Once you have the shapes ready decide whereabouts they will go.  Add a little drop of water on the back and stick them onto the orange sugar paste.

The handle

For the handle I used one from a real Halloween bucket (I washed it first).  The handle was snapped in half then one side was melted with the flame from a match to join it at a better angle so it would fit to the cake.  The handle should attach easily to the cake – mine had little nodules that clipped into the bucket and these just inserted into the cake.

Other decorations

Once the handle is on you need to add the sweets.  Arrange a good assortment on top of the Halloween bucket.

Feeling a bit more adventurous then add other items such as spiders, flies and ants.  A severed hand will fit in nicely here too.

Swizzels have invited us to share the fun with you all so we will be hosting two competitions.

One on this blog post and another on twitter.

T’s & C’s for the twitter competition:

Entrants must be 18 years +

1 (one) winner will receive (one) 3kg random assortment of Swizzels scarily scrumptious sweets.

UK entry only.

The winner must be following @MelanieMse and @SwizzelsMatlow on twitter and must have retweeted the competition tweet.

The prize will be delivered to the winner within approximately 30 days of confirmation of delivery address.

There is no cash alternative to Prizes which are subject to availability, non-transferable, non-negotiable and non-refundable. Prizes may not be sold, offered for sale or used in connection with any other competition or promotion by the Prize winner.

The competition will close on the 14th Of November at midnight.

The winner will have to respond within a week of being contacted to claim their prize.

To enter please Follow and RT here:


To enter the competition on this post keep reading!

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if required are here:


Not all entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.  All those in the UK are welcome to enter even if you have won with me before and I know there are a few of you out there.  Thanks so much for returning guys x

Look out for the daily options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook and email subscription are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and of course my

FAB competitions.

Terms and conditions can be found on the rafflecopter form.

Good Luck!

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other posts you might like:

Macabella Cupcakes

Almond and Amaretto Cake in a Double Chocolate Cage

Simple Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

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This Post Has 259 Comments

  1. Wow,you are very clever,that cake looks fantastic!

    1. Aaahhhh thanks Melanie. I can’t wait to eat some tomorrow 🙂

  2. I’m looking forward to been able to offer different sweet choices

    1. Swizzels do have a great variety.

  3. Thats quite a divine cake, sweet tooths dream and I’m a sweet tooth 🙂 Ideal for halloween

    1. It sure is. I can’t wait to tuck into it tonight with the kids and their friends.

  4. The cake looks fabulous! What a clever idea; so effective and yet fairly simple 🙂 Love your choice of black cherry jam too!

    1. It’s a great cake to make for a Halloween party 🙂

  5. Great competition, and what a gorgeous cake, thanks for posting both! I love the way the vanilla sponge is made so appropriate for the season by using black cherry jam. I wouldn’t have thought of that.

    1. It works very well with vanilla butter cream x

  6. Happy Halloween! That looks absolutely delicious, I bet it tastes it aswell!

  7. that cake is amazing and looks great for Halloween x

  8. The cake looks fantastic almost a shame to eat it – though maybe not I’m sure its delicious x

  9. Thanks for the chance to win, the cake looks just perfect.

  10. I am a sweetoholic Swizzles are my FAV!

  11. Wow! Love your Halloween bucket cake, well done you

  12. Love this! Amazing cake,wish I could make something that good.

  13. that looks great! What a good idea

  14. Love swizzles sweets and i know the family will enjoy them too if i’m lucky enough to win

  15. Such a clever cake, your time at that cookery school where we met is paying off lol

  16. I can imagine it just smells delicious, really fave scents, fingers crossed……

  17. This looks great. Thank you very much for sharing.

  18. fabulous cake , amazing prize, I would love to win for Christmas!

  19. I bet all the children loved that cake, it’s an amazing creation – well done.

    1. Thanks so much. They sure did 🙂

  20. That’s a great looking cake. I’m rubbish at baking, so usually buy one instead!

  21. My nieces would be over the moon with these 😂 my sister might hate me though!

  22. Looks yummy!

  23. Looks yummy – I will definitely add this to my “try out” list 🙂

  24. (Sorry I keep commenting I’m sure by now you know that I REALLY think it looks yummy!)

  25. The cake looks amazing. I would destroy this in minutes!

  26. I love this cake, it looks really easier to make, but really cool looking

  27. I actually don’t know what I’d do with this many sweets!!!

  28. The cake looks amazing, I never have much success baking

    1. The sugar past icing is the part I find hardest but it comes with practise. You can use butter cream instead as it’s much easier x

  29. Oooh this would be a lovely treat. I’d probably let my other half take (most of) the sweeties into work to share with his team if we won!

  30. swizzles sweets are my kids favourites (and mine!). Fab giveaway thank you.

  31. Love the cake it looks so cute. Black cherry is my favourite too!


  33. That cake looks absolutely delicious! My little girl will love trying this x

  34. Watch out Pru & Paul Melanie is after your job 🍰

    1. Ha, not sure I’m that good at making sugar paste cakes just yet 🙂

  35. How lovely, i’d love to win! p.s the cake is yummy!

    1. The sweets are too 🙂

  36. Sweeeeeets! Never too old to enjoy a bundle of sweets.

  37. this looks totally delicious! Yummy !!

    1. It was yummy 🙂

  38. Such a fab cake. I adore baking but I haven’t had the confidence to use fondant icing yet to cover a cake x

    1. It’s something that takes a to of practise. I need to try a class or something as I’d really love to improve my skills.

  39. This would be great decorated as a Christmas present or an Easter basket this is really wonderful

  40. How awesome is that cake great job. Hope you had a fun Halloween xx

  41. This looks amazing, definitely a treat for Halloween

  42. The cake is very impressive – well done! And thank you for running a great giveaway,

    1. Thanks Margaret. I do love to make cakes although i don’t get to do it often.

  43. What a brilliant prize to offer, thanks for this

  44. Lovely treat for the kids thank you would love to win

  45. This cake looks amazing, and delicious too! You’re very clever and artistic – I doubt mine would look anything like that!

    1. Aaahhh thanks Katie. It’s simpler than it looks, trust me!!!!

  46. the cake is awesome! i wish i could do cakes like that! x

  47. This would be a really lovely treat for the whole family

  48. These would be great for an evening with the kids and a few movies – bonding time extraordinaire!!

  49. This is such a fantastic idea! It looks amazing too, you’re very talented

  50. The cake looks fabulous. I could just tuck into the sweets now.

  51. I love the cake what a great idea my kids would love this

  52. Love the step by step photos. So helpful for someone like me who is NOT good at baking!

  53. Thank you for hosting another great competition. Would love to win for Christmas.

  54. Fantastic cake, i love swizzels sweets

  55. Wow, this is an awesome idea! I will be giving this a try – thanks 🙂

  56. This makes me want to break my diet (sobs gently)

  57. Thank you for all these brilliant prizes you give us chance to win. x

  58. I absolutely love Swizzels sweets, I’d love to win!

  59. this would be a lovely treat for our family x

  60. Wow – what a great prize! Love halloween and seeing all the trick or treaters!

  61. Would be great to win as I have always liked Swizzels sweets.

  62. What an amazing cake! I don’t think I’d ever be able to pull off making one myself x

  63. I love these sweets when I was a child. Perfect for dishing out to trick or treaters

  64. Great competition. Your cake looks lovely. Fantastic for Halloween

  65. Great giveaway cake looks lush unfortunately I’m a really rubbish Baker and can’t even make a packet cake 😢

  66. Looks scrummy! Don’t suppose you need an official cake tester?

  67. That looks pretty awesome, wish I’d seen it before Halloween

  68. Great cake recipe, you could use it as a basis for lots of designs. It’s a great pumpkin!

  69. That cake looks yummy! And my kids would love all of the variety in those sweets…

  70. This looks amazing! I love a good carrot cake, but it’s hard to make that Hallowe’eny!

  71. What a great idea, I love anything festive to do with Halloween or Christmas.

  72. That cake looks amazing bet its delicious too

  73. that cake looks amazing! cant wait to try it out!!

    1. Have fun baking xxx

  74. The cake is amazing – so cool. Would have been great with our pumpkin theme this year – maybe next year 🙂

  75. The cake looks great and something a bit different to the usual Haloween cakes

  76. That cake looks amazing, bet it tastes delicious too.

  77. The blog is looking as good as ever and this hamper is pretty sweet!!

  78. Your cake looks amazing! You are very talented x

    1. Aaahhh thanks Emma. This one is basic. I think most could do it if they tried.

  79. The cake looks amazing and ideal for a Halloween party

  80. I love that cake!! That would look fantastic as the centrepiece at a halloween party 🙂 I’ll have to save this for next year

  81. I wish my cakes turned out this good.

  82. this cake sounds yummy im goign to have to have a go at making it x

  83. That cake looks zoo yummy!! Its made me hungry! 😁

  84. Wow! Wonderful cake. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  85. The Halloween bucket cake looks too nice to eat.

    1. It was really good. The sweets made a great addition 🙂

  86. Oooh my goodness, this looks so good, love the cake! thanks for the chance

  87. great giveaway -thanks for the chance to win. love swizzels especially love hearts

    1. We love those too!!!

  88. I would have to ration these as everyone including me would be bouncing off the walls haha

  89. The cake looks fantastic. Can’t believe it’s not a Halloween bucket. Bet it wouldn’t look as good if I made it. WishI was more creative.

  90. what a brilliant cake, we always try to bake at least one Halloween treat, this year it was mummy gingerbread and spooky cupcakes

    1. Oh wow those sound yummy!!!

  91. My step-dad is obsessed with these sweets!

  92. This cake looks amazing. Love the fact that the swizzells sweets brand cater for the veggies and vegans too xx

    1. It is great that they have sweets that can be eaten by everyone 🙂

  93. Fab cake – it looks awesome! Halloween is such a fun time of year. Thank you for the giveaway.

  94. What a great looking cake, kids will love it

  95. Wow, great cake.

  96. Cake looks fabulous, great skill and design.

  97. lovely prize, thanks for the chance to win

  98. So many sweets! I would pick out all the love hearts first!

  99. What a fantastic idea I’m going to make these

  100. Amazing cake! Swizzels sweets are my FAVE – I’ve always loved the Parma Violets and fruit pop lollies! X

  101. This is a great idea for a halloween cake, and looks quite easy to make

  102. two chances to win, that’s fabulous thank you

  103. yummy, will be trying that..thank you x

  104. The cake looks absolutely amazing. Thank you for a lovely giveaway.

  105. Swizzels have been a favourite of mine since I was a kid and that was a very long time ago lol

  106. What a super cake. I am now inspired to try to make one like it myself!

  107. what a fab cake for Halloween i loved this and will attempt to make it with my grand daughter thanks for the chance at this giveaway

  108. that cake sounds lush, think im gonna get me baking x

    1. Have fun Astrid x

  109. Great cake! Could adapt it for all sorts of occasions!

    1. You sure can. It’s easier to make then it looks!!!

  110. Cake looks fab x

  111. The cake looks tasty Simple but effective design. Love it.

  112. Looks brilliant!

  113. I love the bucket cake it looks amazing! Such a good idea.

  114. Oh wow this cake is seriously impressive! I love making the effort to celebrate different occasions 🙂

  115. That cake looks absolutely wonderful & scrumptious, I’m going to have a go making one myself.

  116. Love your halloween bucket cake great idea looks amazing

  117. Amazing cake..you could easily adapt that to an easter basket too, great tut!

  118. nice prize to keep the kids quiet

  119. This cake looks yummy. If I won the sweets I might think about stealing the idea and icing it as a Christmas bucket

    1. That’s a great idea, good luck 🙂

  120. That cake looks amazing, unfortunately I’m not a great baker and fear if I tried it would come out a complete disaster.

    1. You should have seen my attempts with the sugar paste, OMG!!!! lol xxx

  121. Oh wow this cake looks amazing I will have to try this one day

  122. wow that cake looks fantastic,I wouldn’t want to eat it after all that work

  123. Lovely cake I may give it a go and the sweets are definitely top of my list.

  124. look yummy my daughter would enjoy these for sure! x

  125. Thank you for the kind chance, i ve read your blog before, great tips, i try to make cakes for my fours birthdays and daddies too x

    1. Thanks for returning Kelly. I’m so pleased you like my little blog 🙂

  126. Cake looks great and I have always had a soft spot for Swizzels

  127. I hope I win the prize, just in time for Christmas 🙂

  128. wow this looks like a very good prize

  129. Cool looking cake, I may try and persuade my daughter to make this for me 🙂

  130. Liked the step by step of making the cake, a lot of hard work went into that.

  131. gorgeous, spoilt for choice fingers crossed 🙂

  132. Love the Halloween Pumpkin cake, I will be having a go at that next year.

  133. Love Halloween – we are still working our way through the bonfire lollies fro Bonfire night too!
    They are the BEST!

  134. Oh wow this cake looks delicious. Making me very hungry!

  135. Wow 3kg, I wonder if we’ll be able to eat them all (we will!) I love your cake!

  136. This would be perfect for sharing on the lead up to Christmas! We have 2 kids parties in the pipeline!

  137. What a great giveaway – So sweet

  138. I love that cake. I’ll have to try it next year

  139. Your very talented.

  140. The cake looks really fab and I would love to win the sweets!

  141. Your cake looks amazing, well done! My boys would love it if we made something like that x

  142. This is a great prize, thank you so much!

  143. Love swizzels sweets, reminds me of being a kid

  144. This cake looks amazing, thank you as well for the giveaway

  145. come on Let me win!

  146. Would love to win for my niece and nephew.

  147. That cake is a wonderful idea definitely differnt from the usual pumpkin. Trouble is it would seem a shame to eat it.

    1. Ha I know, but then once you try it you won’t care 🙂

  148. Oooh sweeties, yes please – the kids and I would love these x

  149. The cake looks delicious making me hungry just looking at it.

  150. this would be amazing, great cake making skills too

  151. That cake looks incredible .. wish I was that good. Actually maybe not, I’d probably eat way too much haha.
    Good job.

    1. Thanks Emma. I hope to make some nice ones at Christmas 🙂

  152. Your cake looks amazing and you make it look so easy to do xx

    1. Aaaahhhh thanks. It’s one of the easiest I’ve made 🙂

  153. love the cake

  154. I love the easy step by step picture instructions on how to make this fab cake.

  155. What a lovely giveaway. Thank you for the chance.

  156. i will save that cake idea for next year, very effective

  157. the cake looks amazing and very tasty, wish I could bake!

    1. You’d be surprised what you can do with a little practise x

  158. That’s a cracking looking cake – and achievable to make

    1. Very which helps. The sugar paste is the hardest part for me.

  159. Sounds good for the wife when she is the lead nurse on a A&E night shift

  160. hope you had a good halloween, this looks fab

  161. wow your cake looks amazing! Great work!!! lovely giveaway too 🙂

  162. That cake looks delicious victoria sponge is one of my fave so the halloween twist is fab!

  163. Thanks for the competition, the sweets look pretty good!

  164. Wow love to be able to bake but in hopeless. Looks a great cake

  165. Lovely selection of sweets. My daughter and friends would love these.

  166. This cake looks great. I’m going to give making it a go. My family will be so impressed.

  167. I love the sound of vanilla and black cherry together. That combination makes my mouth water.

  168. The cake looks so tasty and realistic, have save this for next Halloween

  169. This looks fantastic, I’m going to give it a try.

  170. This looks fantastic, I’m going to give it a try.

  171. Great recipe and i’m really impressed with the look of the finished cake. The sweets are the bonus.

  172. that cake looked lovely – bet it was tasty too!

  173. What a sweet treat you are giving away

  174. Wha5 a fabulous cake. You make it look so easy !

  175. That cake looks fantastic – seems a shame to cut into it!

  176. A great giveaway, can you bake for me I am useless, even the dog won’t eat my baking

  177. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

  178. Wow, this cake is so creative and impressive! I might try this next year ! xx

  179. Lovely prize and oh my god that cake is incredible! I wish I was as talented! X

  180. Nice cake recipe wish I could get my sugar paste to look that good!

  181. My little ones would love this fab prize – fingers crossed

  182. The cake looks fab, love the sweets thanks for the opportunity

  183. That cake looks amazing!

  184. These cakes look amazing you need to come and bake for me

  185. Wow 3kg would be amazing for my daughters this Christmas.

  186. Wow! This cake looks amazing. Very talented!

  187. the cake sounds lovely i admire women who can bake and ice cakes like that

  188. Lovely cake I love baking cakes for my grandchildren and they love helping

  189. Fab cake I do cakes myself always love to see someone else’s creation looks great

  190. Your cake looks fantastic! I won’t even attempt to try it because my cake making skills are non existant!!

  191. the cake looks delish

  192. The cake looks fabulous! I have a thing for black cherries so I might need to give this one a try. Thank you.

  193. Ooh! I’ll be giving this bucket cake a go next year with the girls! It sounds delicious and looks fantastic 🙂 x

  194. Love swizzels sweeties, thank you for a fab giveaway, it would be perfect to win for crimbo <3

  195. Wish id seen this before, its such a great idea I love it.

  196. I don’t make cakes but I do eat sweets lol Fab giveaway as always, thank you Mel.

  197. What a fabulous cake! Will definitely give thus a go next year, thanks!

  198. Very creative! wish I was as good at baking!

  199. Perfect for bribery & threats of my kids when I need them to do something!

  200. An amazing cake – will try to remember this for next Halloween !

  201. The cake looks fab. Unfortunately I can’t eat gluten but can eat swizzles sweets. Xx

  202. Wow this looks awesome! Definitely better than my pumpkin attempt this year!

  203. This cake looks amazing well done!

  204. What a lovely idea – I bet the cake was delicious!

  205. would love to win for my daughter x

  206. That cake looks delicious, wonder how mine will turn out

  207. Awwww, soo wonderful! I’d LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to share this GORGEOUS treat with family, please. My little ones would be over the Moon, bless them 🙂 !

  208. The cake looks amazing, I bet it was yummy scrummy,

  209. Thankyou for the competition, great prize x

  210. The cake looks amazing. Not sure it would turn out so great if I had a go lol.

  211. I love it. It looks amazing

  212. What a wonderful cake and thanks for the competition.

  213. The cake looks divine x

  214. The cake looks fab. Amazing giveaway. Thank you.

  215. fab blog post and cake. yummy prize too

  216. this would be an extra treat for my grandchildren, they have just about polished off there Halloween goodies

  217. You have really inspred me to make a cake for Christmas, the family have decided on a yule log si wish me luck.

  218. Fantastic cake, ive never attempted anything more than a Victoria sponge but you made it look so easy.

  219. Great photographs make something so impressive seem possible. I’d definitely give this a go .

  220. I love the step by step instructions for the cake, what a fun idea!

    1. It goes to show it’s easier to make than one might expect.

  221. Oh man, I do love Swizzel sweets. And remember – Swizzels are for life, not just for Halloween

    1. That’s very true. We love to enjoy them all year around x

  222. Super effective design and sounds yummy too. Thank you for the chance to win

  223. I’m very impressed with your Halloween cake! I might use the recipe and tweak it for Christmas as we don’t like fruitcake. Thanks

    1. Great idea. Fruitcake isn’t our favourite either.

  224. Greta cake, well done and thanks for the chance to win x

  225. That cake is so cool! Definitely something I want to try doing one year. 🙂

    1. It’s not too hard to do and looks great. The sweets work perfectly with it 🙂

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