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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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259 thoughts on “Vanilla & Black Cherry Halloween Bucket Cake”

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

  2. 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. 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

  3. 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!

    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.

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

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

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

  11. 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 🙂 !

  12. 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

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