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red and black. marble cake slice with skull in the background

Spooky Halloween Marble Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This is the perfect Spooky Halloween Marble Cake for your Halloween parties! The red and black marble cake is decorated with drippy red “blood” with bloody bones and bloody eyeball sprinkles!


Marble Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups (293g) all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk*
  • 5 oz bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), chopped**
  • Black gel icing color
  • Red gel icing color

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 2 1/4 cups (504g) unsalted butter
  • 8 cups (920g) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (114g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 57 tbsp (75-105ml) water/cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Black gel icing color

Red Drip

  • 4 oz red Wilton candy melts
  • 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • Sprinkles (see notes)


Make Cake Layers

  1. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the butter, vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
  4. Add the eggs two at a time, mixing until well combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until combined.
  6. Add the buttermilk and mix until well combined.
  7. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.
  8. Divide the batter in half in two separate bowls. If you have a food scale, I like to weigh the batter and then divide it in half evenly. Set one bowl aside. To the other bowl, add the red gel icing color and gently fold to combine until it reaches a nice red color. Set aside.
  9. Melt the chopped chocolate, then add it to the uncolored bowl of cake batter along with the black gel icing color and gently fold together to combine. Work somewhat quickly so that the chocolate in the cake batter doesn’t firm up too much and make the cake batter more difficult to work with.
  10. Drop alternating heaping spoonfuls of each batter to the cake pans and gently shake the pan side to side to spread it evenly. Repeat until you’ve used all the cake batter between the three pans.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  12. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

Make the Frosting

  1. To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large mixer bowl until smooth.
  2. Add half of the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder and mix until well combined and smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of water or milk and mix until well combined and smooth.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar and salt and mix until well combined and smooth.
  5. Add additional water or milk, if needed to get the right consistency of frosting, then add the black gel icing color to get the right shade of black.

Assemble and Decorate

  1. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat. These cakes don’t have a large dome, but I like to make sure they’re completely flat.
  2. Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.
  3. Spread about 1 cup of chocolate buttercream evenly on top of the cake.
  4. Add the second layer of cake on top, then another cup of chocolate buttercream.
  5. Top the cake with the final layer of cake and frost the outside of the cake with the chocolate buttercream.
  6. To make the red drip, add the candy melts to a bowl. Heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the candy melts. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk to combine. It likely won’t melt all the way, so heat it in the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring between each, until fully melted. Set aside to cool a bit.
  7. Drizzle the red drip around the edges of the cake, then add a little bit to the edges on top. Don’t fill in the center. See my tips on making a drip cake for more guidance.
  8. Decorate the cake with bone and eye ball sprinkles. See links to sprinkles in the notes below.
  9. Store cake in an air tight container until ready to serve. Cake is best if eaten within 3-4 days.


*I use powdered buttermilk. Regular buttermilk also works. Ina pinch, regular milk would be fine, but the cake is more tender and moist with buttermilk.

**I strongly recommend sticking with bittersweet chocolate for this cake. I find it gives the best flavor and texture to the chocolate cake portion.

There are several sprinkle options:
Bloody Bones
More Bloody Bones
Crime Scene Sprinkle Mix
Bloody Eyeball Sprinkles
Bloody Severed Fingers


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 915
  • Sugar: 95.6 g
  • Sodium: 196.1 mg
  • Fat: 50.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 117.3 g
  • Protein: 6.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 152.1 mg