Chocoholic's Bat Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
For the cake:
  • 30g (or 1 ounce) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 120ml (or ½ cup) boiling water
  • 140g (or ½ cup + 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
  • 70g (or ½ cup + 4 teaspoons) cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 60ml (or ¼ cup) sunflower oil
  • 120ml (or ½ cup) milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 240g (or 1 cup + 3 tablespoons) granulated sugar
For the ganache:
  • 100ml (or ⅓ cup + 4 teaspoons) whipping cream
  • 50g (or ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon) powdered sugar
  • 150g (or 5 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped
  • To decorate:
  • 100g (or ⅔ cup + 2 tablespoons) powdered sugar
  • a few drops of water
  • blue and red food coloring
  • mini-marshmallows
  • skewers
First make the cake:
  1. Start by preheating the oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting). Liberally butter a 18-cm (7-inch) round cake pan with butter and dust it with cocoa. Pour the water over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and stir to dissolve. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg with a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until foamy. Keep mixing and slowly drizzle in the oil. Once the oil is fully incorporated, add the milk and vanilla to the chocolate-water mixture. Pour the now cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Add the sugar and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved. To check whether the sugar has dissolved, rub the batter between your fingers. You'll know the sugar is dissolved if you cannot feel any sugar grains anymore.
  4. Stop the mixer. Add the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once the flour mixture has been absorbed, give the batter a quick whiz with the mixer to get rid of any lumps. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and leave to cool for twenty minutes in the pan before turning the cake out. Let the cake cool to room temperature, wrap it with plastic wrap and leave to chill in the fridge for one hour.
Make the template and carve the cake:
  1. Using the cake pan, draw a circle on on a regular piece of paper and cut it out. Quarter it by folding it in half twice. Open the folded circle up again and, using the folds as guidelines, draw on the shape of the body. Cut out the different shapes.
  2. ransfer the cake to a cutting board. If your cake has a dome on top, carefully remove it with a serrated knife, holding the knife perfectly horizontal. Place the cut out templates on the cake and carefully cut around the shapes with a sharp, serrated knife. Place the different cake pieces on a wire rack and place a baking sheet underneath to catch any ganache drips.
Make the ganache and assemble:
  1. Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Combine the powdered sugar and the whipping cream in a small saucepan and let it come to a simmer as you stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and stir to a smooth ganache. You want the ganache to be quite liquid.
  2. NOTE: if the chocolate doesn't completely dissolve or the ganache is too thick, gently heat the ganache in a double boiler (check the 'Basics' section for more details).
  3. Pour the warm ganache over the cake pieces and use a rubber spatula to smooth the ganache evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Scrape up the ganache drippings from the baking sheet, reheat the ganache in a double boiler and pour it over the cake again if the first pour didn't completely cover your cake.
  4. Transfer the coated cake pieces to a cutting board lined with baking parchment, pressing them together to form the bat. Refrigerate overnight or until set. Scrape the ganache drippings from the baking sheet into a small bowl and refrigerate for later use.
  5. Once the ganache has set, carefully (!) transfer the bat onto a serving platter or serving tray. Reheat the reserved ganache in a double boiler. Bend the skewers to form two little, crooked legs. Push the end of each leg halfway into a mini-marshmallow (the bat's feet) and coat with the ganache. Stick the legs into the cake.
  6. Make a thick glaze by mixing the powdered sugar with a few drops of water. Put one-third of the glaze in a different bowl and stir in a drop of red food coloring. Tint the other two-third of the glaze a bright blue. Using either a paper cone or a toothpick, draw or pipe a little mouth on the bat's face. Cut up a white mini-marshmallow to make the fangs and the eyes (with ganache pupils) and pipe or draw a line of blue glaze to accentuate its body. Allow the ganache and glaze to set. Enjoy!
You can also use the bat template to make a butterfly cake!
Recipe by The Tough Cookie at