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Haunted Tree Halloween Cake


3 hours
Skill Level
1 cake

This spooky Halloween cake frosted with orange-colored vanilla icing and REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups Minis is sure to be a treat. Slice up and serve this chocolate cake at any costume party or monster bash.

Ingredients & Directions

Prep Time
50 minutes
Bake Time
34 minutes
Cool Time
1 hour 30 minutes


  • 2 cups
  • 1-3/4 cups
    all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup
    HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 tsps
    baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsps
    baking soda
  • 1 tsp
  • 2
  • 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup
    vegetable oil
  • 2 tsps
    vanilla extract
  • 1 cup
    boiling water
  • 2 cans
    vanilla ready-to-spread frosting or your favorite homemade vanilla frosting, divided
  • red and yellow food coloring
  • 1-1/3 cups
    REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups Minis (8-oz. pkg.), divided
  • 5 to 6 tsps
    HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S Special Dark Cocoa

Step-By-Step Directions

Equipment Needed 
oven oven
baking pans (2) 9-inch round pans
bowl bowl
mixer mixer
measuring cup measuring cups
rubber scraper rubber scraper
wire rack wire rack
chef hat food storage bag

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.


Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.


Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely.


Set aside 1/2 cup frosting. Tint remaining frosting to desired shade of orange with red and yellow food color.


Coarsely chop 1 cup mini peanut butter cups; set aside. Place first cake layer on serving plate; frost top of layer with about 3/4 cup frosting. Top with chopped peanut butter cups. Add second cake layer; complete frosting cake.


Add cocoa to reserved frosting; place in heavy duty (freezer) resealable food storage bag. Cut off tip of bag about 1/4 inch from one corner. Draw leafless tree and branches onto top of cake by piping chocolate frosting in desired design. Add remaining mini peanut butter cups as few remaining leaves on tree and as leaves that have already fallen to the ground. Makes 12 servings.

Additional questions?