Annabel Karmel’s chocolate spider cakes recipe

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makes: 18
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 20 min
Cooking: 20 min
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  • The kids are going to love Annabel Karmel’s chocolate spider cakes. With a rich chocolate sponge covered in chocolate these scary treats are actually very tasty. Ready in just 40 mins, this recipe makes 18 delicious cakes. A cross between a brownie, a muffin, these tasty, chocolate Halloween cupcakes are unlikely to hang around for long. Store these cakes in an airtight container until you want to serve them. Any leftovers can be stored for up to 2 days. These spider cakes are ideal for Halloween parties.


    • For the cakes:
    • 170g/6oz dark chocolate, chopped
    • 170g/6oz butter, cut into 2cm cubes
    • 200g/7oz soft light brown sugar
    • 3 eggs, at room temperature
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    • 2tbsp sour cream
    • 150g/5oz self raising flour
    • 2tbsp cocoa powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 85g/3oz milk chocolate, finely chopped or chips (optional)
    • For the decoration:
    • 100g/4oz milk chocolate
    • Liquorice laces
    • 16 chocolate marshmallow teacakes
    • Liquorice Allsorts
    • M&Ms
    • Tube of writing icing


    • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line two muffin tins with 18 paper cases. Put the chocolate, butter and sugar in a heatproof bowl and melt, stirring frequently. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave (about 3 mins, stirring after each minute) or over a pan of warm water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Set aside to cool slightly.

    • Whisk together the eggs, vanilla and sour cream. Stir this into the cooled chocolate. Into this, sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt, and fold in, along with the milk chocolate (if using).

    • Spoon into the paper cases, to about two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for 18-20 mins, until the muffins have risen and are firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 mins, then transfer to a cooling rack.

    • For the decoration, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Using a palette knife, cover each cake with some of the melted chocolate. Arrange a liquorice strip for each of the spider’s eight legs and stick a teacake in the centre of these. Use a blob of writing icing to stick the M&Ms on to the Liquorice Allsorts for eyes.

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