Bonfire cake recipe

(245 ratings)

This bonfire cake is a real showstopper that’s bound to impress family and friends this Guy Fawkes Night.

bonfire cake
Preparation Time40 mins
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time1 hours 5 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories692 Kcal35%
Fat35 g50%
Saturated Fat21 g105%
Carbohydrates87 g33%

If you’re looking for an impressive centrepiece this Bonfire cake is perfect for serving up at a Halloween or Fireworks party.

The red, orange and yellow see-through flames are so easy to make, using hard boiled sweets. All you have to do is melt them down in the oven to create this amazing effect. You can make this bonfire cake in advance: it keeps really well, if covered, for 1-2 days. Underneath the impressive, fire-like decorations, you've got a rich and indulgent chocolate sponge. Covered in a smooth chocolate buttercream, you really can't go wrong with this recipe.


  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75g cocoa

To decorate:

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 650g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 6 each red, orange, yellow hard-boiled sweets
  • Matchmakers or similar chocolate sticks




  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4 and grease and line two 20cm cake tins.
  2. In an electric mixer beat the sugar, butter and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until combined. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa and beat again briefly until just combined.
  3. Divide the mixture between the cake tins and bake for 25mins, or until cooked-through and springy to the touch. Leave to cool for five mins before removing from the tins and allowing to cool fully.
  4. For the buttercream, beat the butter until soft. Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat until smooth.
  5. To make the boiled sweet flames line an oven tray with baking paper. Crush the sweets in a sandwich bag, using a rolling pin. Sprinkle onto the baking tray in a few mounds and bake for 2-3mins, until just melted. Pull out and, using a cocktail stick, drag out the edge to create flame. Leave to cool, then peel off the paper.
  6. To assemble the cakes fill and cover with buttercream. Pile the Matchmakers on top and arrange your ‘flames’ around the edges.

Top Tip for making this bonfire cake

If you want to make this further in advance, you can freeze the ready-made sponges. Simply allow each sponge to cool fully then wrap twice in clingfilm. When ready to use, defrost overnight, ice and serve.

What are the best sweets to use for the flames?

Any clear boiled sweets will work for this. Ideally you want a sweet that is translucent and you can see clearly through, to give the best flame effect. We've used Fox's Glacier Fruits as well as own brand supermarket boiled sweets before.

How can I make my bonfire cake flames look realistic?

Some tutorials recommend making large pieces of candy flames and breaking them up into shards, but we found the effect is better if you try to shape the candy before you melt it and as it cools. That way you can get realistic 'licking' flames. Don't worry if some bits break off as you remove the paper - they won't show on the finished cake.

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