Halloween traybake

A wickedly good dessert to bake for parties and gatherings, Juliet Sear shows you how to make a tasty Halloween traybake!

Halloween traybake Image credit: Juliet Sear
Brought to you by Juliet Sear

Traybakes are really easy to make and are perfect for serving at gatherings and parties. You can still be just as creative with the decoration as you would be with a layer cake, using different piping tips and Halloween theme colours over the top of the bake, than accessorise with cool toppings, sprinkles and some easy sugarpaste decorations. 

Tip! The recipe includes my homemade pumpkin spice mix too, which you can also use in cookies, frostings and hot drinks!

Content continues after advertisements


For the pumpkin spice mix

  • 3tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • 2tsp nutmeg
  • 11/2tsp ground all spice
  • 1/2tsp ground cloves

For the sponge

  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tbsp pumpkin pie spice mix
  • 225ml vegetable oil
  • 5 free-range eggs
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 tin of pumpkin purée
  • 11/2tsp pure vanilla extract

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 300g soft butter
  • 600g unrefined icing sugar
  • 100g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1tbsp pumpkin spice mix
  • Food colouring gels - I used purple, orange and green

To decorate

  • Halloween sprinkles of your choice (I've used a selection from Truly sprinkles)
  • 50g white sugarpaste
  • 50g black sugarpaste
  • 100g orange sugarpaste
  • A little icing sugar, for dusting
  • Black edible writing pen


If you fancy making the sugar decorations, it's good to make these in advance. I rolled out black sugarpaste and cut out little bats, then let them dry before adding tiny balls of white for their eyes.
For the pumpkins, it's simple to make different sizes by rolling different sized balls and flattening out slightly. Then make the markings with a modelling tool, cocktail stick, small ball tool for the eyes that can be filled with tiny black sugarpaste balls or sprinkles, then add little mouths with a u shape tool or cut end of a straw.
Once all of these are dried, add pupils and some mouths and eyes on the pumpkins with a black edible pen. Once they have set, ideally overnight (or make a few days in advance to fit around your timings) they can be placed over the piping was the traybake is covered.
To bake, preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3 and line a 23x33cm (9x13in) baking tin with baking paper over the base and up the sides.
In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugars, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin purée.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and pumpkin spice mix. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk until combined, then pour the mixture into the baking tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
To make the buttercream, place one-fifth of the icing sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the butter. Mix on a low speed until the butter is incorporated, then turn up to a high speed and beat until light and fluffy. Alternatively, make the buttercream by hand with a large mixing bowl and wooden spoon. Add half of the remaining icing sugar and pumpkin spice and mix on slow until incorporated, then turn up to a high speed and beat again. Add the remaining icing sugar and repeat the process. Finally, add the cream cheese and beat on slow until smooth, light and creamy.
Separate the buttercream into smaller bowls and add your Halloween colouring until you achieve the desired shade - this works well in pastels or brights.
Place the coloured buttercreams into piping bags with any nozzles you fancy and pipe all over the top of the cake in a random mix of shapes and colours.
Finish with some Halloween sprinkles and top with sugar eyes, bats and pumpkins. Store in the fridge for up to three days, but allow to come to room temperature before eating.
Last updated 7 months ago

Related recipes

More in Cake Traybakes

Click here to view our range of live webinars!

Click here to view our range of live webinars!