This purple and orange sheet cake recipe is perfect for Halloween! Made with a made from scratch cake mix and colorful frosting on top, this sweet dessert is sure to be delightful for all the boys and ghouls. See what I did there?
Sheet cakes are an incredible invention because they’re just so simple (which is one huge reason why I love them so much). Made in a large pan you can feed a lot of people with one cake so parties and get-togethers are a perfect occasion to whip out this Halloween sheet cake recipe.
What is a sheet cake?
A sheet cake is a large flat cake, usually a single layer, that has been baked in an actual baking sheet or in a 9×13 baking dish. We are using a 9×13 baking dish because it gives us the perfect height and fluffy texture for our homemade cake. This cake is going to look fancy, but follow along with these step-by-step instructions and it’s going to be far simpler than you may think!
Sheet cake ingredients
For the cake, you will need:
-Flour: 3 cups of all-purpose flour will be the base of this cake recipe.
-Sugar: We will need 1 ⅓ cups of granulated sugar for a sweet cake.
-Milk: Use ¾ cups of milk to help moisten the cake batter to a good consistency.
-Oil: Adding in ⅓ cup of oil will help make our cake richer by giving it fats.
-Butter: Adding in more fats, you will need 1 cup (2 sticks) of softened butter.
-Eggs: 4 eggs will bind the cake together well and help in leavening it to get a great texture.
-Lemon juice: Use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to flavor the cake and keep it fresh and light.
-Vanilla: Use 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to make the cake taste great.
-Baking powder: To help the cake fluff up while baking you will need 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
-Salt: 2 teaspoons of salt will enhance the flavors in this cake and make it taste incredible.
For the frosting you will need:
-Powdered sugar: You will need 5 cups of powdered sugar (this is about what you find in a 2 pound bag).
-Butter: Use 3 cups of softened unsalted butter. This is 6 sticks of butter.
-Vanilla: Use 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract to flavor the frosting.
-Salt: Using 2 teaspoons of salt we can make this frosting taste great by enhancing the flavors.
-Food coloring: You will need 1 ¼ teaspoons each of orange gel food coloring and purple gel food coloring. You will also need ½ teaspoon of white gel food coloring.
How to make Halloween sheet cake
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray the inside of a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Prepare the Vanilla Cake Batter
In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar.
Add in the vanilla, eggs, oil, lemon juice, and milk and beat on medium speed until fully combined.
In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder with a whisk. Mix well. Combine the flour mixture and butter mixture on medium speed until no lumps remain and all of the ingredients are well blended.
Bake the Cake
Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan and spread it out evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool fully. This takes about an hour.
While the cake is cooling, place half of the butter for the frosting into a large mixing bowl and use your hand mixer to beat it smooth.
Make the Buttercream Frosting
Add in the rest of the butter along with the vanilla, and salt. Mix again until smooth and combined.
Add one cup of powdered sugar at a time until fully incorporated.
Once finished, place the frosting in the fridge while your cake cools.
Color the Frosting
Once the cake has cooled completely, separate the frosting into 5 equal parts. Place each one into its own bowl.
Place 1 teaspoon of orange dye into one bowl and ¼ teaspoon of orange dye into another. Do the exact same thing with the purple (one teaspoon in one bowl and ¼ teaspoon in another). Place the white coloring in the last bowl.
Mix each frosting with the colors until fully incorporated.
Pipe Frosting onto Cake
Place all of the dark orange frosting into a frosting bag with tip #849 and make 6-7 medium-sized rosettes randomly across the surface of the cake. I do this by starting from the outside and working my way in towards the center in a circular pattern.
Place half of the dark purple frosting into a frosting bag with tip #869. Place dollops in about 6-7 spots randomly across the top of the cake. Make the dollops by holding the bag straight up and down and squeezing the frosting out into a pile, lightly pressing down and releasing the pressure on the bag as you lift up.
Place some of this light orange frosting into a frosting bag with tip #862. Place small dollops randomly across the cake. You will want to make a lot of them. Have fun with it.
Repeat the same exact process with the white frosting in its own bag and tip #860. Use even more white frosting than you did the light orange.
Go back to the dark orange frosting and start making dollops with the same tip you used for the rosettes. Do this wherever you see fit.
Add the light purple frosting to a bag and use tip #863. Use it to fill in any and all holes in the frosting by making small dollops all over.
Add the rest of the dark purple frosting to a frosting bag and use tip #861 to fill even smaller holes in with tiny dollops.
Slice and serve. Enjoy!
Pretty Halloween Sheet Cake
- 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 ⅓ Cups Granulated Sugar
- ¾ Cup Milk
- ⅓ Cup Oil
- 2 Sticks Butter room temp (1 Cup)
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 5 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 6 Stick Unsalted Butter room temp (3 Cups)
- 3 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Teaspoon + ¼ Teaspoon Orange Gel Food Coloring
- 1 Teaspoon + ¼ Teaspoon Purple Gel Food Coloring
- ½ Teaspoon White Gel Food Dye
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray the 9×13 cake pan with nonstick spray.
Make the Cake Batter
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the vanilla, eggs, oil, lemon juice, and milk to the bowl with the butter mixture. Use a hand mixer and beat on medium speed until fully combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix well.
- Combine the butter and flour mixture and beat on medium until no lumps remain and all ingredients are fully combined.
Bake the Cake
- Pour into the prepared cake pan, spread evenly, and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let fully cool. This can take about an hour.
- While the cake is cooling, place half the butter for the frosting in a large mixing bowl and use the hand mixture to beat it until smooth.
Make the Buttercream Frosting
- Add the rest of the butter, vanilla, and salt. Mix again until smooth and combined.
- One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar to the butter mixture and beat until fully incorporated.
- Once finished, place the frosting in the fridge while your cake cools.
Color the Frosting
- Once the cake is ready, separate the frosting into four equal parts, each in their own bowl.
- Place 5 equal portions of the frosting in 5 different bowls. Place 1 teaspoon of the orange dye in one bowl and ¼ teaspoon of the orange dye in a second bowl. Do the same exact thing with the purple dye. Place the white dye in the last bowl. Mix until no streaks of white or color appear.
Pipe the Frosting onto Cake
- Place all of the dark orange frosting in a frosting bag with tip #849 and make around 6-7 medium rosettes randomly across the surface of the cake. I do this by starting from the outside and working my way in with a circular motion.
- Place half of the dark purple in a frosting bag with tip #869, however, don’t do rosettes like the purple, do dollops. Do this in around 6-7 spots randomly across the cake. Make the dollops by holding the tip straight up and down, squeezing the frosting into a small pile, lightly pressing down, and then squeezing out more frosting into a small pile on top of the first, ending with a light press down and release of the pressure on the frosting.
- Place the light orange frosting in a frosting bag with tip #862 and place small dollops randomly across the cake. A lot of them. Have fun with it. Do this by releasing a bit of frosting and ending with a light press down and release of pressure (stop squeezing the frosting out).
- Repeat the same exact process as the light orange, with the white frosting, except use its own frosting bag and tip #860. Do even more of the white than the light orange.
- Revisit the dark orange and start doing dollops with the same tip instead of rosettes. Do this all over, where you see fit. This will make stars.
- Add the light purple frosting to a frosting bag and use tip #863 and fill in small holes with small dollops all over.
- Add the rest of the dark purple frosting to a frosting bag and use tip #861 and fill in smaller holes with tiny dollops. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
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How to store Halloween sheet cake
You will want to keep this cake chilled when not being eaten to prevent your frosting from melting, especially if it’s hot outside like it is for many southern states this time of the ear. Keep it well covered or place a lid over your baking dish if you can without smudging the frosting.
What if my frosting gets too warm?
If it’s too warm in your home there’s a simple solution. Just take the cake and the frosting and place them in the fridge. Let them chill for a while before continuing with the frosting. This will help to keep your frosting from melting. It’s super humid where I live, so I paused about halfway through decorating and placed the cake in the fridge to let the frosting firm back up before continuing. If need be, this is a great way to keep the cake looking perfect at serving time instead of partially melted.
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You’re going to love this easy and fancy-looking purple and orange sheet cake recipe. It’s perfect for Halloween and so much fun to make and share with friends. This cake is sure to be the hit of your next Halloween party.