Afterlife of the Party

By 01/31/2023March 18th, 2024No Comments

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I created this haunted house party of a cake with some ghostly party crashers celebrating ghouls night in! These ghouls just wanna have fun by dancing on the rooftop, hanging out of windows and doors, discarding bones all around like empty beer bottles. They are definitely the Afterlife of the party! Underneath all the ghostly fun and spooky wood cabin façade, the cake itself is a buttermilk spice cake with subtle flavors of cardamom, ginger and nutmeg, all covered in a delicious vanilla buttercream frosting that has just a hint of cream cheese to make it extra rich and delicious! Enjoy!

Afterlife of the Party

Ghouls just wanna have fun and these adorable party crashers will lift your spirits and be the 'afterlife' of the party this Halloween.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Halloween Food
Keyword: buttercream, cake, cupcakes, ghost, haunted house
Servings: 10


  • 4 6" round cake pans
  • mini plastic skeletons or mini skull mold
  • wood texture fondant mold
  • 2-inch square cookie cutter (windows)
  • small tombstone cookie cutter (door)
  • 1 18" foam sheet or sturdy poster board (roof form)
  • Stand mixer


  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp. ginger powder
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp. cream

Ghost Cake Toppers (Make ahead)

  • 1 cup white melting chocolate (skull) (or substitute and use plastic skulls from mini skeleton garland from the dollar store)
  • white gum paste (arms and body)
  • rice paper
  • toothpicks, kabob skewers, and jewelry wire

Fondant Wood Paneling and Roof

  • 2-3 cups white fondant
  • yellow fondant
  • 1 wood texture fondant mold
  • black cocoa powder
  • 1 yellow foam sheet rolled and hot glued into a cone (roof form)


Ghostie Cake Toppers (Make ahead)

  • These will take time to dry, so give yourself time to make ahead.
    Skulls: Melt white chocolate according to package directions and pour into mini skull molds(see recipe note), or if you don't have a mold, substitute with miniature plastic craft skulls.
    Ghost Body: Cut about 16-inches of jewelry wire and twist into a "t" leaving one end short for the skull and then wrap the long end around a toothpick or skewer. (I actually forgot to do this step and had to glue the skewer to the back of the ghost) I used the long skewers for the dancing ghosts above the roof and small toothpicks for the other ghosts. Briefly heat the short end of the wire with a flame and stick the chocolate skull on it. If using a plastic skull, attach it to the wire with hot glue. Wrap the wires with gum paste to create the arms and body of the ghosts. Bend the arms into fun positions and allow to dry overnight. (Optional: Age skulls with a mixture of black cocoa powder and vodka. Use a paintbrush to paint on cocoa powder and allow vodka to evaporate.)
    Dressing the ghosts: Cut rice paper in half with scissors and spray with water and let sit for about 1-2 minutes until soft. Gently drape it over your ghost form and adjust the folds. Allow ghost to dry flat on parchment paper or stick them in foam to dry upright. Either way works, however if you lay them flat you will need to flip them over to dry the other side, so give yourself an extra day or so. (I made 8 ghosts)

Buttermilk Spice Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare four 6-inch round pans with non-stick cooking spray and line with rounds of parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla and vinegar until well incorporated. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix until incorporated. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans and bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes and then turnout of pan and cool completely on wire racks.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • Place butter, cream cheese, and vanilla in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and mix first on low speed until ingredients are combined. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula and mix on high speed until light and creamy about 3 minutes.
  • Add powdered sugar in two additions with mixer on low, scraping down sides with a rubber spatula, mix until sugar is incorporated. Add cream and mix on high for 2-3 minutes more or until frosting is smooth and fluffy. Transfer frosting into a piping bag and frost cake and chill in fridge.


  • Fondant wood siding: Roll a few tablespoons of fondant between your hands into 6 inch logs and press into fondant mold with a small ruler. Peel mold away from fondant and trim to straighten edges. Place on cake. Repeat rows by staggering seams until whole cake is covered.
    Doors: Use tombstone cookie cutter to cut into the fondant covered cake and remove the fondant from the doorway and discard. Use the same cookie cutter to cut out a tombstone shape in the yellow fondant and press it in to fill the door way. Age with cocoa powder.
    Windows: Use 2-inch square cookie cutter to cut into the fondant covered cake to create windows. Remove the fondant and use the 2-inch cookie cutter to cut out windows from yellow fondant. Use fondant tools to create window panes and age with cocoa powder. Press it into fill in the windows.
    3D door: Roll out a large circle of gum paste and press it into the wood grain mold, peel the mold away from the gum paste and use the tombstone cookie cutter to cut out a new door. Age with cocoa powder and set aside to dry. Attach a candy ball for the doorknob with frosting or edible adhesive.
    Wood grain planks (for roof and boarded up windows): Continue to roll out fondant for roof and windows. Use a paintbrush to age planks and siding on the house with black cocoa powder. When attaching planks to windows, use a dot of melting chocolate or use edible glue and secure with toothpicks until dry.
    Roof form: I made a cone out of an 18-inch foam crafting sheet(see recipe notes on how to make a cone). I cut about 2 inches off the top of the cone and placed it on top of the cake. I secured the fondant planks to the roof form with buttercream frosting and dusted any visible "frosting" with cocoa powder to hide it.
    Carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter and add your finishing touches. Add three ghosts on long skewers through the top of the roof and add the rest of the party crashers to the windows and door. Secure your 3D door with frosting or a dot of melting chocolate. Sprinkle chocolate jimmies and candy bones around the house.


How to make a cone-WikiHow
I got the 2 mini skull molds from Stacey's Decor on Etsy.  

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