Death by Cake – A Blood-Dripping Recipe


Shivering bare branches scrape and scratch at dark windows, clawing their way into frightened imaginations with the terrifying screech of a shrill nail dragged slowly down a chalk-dusted blackboard. The rumbling bass of a thump shakes the rickety home – frightened imaginations become concerned. A couple cuddle closer, warm under a blanket shared near the silent roar of a mature, hours-old fire. Friends sipping from favorite mugs on the steaming, marshmallow filled cocoa decide to sit closer – within hugging distance if needed – as wind howling around outside whistles and whines. A scary story – prose poorly delivered from a too eager to scare story teller – still shocks the on-edge group. Laughter, nervous and fraught with anticipation, barely covers the air of fear floating from one to the other.


Suddenly with a thunderous pop and flash of light the house falls into darkness. The hum of appliances and electronics all whir down and the cheerful facade of laughter and banter ceases. A few quiet crackles from the mellow, dying fire scream out in the silent room – nothing else can be heard. Menacing, screaming branches now cast horrifying, monstrous shadows on the stark walls of the dark room – lit by the occasional flash of light from a marauding storm hovering far above. A ghost of a friend appears suddenly with lit candles, one in each hand, letting a warm orange glow dance about the room in unison with the faint red glow of a now dead fire. A polite inquiry to whom may want more cocoa produces a tray filled with mugs, a bowl of small delicate marshmallows, a variety of chocolate and a kettle of hot milk. Friends huddle around the comfortable tray, their ferocious thoughts quieted with the warm, chocolaty hug of hot cocoa filling their butterfly-filled stomachs – their hands comforted with the radiant glow of heat floating from the mug into their tightly gripped hands.



The unmistakeable sound of glass shattering into a spray of falling shrapnel rings down a dark, empty hall – everyone knows this isn’t their imagination. Whispers, dares and frightened thoughts of concern float about the group. Finally a brave soul agrees to inspect and with little more than the quite tapping of his feet against the cold wood floors, he disappears into the dark hallway, the lone candle’s glow too fades to nothingness. Silence befalls the house. Seconds go by – they are perceived as painfully long minutes. Then a minute goes by. Concerned chatter returns and with little hesitation two more guys from the group – proud in their sexist ideals that they must protect the girls – decide to wander down the same ill-fated hallway. Nothing. Minutes and minutes pass by. The girls wait and wait but all they can hear is the whistling of wind rushing through a broken window somewhere in the house.


The girls wrap themselves in the thickest quilt, grab fire pokers, heavy blunt objects and whatever else their frightened imaginations can turn into a weapon. One girl belts out a nervous laugh – she is quickly reprimanded with a slap of a punch from both friends to both arms. Deep breaths and  they begin their slow arduous trek down the dark hall – the dim light from their candle bouncing each way as the wind teases it. A gust of wind then quickly erases the light-giving power of the candle. The hall plunges into darkness. The candle is dropped and panic ensues – one girl runs off, the other two retreat back to the living room.


With a few pops and buzzes from devices around the house the lights magically glow again. Just as the power switches on though an ear-piercing scream rings from the kitchen – as quickly as the scream bounces about the house it is silenced. The girls run to the kitchen. Did she find the dead bodies of their boyfriends? Is it a murderer standing there waiting to devour his victim. Maybe it is a zombified raccoon! The girls swing open the kitchen door with closed eyes, afraid to look, terrified of what they will find awaiting them in the kitchen. With a peek they prepare to jump back. Every tense muscle in both girls’ bodies relaxes. They open their eyes fully, now curious. The screaming princess seems to be fine. And the three guys? What are they huddled around? Are they zombies? Could they be eating a neighbor…


“We found chocolate cake!” one guy rings out, his chocolate muddied face turns away from the decadent dessert only for a moment.


“It’s sooo good!” exclaims another without even turning.


“Sorry. The power came on and scared me,” explains the screamer.


All six now stand around the butcher block island, forks in hand, chocolate cake slowly being devoured. They survived another night. Then a pounding of a knock at the door. The group looks at each other – there is no way they are opening that door.


“Trick or treat!” the the quiet chime of a group of kids barely carries through the house. The group breaths, relaxes, and dutifully takes their rightful place by the door, scary costumes donned, bowl of candy nearby.


Death by Cake - A Blood-Dripping Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
1 bundt pan 1 large bowl 1 whisk or wooden spoon
Recipe by:
Makes: 1 cake
  • 12 ounces sugar
  • 2½ ounces good cocoa powder
  • 5 ounces bread flour
  • 4½ ounces cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teasspon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup freshly brewed coffee
  • 8 ounces butter, melted
  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter a bundt pan.
  2. If you have a hard time buttering a bundt pan, get the pan very cold, then pour in a little melted butter and move it around with your fingers.
  3. Using a whisk or wooden spoon, break apart and smooth out the sour cream in a very large bowl. Add the eggs, mixing in one at a time. Add the buttermilk and mix until homogenous.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients into the large bowl and mix until a thick batter forms.
  5. Add the vanilla, coffee and melted butter, one at a time, and mix until the batter absorbs all of the liquid. The batter will be very thin - this is a good thing for chocolate cakes.
  6. Pour the batter into a bundt pan leaving room in the top of the pan for the cake to rise.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out barely clean (a few straggling crumbs is a good thing - it means the cake will be moist). Mine baked for 42 minutes.You may want to check much sooner depending on which shape of bundt pan you use though.
  8. Allow the cake to cool in the bundt pan before removing.


For halloween I decided to serve this cake with a blood-red cranberry caramel sauce. The sauce is quite easy and the sweet and tart notes play very well with the chocolate cake.



Death by Cake - A Blood-Dripping Recipe
Cook time
Total time
Cranberry Caramel Sauce Since brown sugar is already the color of caramel you must rely on your sense of smell as well as your eyes when watching this sugar. Watch it carefully and never leave a caramel unattended. It goes from perfectly caramelized to burnt in a matter of seconds.
Recipe by:
  • 4 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen - thawed if frozen)
  • ½ cup water
  • 10 ounces light brown sugar
  1. Puree the cranberries in a food processor or blender until they form a puree.
  2. Place the brown sugar and ¼ cup of water in the pot. Heat over high until the sugar begins to boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for a few minutes - The color will darken a little and it will smell sweet, not burnt.
  3. Add the rest of the water and the cranberry puree to the caramel. Stand back as it may bubble up. Bring back to a boil and keep it boiling over medium heat until it coats a spoon - about six to ten minutes.
  4. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve pushing or scraping on the mixture against the sieve to get all of the liquid out.
  5. Let the mixture cool slightly. It will thicken as it cools.

Happy Halloween!

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AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Food nerd. Cookbook author. Founder of Chasing Delicious. Pastry cook at Fluff Bake Bar. Lover of hot dogs. Russell van Kraayenburg founded Chasing Delicious in 2010 and has been chasing delicious recipes ever since. Russell is author of the cookbooks Haute Dogs and Making Dough.


  • nicole {sweet peony}

    love the pictures! very creepy & perfect for halloween! the cake doesn’t look too bad either :)

  • Faith

    that chocolate cake looks VERY good. I’ll definitely have to try it. The last time I made a chocolate cake it was totally and utterly crappy.
    Love the little details you’ve captured too – especially the little drip of sauce… brilliant.

  • Emily @ Life on Food

    Yes, please. I would love a slice. Great photos! I am definitely in the mood for Halloween now.

  • Jenn@Baking Jenn's Blog

    This looks so good! Your photography is incredible.

  • Becky

    I loved your “creepy story”, and the amazing chocolate cake with the blood dripping caramel sauce. Pure genius! A perfect prelude to Halloween.

  • Kathryn

    Wonderful pictures – so moody and evocative.

  • Kiri W.

    Looks delicious! And very appropriate for Halloween. Gotta love the little pumpkin on top! :)

  • Rebecca@A Dusting of Sugar

    Haha, you’re a good storyteller, I approve. Your cake looks very good, wish I brought a bundt pan to college! Oh, and I’d never thought of making a cranberry caramel sauce…innovative!

  • Happy When Not Hungry

    Great photos and a delicious looking cake!

  • Beth

    That’s looks beautifully gross. I would totally eat it!

  • Nicole@The Galley Gourmet

    Writing, photography, recipes– all perfect! So glad I found your blog!

  • Nicole @ Bake Me Blush

    This looks delicious, and I never pass up a good chocolate cake. I really enjoyed your story — beautifully written! — and your photos are stunning.

  • Amy

    This cake is beautiful! It sounds amazing without the sauce, but it is a great addition! Love that it is cranberry, it would be so delicious with the chocolate!

  • Sandra

    So appropriate for the holiday and so awesome!

  • Ruthanne VandenBosch

    These are wonderfully creepy! Love your pictures!!!

  • Kimberly (unrivaledkitch)

    gorgeous cake, beautiful scene and pictures. Happy Halloween!

  • Jen at The Three Little Piglets

    That sauce is SUCH a great idea! So much better than the other fake colored corn syrup blood ideas!

  • Dee at Deelicious Sweets

    Wow, that cake is super creepy with the cranberry caramel sauce. Great idea and great pictures.

  • Tina@flourtrader

    Awesome pictures and halloween story. The cake itself looks fudgy and decadent-just the way I like it. The sauce is a great way to top it off. Well done-yum!

  • Roxana GreenGirl

    What an amazing Haloween cake! Love the name and its look!
    The cute little pumpkin on top is adorable, I mean scary
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Susan

    Brilliant post! Happy Halloween! This post made my day!

  • Julie

    Such a wonderful festive post with great baking and creation.

  • Julie

    Such a wonderful festive post with great baking and lots of creation. Great light effects also.

  • Claudia

    Wickedly good. That cranberry-caramel sauce? Inspired. Fit for zombies and humans. And probably a black cat.

  • Cucina49

    What a fun cake–perfect for a Halloween party! Love the photo with the “blood” dripping off the plate.

  • Michael Toa

    What a brilliant post Russell! And fantastic looking cake. Yum. Happy Halloween!

  • Elyse @The Cultural Dish

    This cake sounds delicious and I love the cranberry caramel sauce… at first I thought it was a raspberry sauce from looking at the photos but I really like that you did something different. Looks amazing!

  • Jenelle

    Love your spooky halloween story! It was intense, but somehow I knew the ending would be sweet. I love your pumpkins and spooky Chasing Delicious logo! You are so freaking creative! And your cake looks delicious (as usual!). I want to crawl inside and eat my way out!

  • Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

    Oh my your pictures are AWESOME!!!!

  • Borislava @ Sharemykitchen

    I can see I’m not an exception, but I really love you style :) The images are impressively good!

  • Elies_Lie

    those “scary” background will not make me stop eating the cake! LOL
    how could u know to put 2 of my fav ingred at the same cake russel? I haven’t have my dessert today… it’s not fair! :(
    *kidding* :P
    great cake and lovely tasty scary cranberry sauce! well done!! hope this got into top 9! ;)

  • alyce@culinarythymes

    so glad I found your site! Your photog is amazing. Thanks for visiting my site and Hook ‘Em!

  • Lilly

    If death by chocolate looks like this, I could die a couple of times! Lovely post and really really cute carved pumpkins.

  • Lora

    Such a creative post. Love the cranberry caramel sauce!

  • Death Chocolate Recipe Cake

    […] Death by Cake – A Blood-Dripping Recipe | Chasing Delicious This delicious chocolate cake is accompanied by a blood-red cranberry caramel sauce. Death by Cake – A Blood-Dripping Recipe. Shivering bare branches scrape and scratch at dark windows, clawing their way into . […]

  • Jiric

    I’d baked countless chocolate cake for the pass few months just to search for the perfect choco cake. My search finally come to the end after I tried out this recipe! I love the light and moist texture of this cake. I only use 1/4 cup of sour cream as that’s the portion left in my fridge. But the result is rock!. Many thanks :)

  • Emily

    I really want to try this recipe. Is there a reason why the dry ingredients are measured in ounces rather than cups? And would it be possible to have the measurements all in cups?

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