No Halloween party is complete without cake. This moist chocolate cake will vanish right before your eyes.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch (1.5 L) round baking pans.
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a large bowl; add eggs, shortening, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat on low speed of an electric mixer for 1 minute, scraping the bowl frequently. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Pour the batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and remove from the pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
Buttercream Frosting: Beat the butter until fluffy; add sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Stir in the vanilla. Makes about 2 cups/500 mL icing.
Spread a portion of the frosting over the top of one cake. Place the second cake on top and continue to frost all over the entire cake with the remaining frosting.
Spider Web: Place white creme chips and shortening in small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM (50%) for 45 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave an additional 10 to 15 seconds or until chips are melted and smooth. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag. Make a small diagonal cut in one bottom corner of the bag. Drizzle the mixture in 4 or 5 concentric circles on top of cake. Using a knife or wooden pick, immediately draw 8 to 10 lines from center to edges of cake at regular intervals to form a web. If desired, garnish with a "spider", made from a caramel, licorice and other candies.
Note: To sour milk combine 4-1/2 (22 mL) tsps white vinegar plus enough milk to equal 1-1/2 cups (375 mL).