Giant spider biscuit cake – Spooky bakes winner 2020

Insta Incy Wincy Spider Cake

Materials Needed

8 inch round cake


10 inch round thick cake board (cake drum)

Ribbon for around the cake board

1 kg white sugarpaste

200 g black sugarpaste

100 g black modelling paste (or black sugarpaste strengthened with Tylo powder)

A tube of black coloured writing icing or melted chocolate in a piping bag (for spider web)

Rice crispy treat mixture

Small amount of pink sugar paste

Edible Glue

For the chocolate orange biscuit cake


1lb 4 oz dark chocolate 

12 oz butter

175 ml golden syrup 

400g digestive biscuits-crushed

200g rich tea biscuits-crushed

Finely grated zest of an orange

One packet Malteasers (37 g bag)

Handful of orange chocolate, roughly chopped 

Handful of marshmallows roughly chopped or mini marshmallows

  1. Line a 20 cm/8 inch round cake tin. You can also use a double layer of cling film or parchment paper to line the tin.
  2. Melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a large bowl in a microwave on medium power. Check the mixture every 30 seconds. Do not allow to overheat. You can also melt the mixture over a bowl of hot water on the hob.
  3. Stir in the orange zest followed by the crushed biscuits. Mix to combine. Add the Maltesers, marshmallows and orange chocolate pieces last (this helps prevent the Maltesers/orange chocolate pieces from melting).
  4. Transfer the mixture to the tin. Press down as you are filling the tin to avoid air pockets
  5. Leave the mixture to set at room temperature for four hours minimum or overnight. You can set the mixture in the fridge but the biscuits can lose their crunch.
  6. Remove the cake from the tin. If the cake is stuck, don’t panic; sit the tin in hot water for 10 to 15 seconds to loosen before turning out.

For the buttercream

200 g of room temperature butter

400g sifted icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla or orange extract/orange zest

1 tablespoon boiling water

  1. Cream the butter in a mixer until smooth. Slowly add the icing sugar in stages, this helps to ensure a smooth buttercream. Add the flavouring. Add the water and mix for a few minutes on a medium speed until light and fluffy.

Covering the Biscuit Cake

  1. Use a small amount of buttercream to stick the cake to the cake board.
  2. Apply a layer of buttercream to the cake and leave to harden slightly before covering the cake and cake board edge in white sugarpaste.
  3. Use a tube of black coloured writing icing or melted chocolate in a piping bag to create a web design covering the entire cake. If you have an extruder use black sugarpaste softened with white vegetable fat to create the webs.

For the spider legs

Note: Make the spider legs at least 24 hours before you need them.

  1. Use black modelling paste or black sugarpaste strengthened with some tylo powder.
  2. Use 12 g of paste for each of the eight spider legs. Shape into a sausage and taper down at one end to a rounded point.
  3. Bend the leg approximately two-thirds of the way up and slightly flatten the thicker end (for sticking to the body later).
  4. Leave the legs to harden until firm enough to handle using rolled up paper towel for support.

For the spider body/head

12 g butter

50 g marshmallows

65 g puffed rice (rice crispies)

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  2. Add the marshmallows and heat until melted.
  3. Mix in the puffed rice.
  4. Leave to cool for a few minutes (it will be very hot!!) before shaping into a ball for the head and a larger cone for the body.(Tip: The mixture is very sticky to handle-rub some sunflower/vegetable oil onto your hands to prevent the mixture from sticking.)
  5. Once the body and head have cooled, apply a layer of buttercream and allow to harden slightly.
  6. Roll out 100 g black sugarpaste and cover the body. Ensure to have the join underneath the body. Smooth for a neat finish.
  7. Attach the body to the top of the cake leaving room for the head. Use edible glue (tylo powder mixed with boiling water or some sugarpaste softened with water) to stick.
  8. Roll out 60 g of black sugarpaste and cover the head in the same way as the body. Attach the head to the front of the body using edible glue. You may need to hold it place for a few minutes (Tip: use only enough edible glue so that it is “tacky”, too much glue, everything will slide around!!).

For the spider eyes

  1. Use 7 g black sugarpaste for each eye. Roll into a ball and glue the eyes to the top of the head.
  2. Roll out some white sugarpaste thinly and cut two circles (1.5 cm/1/2 inch) using a round cutter or something like the wide end of a piping tip. If you don’t have a cutter then just shape two circles by hand.
  3. Roll out some black sugarpaste and cut out two circles smaller than the white circles (1 cm/3/8 inch). Glue the black circles to the white.
  4. Make a little dent in the black circles using the end of a paintbrush and add a tiny ball of white sugarpaste. Attach to the eyes on the head of the spider.

For the mouth

  1. Use a Dresden tool or the back of a paintbrush to draw a big smile on the face of the spider. Gently push the end of a paintbrush into either side of the mouth to create dimples. You can widen the mouth of the spider using the back of a paintbrush if necessary.

For the finishing touches

  1. Secure the spider legs onto each side of the body using edible glue (placing in the join between the head/body). Attach the end of the legs to the top edge of the cake holding in place until the glue begins to harden. You can use a rolled-up paper towel to support the legs while they are drying.

For the bow

  1. Roll out some pink sugarpaste.
  2. Cut two strips, one longer than the other.
  3. With the longer strip, fold in the ends to meet in the centre to create the loops of the bow. Use edible glue to stick. You can add a paper towel to the loop centres while they dry if necessary.
  4. With the shorter strip, wrap around the join in the middle. Squeeze the middle of the bow gently to create a shape. Once dry glue to the head of the spider.

Winner of our spooky bakes competition Mary Jane Lynch