DIY: Spooky Splatter Halloween

It’s time for a spooktacular new tutorial from our contributor, Erin Gardner, owner of Wild Orchid Baking Company!  She’s teaching us how to make a spooky splatter cake perfect for Halloween.  With the help of a $1 spray bottle, Erin creates an airbrush look that’s inexpensive and totally achievable by all!  Under the glow of the moon, a starry sky is filled with flying bats….

Spooky Splatter Halloween Cake  |  A DIY by Erin Gardner  |

I find a certain joy in turning dollar store purchases into cake tools. Especially when a find does the job of one of the most expensive items in any decorator’s kit – the airbrush! Don’t get me wrong, my on-the-cheap spray bottles can’t replace such a fine piece of equipment entirely. But for a fun and fast splatter paint design they definitely do the trick (or treat)!

Spooky Splatter Halloween Cake  |  A DIY by Erin Gardner  |


a DIY by Erin Gardner


  • vegetable shortening
  • black gel food color
  • silver luster dust
  • vodka (or any clear extract)
  • 2 travel size plastic spray bottles
  • bat and moon shapes printed on card stock or heavy paper
  • scissors
  • parchment paper or a cardboard box larger than your cake
  • Any size cake covered with yellow fondant.  Here I used 6” and 8” rounds and yellow Satin Ice right out of the bucket.


STEP 1:  Cut out the bat and moon shapes.  Draw your own or find shapes you like online and print.

STEP 2:  Rub vegetable shortening all over the back of the moon template.  Not so much that you see chunks of shortening, but enough so that the template will stick.  Place the template onto the top tier of your cake and press along all the edges to make sure the template is sealed to the cake.

STEP 3:  Squirt about a tablespoon of black gel food coloring into one of the spray bottles.  Add about 1/2 teaspoon of vodka.  Twist on the cap and shake to combine.

STEP 4:  To keep your kitchen splatter free set your cake on parchment paper, or in a cardboard box turned on it’s side.  Then spray away!  Hold the spray bottle about 6 to 8 inches away from the cake.  Make sure that the area surrounding the moon is nicely covered (since that’s where your bats will be flying), but feel free to leave little spotches of yellow showing around the back and sides of the cake to add to the hazy night sky feel.  Set the cake aside and allow the black to completely dry.  About 15-20 minutes depending on the humidity where you live.

STEP 5:  Once the black coat is dry, rub vegetable shortening on the backs of the bat templates.  Place the templates onto the cake with the larger bats towards the bottom of the cake and the smaller bats closer to the moon.  Make sure to use the same bat that you cut from the moon shape to fill it in at this point.

STEP 6:  Add about a teaspoon of silver luster dust and a 1/2 teaspoon of vodka to the second spray bottle.  Twist on the cap and shake to combine.

STEP 7:  Place your cake back in the splatter-free zone and have some fun adding the silver stars to your cake!  Spray enough to create a beautiful starry sky, but not so much that you end up with a solid silver cake.

STEP 8:  Gently peel away the paper templates to reveal your spooktacular creation!

Spooky Splatter Halloween Cake  |  A DIY by Erin Gardner  |


I hope you give my spooky splatter technique a try! The possibilities are endless. Happy Halloween!

Erin Gardner , CONTRIBUTOR

Erin Gardner is a pastry chef and cake designer. Her main focus is where she shares fun and accessible recipes and techniques. Read more about Erin on her bio page.


  1. 5

    Erin says

    This is so clever- Thank you! I have 2 questions:
    1. can you use an airbrush with black airbrush color in lieu of using the black gel/vodka combo?
    2. Are there any alternatives to using the luster to paint? I am feeding this to my parents and children- an edible silver luster dust?

    Thank you again- such a great design-Erin

    • 6

      Erin G. says

      Hi Erin! So glad that you like the tutorial. If you have an airbrush, then go for it! I think it would work great. I haven’t used the airbrush color in the spray bottles, but I’m inclined to think that would work as well. Wilton actually makes an edible silver dust so give that a try. Thanks!

      • 7

        Crystal says

        Just wondering if I missed something…the cake looks beautiful but how did it go from yellow to black? Did you spray that much on with the spray bottle? Why not just add a yellow moon to a black cake then spray on the silver?

        • 8

          Erin G. says

          Hi Crystal! Yes, the cake was sprayed black, but the black was mostly concentrated in the front where the bats are going. I left the cake more spotchy around the back and sides of the cake (which you can kind of see in one of the pictures). The end result is a mix of yellow, black, and silver that creates a really cool layered paint effect. Plus starting with a yellow base gave me the opportunity to create the bat overlay area in the moon. You could certainly start with a black cake and just spray the silver! I would just add the moon last, or cover it up, so that it doesn’t get the silver on it. Thanks!

  2. 12


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