Meg Galus – Executive Pastry Chef at Good Ambler

Good Ambler

216 N Peoria (Fulton Market/West Loop)

Open Mon-Fri 7am – 5pm

Sat 8am-5pm

Sun 8am-3pm  (custom requests)

Check Out:

Halloween through the 31st, Thanksgiving in store treats and preorders, Christmas in store and preorders, cake orders, daily offerings!


Black Cocoa “Haunted Tree” Cake

Black Cocoa Cake

2 large eggs

¾ cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ¾ cup sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup black cocoa powder

1.25 teaspoon baking powder

1.25 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup HOT water


Whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla

Whisk in the sugar

Combine the dry ingredients and add to wets slowly while paddling in a stand mixer

Scrape the bowl well – it is a wet batter!

When it’s well combined, add the hot water and paddle until combined

Split between four 6” baking pans

Bake at 340F until the middle springs back, about 20-25 minutes

*Black Cocoa Powder can be found online

Chocolate Buttercream

1.5 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

6 cups powdered sugar

½ cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup heavy cream

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon fine sea salt


Paddle the butter until cream

Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder slowly

Drizzle in the cream and vanilla

Add the salt

*can add food coloring if you want to have a few different shades of brown

*adjust thickness by adding more/less powdered sugar or heavy cream

*make it cookies and cream by adding crushed sandwich cookies to some of it for filling


Frost the cake roughly – add the bumps and uneven parts ON PURPOSE

Create the bark texture with a fork or kitchen brush

Add other elements like edible moss, brownies or cookie chunks for rocks, candy or chocolate spiders, worms, and any other spooky elements you want

Carve a creepy face into the tree to give it an extra EEEK factor.