The Nightmare Before Christmas Sally Cake

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This gorgeous Sally Cake is perfect for fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas! Make it for Halloween, Christmas, birthdays, or just because you need to serve an awesome layered cake! Each marbled cake layer is sandwiched with black frosting then decorated with pink, yellow, and teal frosting and the patterns from Sally’s dress piped on top. It not only looks brilliant as a whole cake but just as amazing once it is cut into slices!

I’ve got 50+ freakishly good Halloween Recipes for you to try out – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one!

The Nightmare Before Christmas Sally Cake

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Sally Cake

The Nightmare Before Christmas – a Halloween movie, or a Christmas movie? I think it’s both! And so I think that making Sally’s dress cake for a Halloween party is totally acceptable! TNBC is one of my favourite films, and I’ve got a whole set of themed party printables that you can download and use for your party too.

Ingredients used in this recipe

The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but here is a brief outline so you know what to expect from the recipe. I highly recommend always reading a recipe all the way through before starting.

This cake is made using a cake mix, but if you want to whip up a cake batter from scratch using your favourite recipe, please feel free.

Equipment used in this recipe

You are likely to have many of these cooking tools in your kitchen already, but I’ve added some Amazon links for your convenience should you need to purchase anything for this recipe.

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Step-by-step photos to make a sally layer cake

Sally Cake Tips

  • Once you have made the cake mix according to the package instructions, divide the batter between three bowls. Color one pink, one yellow, and one teal.
  • Scoop out ¼ cup of each color at a time and place into the cake pans to create the marbled pattern. Try not to put the same colors next to each other, and you can add on top of other colors too – see the photo below as a guide.
Colored Cake Batter
Colored Cake Batter
  • When the cakes have baked and cooled, you will need to level off the tops so that they are flat. You can use a cake leveler which is a really handy tool to get a nice even cut. Or you can use a sharp knife and a steady hand.
  • Do NOT throw away the excess cake though! You can use it to make cake pops! Simply crumble up the cake and mix it with some frosting and roll into balls. Insert a lollipop stick and dip into melted chocolate or candy melts. Leave to set, and enjoy!
Baked Cake Layer
Leveled Cake
Leveled Cake
  • After making a big batch of frosting (full details in the printable recipe card at the end of the post) you will need to divide it up and color one cup each pink, yellow, and teal. Color a half cup a deep black, and put all four colors into separate disposable piping bags.
  • The remaining frosting add some black food coloring and get it to a dark grey color – it doesn’t have to be jet black as it’s just for the layers inside the cake.
  • Once you’ve spread frosting between the layers and around the outside of the cake, place it into the fridge to firm up.
Frosting Layer
Cake Layers Frosted
  • To decorate the cake, snip the tip off the piping bag with black frosting and pipe outlines for Sally’s patchwork dress. Use the photo below as a guide or even a picture of Sally herself!
  • Next fill each section in with pink, yellow, teal, and black – try not to put the same colors next to each other.
  • Finally, add some patterns to some of the sections – small and large spots, lines, swirls; and add stitched between the patches too.
  • Refrigerate the cake again so that the frosting can firm up before cutting and serving.
Finished Cake
Sally Dress Layer Cake

Make It A Meal!

You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses? Here are some recipes to take a look at to make a complete meal!

There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy! Please feel free to check them out too.

NBC Sally Cake

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Want to make another cake? Try one of these!

Nightmare before Christmas cake

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Once you’ve made this amazing Halloween cake I know you’ll be looking for more Halloween recipes – here are some for you to take a look at:

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NBC Sally Dress Cake

NBC Sally Dress Cake

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

This Sally Dress Cake is inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas, and is great to serve at Halloween, Christmas, and Birthday Parties!


For the Cake Layers

  • 2 (15.25oz/423g) boxes Betty Crocker Vanilla Cake mix
  • plus ingredients to make the cake: eggs, oil, water, etc
  • Pink, yellow, and teal food coloring gel

For the Frosting

  • 3 cups unsalted sweet cream butter (unsalted butter), softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 6 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (double cream)
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pink, yellow, teal, and black food coloring gel


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray.
  2. Make the cake batter according to the package instructions and divide the mixture equally between three bowls.
  3. Add a few drops of pink food coloring gel into one bowl of cake mix and stir distribute the color and until the batter is the shade you want.
  4. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring gel into the second bowl and stir to combine as before.
  5. Add a few drops of teal food coloring gel into the third bowl of cake mix and stir combine as before.
  6. Scoop about ¼ cup of the yellow cake batter one of the prepared cake pans. Add the same amount of teal cake batter and place it next to the yellow, and finally with the same amount of pink cake mix next to both. Repeat this again to fill the pan, then repeat the steps again in the other two cake pans. If you have any mixture left over, add colors where necessary.
  7. Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
  8. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. When the cakes are completed cooled, use a cake leveling tool (or sharp knife) to remove the dome from the cake.* This is so there is a flat top for layering the cake with frosting.
  10. To make the frosting, using a stand mixer, combine the softened butter, powdered sugar, and cream and beat until smooth and stiff peaks form.
  11. Scoop 1 cup of frosting into 3 bowls and color one each pink, yellow, and teal. Add to piping bags.
  12. Color the remaining frosting with black food gel. Add ½ cup black frosting to a piping bag.
  13. To assemble the cake, place the first layer on a cake board (I always dab some frosting in the center of the board to stick down the cake) and spread about 1 cup of frosting in an even layer. Place the second cake layer and spread another cup of frosting in an even layer. Place the third and final layer on top.
  14. Using the remaining frosting, cover and smooth the entire cake. Place in the fridge for 2 hours to set/harden.
  15. To decorate, cut the tips off the four piping bags and using the black, pipe the square/rectangles outlines of Sally's patchwork dress.
  16. Using the pink, teal, yellow, and black frosting, fill in each of the squares or rectangles - try not to put the same color next to each other! Use a picture of Sally as a guide.
  17. When all the sections are filled in, pipe the details with black - lines, dots, swirls, stitches, etc.
  18. Place into the fridge again to allow the frosting to harden up before cutting into slices and serving.



*Don't throw cake scraps away! Crumble it and mix with frosting and turn them into cake pops!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 829Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 32gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 693mgCarbohydrates: 91gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 1gSugar: 73gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 3g

This site uses an outside source (Nutritionix) to provide estimated nutrition. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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The post is part of the Crafty October series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog is filled with free printables, crafts, recipes, and more for Halloween! You can check out Crafty October from 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 for tons of awesome Halloween ideas and inspiration!

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