From devil’s food cake pops to key slime pie, Halloween sweets so good it’s scary

By Angela Matano

So many sweet choices at Salt & Straw

Dracula’s Blood Pudding @ Salt & Straw

With lines snaking around the block, Salt & Straw on Abbot Kinney Boulevard is off the chain. Their special-edition Spooktacular series of ice creams on sale through Halloween promises to make the wait worth your while. The five flavors range from extremely kid-friendly to taste-it-if-you-dare.

The Great Candycopia is most def a child’s idea of heaven, the butterscotch ice cream augmented with house-made peanut butter cups, Snickers, Whoppers and Heath bars. For those looking for something more sophisticated, the Essence of Ghost — a smoky, musky sherbet — hints at a naughty bit of mezcal, and the Freckle & Hyde potion plays off the equally adult taste of bitter melon and coconut ash.

But if wacky and icky are your jam, Creepy Crawly Critters and Dracula’s Blood Pudding will hit the spot. Real crickets and mealworms in the former and pig’s blood in the latter make for truly terrifying treats.

1357 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice | (310)310-8429


SusieCakes’ seasonal frosting-filled cupcakes

Eyeball Cupcakes @ SusieCakes

SusieCakes in Marina del Rey is just the kind of old-fashioned bakery you never realized how much you missed, until you stumble on it and your mouth starts to water. All of the sweets are baked in-house daily, from cakes and cookies and pies to their signature frosting-filled cupcakes.

Cakes can be ordered to suit your festivity and party size. For Halloween, why not serve a pumpkin spice cream cake? Four — that’s right, four — layers of cake come filled and topped with cinnamon whipped cream. Of course, how elaborately you go with the decorating is up to you. Ghosts, goblins, Donald Trump and even Kim Jong-un can be special-ordered.

Other specialized treats for All Hallows’ Eve include frosted sugar cookies (Boo!), festive cupcakes — check out the eye-
ball version — pumpkin pie bars and pumpkin bread pudding.

4714 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey | (310)742-2253


Small Batch’s delightful devil’s food Bat Cake Pops dipped in dark chocolate

Bat Cake Pops @ Small Batch

With two locations in our area — the shop-within-a-shop at Playa Provisions in Playa del Rey and the brand spanking new space on Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista — Small Batch Artisanal Ice Cream Shop is a bright spot in the neighborhood. Both spaces operated by “Top Chef” winner Brooke Williamson and husband Nick Roberts cater to families, with canisters of brightly colored candy, piles of ice cream sandwiches and vats of house-made ice cream.

Just in time for Halloween, the shop trumpets treats with a sinister twist, like the Bat Cake Pops made of sinful devil’s food cake dipped in dark chocolate and spooktacular tombstone-shaped sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. Grown-ups will appreciate the fall ice cream flavors, like pumpkin cheesecake and salted caramel apple.

12222 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista | (424)289-9552

119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey | (310)683-5019

Eye-catching cupcakes by Westchester Bakery

Brain Cupcakes @ Westchester Bakery

A family-owned business for generations, Westchester Bakery serves up dozens of flavors of pastries, cookies, pies, Danishes and cakes. Their Halloween treats fall on the decorative side of things, keeping their same flavor profile.

The frosted cookies sport eerie jack-o’-lantern grins and hair-raising witches. The cupcakes, chocolate or vanilla, puff up with frosted pink brains, bleed with garish orange icing topped by ghoulish bugs, and drip with vampires, mummies and ghosts.

If a cake is what you’re after, custom order and make it as gory as you dare. How about a red velvet cake “bleeding” with strawberry, cherry or raspberry jam? Kids will delight in a cake bursting with pirates, mermaids, minions or Jedi. With 14 cake flavors to choose from (including two vegan options), and 32 fillings (fresh bananas, mango mousse, chocolate Bavarian custard, mint cream, etc.), Westchester Bakery goes a long way to fulfilling your heart’s desire.

6216 W. 87th St., Westchester | (310)215-9606


Scary Cherry Pie @ Winston’s Pies

Sophisticated and fun, Winston’s Pies embraces all things frightening with their Scary Cherry Pie. Chockablock with dark cherries both sweet and tart, they’re topped with a spider-web pattern akin to cobwebs dipped in blood.

Another spine-tingling option is the Creepy Cowgirl, an Ecuadorian chocolate pie with a salty oatmeal crust and decorated with handmade caramel in the shape of a spider’s web. Key Slime Pie and Pumpkin Patch round out the batch.

Pies from this new shop on the border of Santa Monica and Brentwood make a marvelous hostess gift for any occasion.
The Harvest Apple Pie, served year-round, is always a welcome addition to autumn festivities.

11678 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood | (310)207-5743 |