Graveyard Cake

Cook's Note: This spiced pumpkin cake can be made one day ahead and refrigerated, without the glaze. Several hours before serving, make the glaze and finish the cake.
Photo by Tempest R.
Adapted from marthastewart.com

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

13

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

13

servings

Adapted from marthastewart.com

Ingredients

  • For Cake:

  • 8

    ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan

  • 4

    cups cake flour, plus more for dusting

  • 4

    teaspoons baking powder

  • 1

    teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2

    teaspoon salt

  • 2

    teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1

    teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1/2

    teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1

    tablespoon ground ginger

  • 2 1/2

    cups packed light-brown sugar

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 1

    cup buttermilk

  • 1 1/2

    cups canned solid-pack pumpkin

  • For Bleeding Chocolate Glaze:

  • 2/3

    cup heavy cream

  • 2

    tablespoons honey

  • 10

    ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

  • For Espresso Shortbread Headstones:

  • 2

    cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1/2

    teaspoon salt

  • 1

    teaspoon finely ground espresso

  • 8

    ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

  • 2/3

    cup confectioners' sugar, (sifted, then measured)

  • 1

    teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 3

    ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Directions

To Make Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-13-inch cake pan. Line with parchment paper; butter lining. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Set pan aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low; alternate between adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Add pumpkin, and beat until completely combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until golden and a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Unmold; peel off parchment. Let cool completely on rack, top side up. Set cake and rack on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour warm chocolate glaze over cake. Using a small offset spatula, gently smooth glaze over top of cake, letting it drip down sides. Let stand at room temperature, or refrigerate until set. Arrange 6 headstones on top; serve with the remaining headstones. To Make Bleeding Chocolate Glaze: Stir together cream and honey in a small saucepan; bring just to a boil. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until smooth. To Make Espresso Shortbread Headstones: Whisk together flour, salt, and espresso in a large bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Beat in flour mixture. Transfer dough to plastic wrap. Flatten into a disk; wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Photocopy the template on this page, and cut it out. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Using template and a paring knife, cut dough into 12 headstones. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Bake cookies until set but not browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Let stand until cool but not stiff. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain round tip, such as an Ateco #2, or to a parchment-paper cone. Pipe desired design on cookies.

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