Graveyard Cake

Graveyard cake -- a pumpkin spice cake with bleeding chocolate glaze -- is the pumpkin pie of a spectral Halloween menu. Espresso shortbread headstones mark each slice.

  • Yield: Makes one 9-by-13-inch cake

Source: Halloween 2004, Special Issue


  • 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
  • 2 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • Bleeding Chocolate Glaze for Graveyard Cake
  • Espresso Shortbread Headstones
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Cook's Notes

This spiced pumpkin cake can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated, without the glaze. Several hours before serving, make the glaze and finish the cake.


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