- 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 (http://www.marthastewart.com/257270/bleeding-chocolate-glaze)
- Espresso Shortbread Headstones (http://www.marthastewart.com/262853/espresso-shortbread-headstones)
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 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.
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.