Deserted Graveyard Cake

Deserted Graveyard CakeRecipe

Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Ed Gallagher

Prepare this decadent, chocolate-frosted cake for a festive Halloween dessert. 

Serves 12

Cost per Serving:



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2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, toasted
Red, yellow and brown liquid food coloring
1 16-oz. can chocolate frosting
7 cookies (such as Milano)
1/2 12-oz. bag small pretzel sticks
1/4 cup candy corn
10 candy pumpkins


Hands-on: 35 Minutes
Total: 2 Hours, 40 Minutes

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill a medium pot with water; bring to a boil. Line a 13-by-9-inch pan with a length of foil, letting foil edges hang over at least 2 inches on longer sides of pan. Grease and flour pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together cocoa powder and 1/3 cup boiling water; whisk in milk until smooth.

2. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour and cocoa mixtures, alternating each 3 times, scraping down sides of bowl.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan and, using a rubber spatula, spread smoothly. Bake, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool in pan for 1 hour; using foil as handles, remove cake from pan and turn out onto a tray to cool completely.

4. Color leaves: In a small bowl, combine sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds with 3 drops of red coloring. Gently mix with a spoon. Repeat with drops of yellow and brown coloring, as desired.

5. Decorate cake: Place 2 Tbsp. frosting in a ziplock bag. Cut a small hole in corner and pipe RIP onto cookies. Cover top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Adhere pretzel sticks along sides, about 1/4 inch apart, leaving 2 2-inch gaps for path. Create path with candy corn.

6. Cut 7 small slits on top of cake and insert gravestone cookies; scatter almonds and pumpkin seeds at each cookie, and at corners and edges of cake, to resemble fall leaves. Add candy pumpkins around cake, as desired.

Created date

September 2015

Nutritional Information

Calories 680
Fat 30 g
Satfat 14 g
Protein 8 g
Carbohydrate 98 g
Fiber 3 g
Cholesterol 97 mg
Sodium 553 mg