Halloween desserts definitely call for having a little extra fun in the kitchen. This kinda-cute, kinda-creepy Graveyard Cake is easy to make, fun to decorate (so recruit the kids’ help), and is sure to be a perfectly spooky centerpiece for any Halloween dessert table. Black icing transforms store-bought cookies into perfectly-sized miniature headstones for the chocolate-frosted graveyard cake. And once you’ve placed your headstones, crumble chocolate wafer cookies around each to create “dirt.” Just be sure to make each "gravesite" the serving size you want to ensure easy slicing. Disperse a few candle “lanterns” throughout the chocolaty graveyard and you have the perfect cake for a Halloween birthday party. The classic chocolate cake recipe here is decadent and moist standby, but if you’re in a pinch for time, feel free to use your favorite boxed cake mix instead. Obviously, it’s all about the decorating on for this Halloween-inspired treat.
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup boiling water
3/4 cup milk
2 sticks (1/2 lb.) plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 (9 oz.) box chocolate wafer cookies
1 (16 oz.) can chocolate frosting
1 tube black icing
1 (6 oz.) bag Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies
1 (7.25 oz.) bag Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
Candy rocks, optional
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13-by-9-inch pan.
Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together cocoa and water; whisk in milk until smooth. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy; scrape bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and cocoa mixtures, alternating each 3 times, scraping bowl (batter may separate a bit).
Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool in pan for 1 hour. Run a knife around edge of cake and turn out onto a platter.
Finely crush chocolate cookies in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or use a food processor. Cover top and sides of cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkle generously with cookie crumbs. Score top of cake into 12 equal rectangles.
Pipe "RIP" and other scary words on Milano cookies with black icing; cut a slit in each square to insert a Milano or Chessman cookie for gravestones; add candy rocks, if desired.