As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full disclosure here.
This post and recipe was created for #HalloweenTreatsWeek!
Sometimes you build a themed cake simply around the theme and other times your build it around a single item you have to decorate the cake. In the case of my Spooky Graveyard Layer Cake I designed the cake around this awesome Wilton Build it Yourself Gingerbread Coffin Kit.
One day when J went down for his nap I got the kit out and started playing with it. It was easy to put the actual coffin together and I just used a few random items like bowls and mugs to hold the sides of the coffin while the icing dried to hold it together. It probably only took about 20 minutes to build the coffin. Decorating it took a about 15 minutes and was easy since the kit came with candy bones, bugs, and coloring decorating icing. I actually think my coffin turned out better then expected. Inside the coffin I put black sprinkle “dirt” with eye balls, bones, and bugs peeking out of the dirt.
Now that I had my coffin I knew I needed to build a cake that was spooky enough to have the coffin on top. I started by making the cake. I went with a basic yellow cake and divided it into two batters. One I dyed red and flavored with Adams Cherry Extract. The other batter I flavored with Adams Extract Vanilla Flavoring and dyed black. I thought a black and red layer cake would be creepy and perfect for a Halloween graveyard.
Once the cake was in the oven I got started on my buttercream. I used Dixie Crystals powdered sugar and Adams Extract Vanilla Flavoring to make a fluffy vanilla buttercream. I then dyed it gray so it would be a great canvas for my graveyard. I quickly put my cake together and covered it with the gray frosting. I was actually starting to get pretty excited because it looked really neat. Everything i needed to decorate it was laying on the table in front of me but I actually had to get started.
I figured the easiest thing to do would be to put a border of sprinkles around the bottom of the cake instead of piping a border. I used Sweets & Treats Monster Mash Sprinkles to give the cake a fun pop of color. After that you can pretty much decorate it any way you want. I started by taking a Wilton Graveyard Cupcake decorating kit and removed the tombstones. I wrote on them with edible marker and put them around the cake. Then I used Wilton black sparkle gel to make some spooky looking trees in between the tombstones. I put a few eyeballs around the cake to make it look like someone was watching me.
By this point I was really getting into decorating the cake and kept adding more and more. I piped on a yellow buttercream moon and then decided to put a few of the candy bugs from the coffin kit on the sides as well. I finished off the sides with candy ghosts. Then I was ready for the top. All I did with the top was set the bottom of the coffin on it and then put the top on at an angle so you could see inside the coffin. It looked like a spooky graveyard and I was so excited!
If I was going to serve this cake at home I would have left it as it was. However, I was taking it to work with me and I couldn’t fit the coffin and the cake in my cake carrier so I ended up taking the coffin off and decorating the top of my cake. For the top I simply made a big, creepy black tree, a yellow moon, two tombstones, and a few ghosts. Below the tombstones i put a few bones from the graveyard cupcake kit. It looked so good and I was pretty impressed that it only took me 2 hours to make and bake the cake, cool it, and decorate it to look like a graveyard.
I took the cake into work along with the coffin. Everyone thought it was super fun and really enjoyed the taste of it as well. A cherry vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream is always a hit, especially around Halloween! So grab yourself a few edible Halloween decorations and make this cake for yourself!
For the Cake:
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 1/2 c. Dixie Crystals sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
- 2 1/2 c. flour
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 c. milk
- 1 T. Adams Extract Vanilla Flavor
- 1 T. Adams Cherry Extract
- Red food coloring
- Black food coloring
For the buttercream:
- 3 sticks butter, softened
- 4 c. Dixie Crystals powdered sugar
- 2-3 T. milk
- 1 T. Adams Extract Vanilla Flavor
- black food coloring
- yellow food coloring
For the decorations:
- Wilton Gingerbread Coffin kit (optional)
- Wilton Sparkling Black Gel
- Wilton Graveyard Cupcake Kit
- Candy Ghosts
- Sweets & Treats Monster Mash Sprinkles
- Wilton candy eyeballs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line the bottom of three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper and the sides of the pans and set aside.
- In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and mix until well combined.
- Stir in the vanilla yogurt. Set aside.
- In another large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
- Pour in the milk and carefully mix until well combined.
- Add the remaining flour mixture and mix well.
- Remove 2 cups of the batter to a second bowl.
- Add the vanilla extract and black food coloring to the bowl with the 2 cups of batter and mix well.
- Add the cherry extract and red food coloring to the bowl with the remaining batter.
- Pour the black cake batter into one cake pan. Divide the cherry batter between the 2 remaining pans.
- Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pan then run a knife around the edges and remove the cakes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, place the butter for the buttercream in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar a cup at a time, mixing after each addition, until all sugar is added.
- Mix in the milk and vanilla and mix well.
- Remove 1/4 c. of frosting from the bowl and dye it yellow. Dye the big bowl of frosting a medium to dark gray color using black food coloring.
- When ready to assemble place a red cake layer on a cake round. Spread 1/2 cup of frosting on top of the cake and then place the black layer on top of it. Spread 1/2 cup of frosting on top of the black layer then top with the last red cake layer.
- Cover the cake with the gray frosting.
- Pour the Monster Mash sprinkles into a bowl. Carefully scoop them on to the bottom half inch to inch of the cake all around the base.
- To decorate the sides of the cake place tombstones and ghosts around the cake. Use the black gel to make a few spooky trees. Pipe yellow frosting circles to make full moons. Put pairs of eye balls all around the tombstones.
- On top of the cake you can place the gingerbread coffin and then pur a few eyeball pairs and ghosts.
- If you aren't using the coffin make a big tree in the center of the cake using the black gel. Place a tombstone on either side of the tree and lay candy bones below them. Place a few ghosts and eyeball pairs on top of the cake. Pipe a yellow full moon if desired.
A Hezzi-D Original recipe
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Check out the amazing #HalloweenTreatsWeek recipes from our bloggers today!
- Jack Skellington Dessert Cheese Ball from Big Bear’s Wife
- Spooky Graveyard Layer Cake from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Bloody Vampire Cake from 4 Sons R Us
- Halloween Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls from Pastry Chef Online
- Fall Apple Cider Sangria from I am a Honey Bee
- Eye See You Bundt Cake from Cookaholic Wife
- Ghostly S’mores and Caramel Dip from Our Good Life
- Crystal Lake Punch from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Coffin Fondue Dippers from Jen Around the World
- Halloween Muddy Buddies from Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats
- Poison Halloween Milkshakes from Daily Dish Recipes
- Monster Eye Cookies from Everyday Eileen
- Gooey Halloween Brownie Cups from Desserts Required
- Ghost Hi Hat Cupcakes from Sweet ReciPEAs
- Kid Friendly Wicked Witch Punch from Katie’s Cucina
- Sanderson Sisters Cocktails from Love & Confections
- Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Sprinkle Frosting from The Baking Fairy
- Spider Cider Cocktail from Who Needs A Cape?
- Bat-tastic Caramel Apples from The Beard and The Baker