Naturally dyed using activated charcoal, these tombstone cakes are scary good and easy to make with lots of pumpkin flavor! A simple confectioners sugar frosting whips up easy for adding decorations.
Pumpkin Tombstone Cakes
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons food grade activated charcoal
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
Simple Confectioners Sugar Icing
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 1/2 teaspoons heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the tombstone cake pan with baking spray for best results (see notes.)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and activated charcoal.
- In a mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter on medium high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the granulated sugar and cream together on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the pumpkin puree to the bowl and beat into the butter and sugar. It’ll look a little strange, but everything will come together after adding the remaining ingredients.
- With the mixer on low speed, add half the amount of dry flour mixture to the bowl, then half the buttermilk mixture. Mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Divide the batter equally in the prepared pan. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Let the tombstone cakes cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Cool the cakes completely before adding decorative frosting.
- For the icing: In a small bowl combine the confectioners sugar and vanilla. Slowly add the heavy cream until a paste like consistency forms. You want it thick so it will set and harden but soft enough to push through a piping bag using a Wilton Tip#3.
- Be sure to use food grade activated charcoal! If you don’t want to use activated charcoal, you can substitute wilton cake dye gel in black.
- For the best, cleanest cakes, grease the pan using a baking spray with flour. You can use a traditional greasing method of butter and flour or brushing with pastry ‘goop’ but this will leave a residue on the final cake and might obscure some of the details in the tombstones.
- If you don’t have piping bags or decorating tips, use a plastic sandwich bag. Cut as little off as possible of one of the corners.
- Category: cakes
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: halloween
Keywords: halloween desserts, tombstone cakes, cakelets, activated charcoal recipes, activated charcoal cakes