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Coffin Pumpkin Cake

The maple flavoring in the frosting makes this spooky cake taste delicious! And the gingersnap crumbs make the "coffin" look like a pine box…to suit the season perfectly. —Kathy Michel, Dubuque, Iowa
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour Bake: 40 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    20 servings


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons maple flavoring
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies (about 40 cookies)


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, ginger and cloves; add to pumpkin mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  • Line a greased 13x9-in. baking pan with waxed paper and grease the paper; spread batter into pan. Bake at 325° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar and enough maple flavoring to achieve a spreading consistency. For filling, in a small bowl, beat 1 cup frosting with whipping cream until soft peaks form.
  • Cut cake into a coffin shape (discard scraps or save for another use). Cut cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with filling. Top with second layer.
  • Set aside 1/4 cup frosting for decorating; frost cake with remaining frosting. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Pipe "RIP" onto cake with reserved frosting. decorate with remaining frosting as desired. Store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 433 calories, 22g fat (13g saturated fat), 75mg cholesterol, 327mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.
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  • fnstlug
    Oct 26, 2014

    I didn't make this into a coffin shape or add the gingersnaps (although they would have been a tasty addition). Still, this cake was super tasty. Very moist, but not oily. And the frosting complemented the flavors well. Not too sweet, just right for fall.

  • redrubies57
    Nov 1, 2011

    This cake is not only great looking, but great tasting. The combination of the cream cheese and maple flavoring creates a unique flavor in the frosting. It's not overly sugary. I made it for a Halloween party at work and everyone raved about it. The Commissioner of the agency came to have a taste of the cake and returned for seconds. I would not change a single thing about this recipe, including the crushed gingersnap cookies sprinkled on top to resemble the pinebox and earth. It's the spiciness of the gingersnap cookies that compliments the pumpkin flavor of the cake and icing. I will definitely make this again. Two people have asked for the recipe. It's fun to make and decorate too.

  • red_savage1
    Oct 30, 2011

    Time constraints did not allow me to make this recipe with all of it's delcious sounding flavors. I did run with the decorating idea, using a box mix and canned frosting for a bake sale. Easy, cute. Mm, and the addition of crushed gingersnap cookies, awesome. Can't wait to try this and it will not be coffin shaped. (smiling)

  • Lexilou3
    Oct 17, 2011

    I love this recipe. the pumpkin gives it the perfect taste.