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Haunted House Cake

WHEN this eerie abode appears at Halloween parties, guests will surely move right get a piece of the treat! Our kitchen staff prepared the ghostly home with handy packaged cake mixes, plus common baking pans you likely already have in your kitchen. To complete the frightfully delightful scene, they decorated it with edible details including cookie tombstones, cereal shingles and a chocolate door.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Bake: 55 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    12-15 servings


  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
  • 2 Nutter Butter cookies
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 milk chocolate candy bar (1.55 ounces)
  • 1 orange M&M miniature baking bit
  • Orange liquid or paste food coloring
  • 1 Cup Golden Grahams cereal
  • Stick of Orange-striped fruit gum
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup gold rock candy
  • 14- x 10-inch serving board or platter
  • Purple gift wrap
  • Clear cellophane


  • Prepare chocolate cake batter according to package directions. Spoon 3 cups into a greased and floured 8x4-in. loaf pan. Set remaining batter aside.
  • Bake loaf cake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Prepare white cake batter and pour into a greased and floured 13x9-in. baking pan. Drop reserved chocolate batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto white batter. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To assemble, place the marbled cake on a large platter or covered board (about 14x10 in.). Level top of chocolate cake. Cut chocolate cake in half widthwise. Referring to photo above for position, place one half on the corner of the marbled cake for the house.
  • For the roof, cut remaining half of chocolate cake in half diagonally. Position the two halves together so they form a triangular shape on top of house. Cut each cookie in half widthwise and set aside.
  • In a bowl, cream shortening and butter. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Frost house, roof, sides of marble cake and cookie halves.
  • Break candy bar into rectangles. Place one on front of house for door (save remaining pieces for another use). Place a small dot of frosting on left side of door and attach M&M baking bits for doorknob. Tint remaining frosting orange; frost top of marble cake.
  • Place cereal on roof of house for shingles. Cut gum in half widthwise and then lengthwise. Place two pieces above the door for shutters. Use sprinkles to outline the window.
  • For tombstones, attach sprinkles to the cookies to read "R.I.P." and "BOO". Place cookies on the cake, lightly pushing them into frosting.
  • Place rock candy in front of door for a walkway.
Crafter thought: Don't have the same decorations our cooks used? Try any goodies you have in the cupboard, such as candy corns for the roof shingles, M&M's for the stone walkway and candy pumpkins for a patch. Finished size: Cake measures about 13 inches long x 9 inches wide x 7 inches high.
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