Recipe: Pumpkin Necronomicon Cake


Legend has it that it was written by the Dark Ones. Necronomicon ex Mortis, roughly translated, "Book of the Dead". The book served as a passageway to the evil worlds beyond. It was written long ago, when the seas ran red with blood. It was this blood that was used to ink the book. In the year 1300 AD, the book disappeared.

So begins Evil Dead II, my personal favorite of the Evil Dead trilogy, a series of terrifying, gross, hilarious, action-packed movies. As a teenage girl I was somewhat obsessed with the series. My love for Bruce Campbell and his character Autolycus in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess (two of my can't-miss shows at age 12), was only compounded after seeing him as Ashley J. Williams, a guy who doesn't catch a break in 3 movies and becomes more and more of a smart ass along the way.

I remember spending one Halloween, after I felt I'd grown too old to trick or treat, marathoning these movies with some friends and a bowl full of candy.  So it seems all too appropriate that the brand new series, Ash Vs. Evil Dead, on Starz, is premiering on Halloween night.  I'm excited to see Ash again, and I can't wait to see what new horrors he has to face this time.

Pumpkin Necronomicon Cake

1¾ cups white sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2½ cups canned pumpkin
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan.
In a medium bowl combine flour baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, vanilla, pumpkin and eggs.
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and gently stir until combined. Do not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips.
Bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 package cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa

Chocolate Ganache

1/3 cup heavy cream
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate

Beat together butter and cream cheese.  Slowly mix in powdered sugar and beat until fluffy.  Add vanilla and salt, stirring until well combined.

Remove 1/2 cup frosting for the sides (pages) of the cake.  Add cocoa to the remaining frosting and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

Frost 3 sides of the cake with the vanilla frosting to create the pages of the book.  Frost the rest of the cake with the chocolate to create the cover.  Drag a fork along the border to create the appearance of pages.  Use a spoon or offset spatula to create the face of the book, being sure to create dips in the frosting where the eyes, nose, and mouth are.

Lastly, heat cream until simmering. Combine cream and chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and stir until the chocolate has melted and formed a ganache.  Pour the ganache into the eyes, nose, and mouth of the cake.