I love Halloween and the fall so much that I got married Friday night October 31, 2003 outside at my grandma's house in the country. The weather was a perfect 70 degrees which is practically unheard of for Pittsburgh. I also love to cook and bake, so I catered my own wedding, which actually helped to keep me calm. It was a beautiful wedding with candles and thousands of white lights all through the trees. It exceeded all of my dreams, and people still talk about it to this day.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (11 ounce) box crushed vanilla wafer cookies
- 3 pounds strawberries, pureed with sugar to taste (depends on the sweetness of the berries)
- 2 quarts strawberry cheesecake premium ice cream, softened
- About 4 graham crackers
- Black gel icing, for piping
- About 70 pretzel sticks
- About 15 packaged marshmallow ghosts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed. Add the eggs and beat until creamy. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture on low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and beat on high speed until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until set.
Remove from oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Once cool, remove from pan, wrap in aluminum foil and freeze at least 6 hours. Put the frozen cake into a clean, deep 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Cover with crushed cookies and all but 1 cup of the strawberry puree. Cover with softened ice cream. Freeze at least 6 hours. To prepare cake top decorations: Break graham crackers along perforations to create rectangles. Use the gel to create headstones, by writing RIP for example. Lay flat to dry. Remove cake from freezer and from the pan, placing it on a serving platter. Allow to soften slightly so that the decorations can be inserted into the top. Stick the pretzels all around the edge to create the cemetery fence. Then put in the headstones and marshmallow ghosts. If the cake gets too soft during this process, place it into the freezer until it's hard enough to work with again. Store in the freezer once decorated. To serve, put about 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree into a zip top bag. Cut off the tip and squeeze over the cake. Puddle the remaining puree on the platter around the cake. Let the cake sit out about 20 minutes so that it starts to melt slightly and "bleed" before serving.