2 white cake mixes
2 containers whipped white frosting
1 bag custom-color light grey M&M’s
Frosting bag or pre-loaded black frosting writer
• Begin with two of your favorite white cake mixes, and the prescribed amount of eggs, oil, and water from the back of the box. [You could also use any cake recipe from the internet].
• Preheat your oven to 350 degrees [very important!]. Grease an 11 x 16 roasting pan [or other large rectangular baking pan. [I like to spring for the actual cake-release spray from the baking aisle, to make sure nothing ever sticks].
• Mix ingredients together, and pour into pan until about 2/3 full. Depending on the size of your cake pan, you may have extra batter. If you do – this is an excellent opportunity to make some bonus cupcakes, either to eat – or as a cool matching accompaniment to your finished cake display.
• Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven. Cake should appear evenly golden on top [not glossy], and not “jiggle” at all when you open the oven door. If you’re still not sure, insert a toothpick gently into the center to make sure no wet batter sticks to it when you pull it out.
• Cool cake completely before inverting it onto a tray or cookie sheet. Tap the bottom gently until the cake plops out, then flip it once more onto the tray you want to display the cake on.
• Lay a round object, such as a plate, on the top of the cake. Using a butter knife, trace the outline onto the top of your cake, and trim away to make your headstone shape - keeping the knife as straight as possible.
• Add two containers of your favorite brand of “whipped” white frosting to a bowl, reserving ˝ cup for later decorating. [Whipped frosting spreads easier – which helps keep the crumbs from the edges we just cut from ending up all over your cake.] Stir blue and black food coloring into the frosting, one drop at a time, until it exactly matches the color of your grey M&M’s.
• Use a rubber spatula to scrape all the grey frosting out of the bowl and onto the top of your cake, distributing it evenly across the top.
• Use the rubber spatula to gently cover the entire top over the cake with frosting, and push it over each edge. Then use a butter knife or metal frosting spatula to smooth the frosting evenly along the edges, being careful to keep the frosting thick and not touch the cake, as this will pull up crumbs.
• Once the cake is completely encased in frosting, drag a metal spatula against the top vertically to create stone-like texture.
• Fill your palm with grey M&M’s. Gently push the candy into the side and bottom edge of the frosted cake until they stick to create an aggregate, stone like texture.
• Fill a frosting bag with black frosting and write your epitaph across the top. Done!