Monday, October 1, 2012

Halloween Pumpkin Cake

So last Fall I was really into making shaped cakes.  Including a Turkey-shaped cake, which turns out to be much less cute than it sounds.  One of the successes though was the pumpkin cake.

I originally made this for a Halloween potluck at work, hense why it was made on a cake carrying case.  

Now, you could make this with a pumpkin cake recipe.  I suppose that would make the most sense.  However, I actually don't like pumpkin-flavored things.  I know, I know, you're gasping in horror right now.  Just because it looks like a pumpkin doesn't mean it has to taste like a pumpkin! 

It's actually a dark chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting.  The cake recipe came from Smitten Kitchen's Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, it's my favorite chocolate cake recipe.  Yes, it has some Guinness in it, but that bakes right on out.  

To bake the cake, follow the prep directions from Smitten Kitchen, but instead of turning it into cupcakes, bake the batter into two well greased metal bowls.  The size of the bowl you use will determine how round the cake ends up.  I think the bowls I used were ultimately a little too big (mine were 6qt) so my cakes ended up a little bit like space saucers instead of half circles.  Smaller bowls will make a more circular cake.  Bake  at 350 for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick poked in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Allow cake to cool completely.

While cake is cooling, mix up the frosting.  If you're using store bought, you will need two containers.  If you're making the frosting yourself, you will need more than for a regular cake.  I started 3/4 cup of butter, which I creamed with an electric mixer.  Then slowly add in 4-5 cups of powdered sugar while continuing to mix.  If you mix slowly, you actually will end up using less sugar.  Once the mixture actually resembles frosting, add in 2 - 3 TB cream (or milk if you're trying to save calories or you don't feel like buying cream) and 2 tsp. vanilla extract.  Mix together.  If the frosting is too thin, add in a little more powdered sugar until it thickens up a bit.  

Split the frosting into two bowls, with 1/4 of the frosting in one bowl and 3/4 in the other.  Add green food coloring into the 1/4 bowl (hint: gel paste food color will lend better color than regular food coloring) and yellow and red to the 3/4 bowl.  Mix until the color is to your liking.  

Spread a layer of green frosting to the bottom of the serving dish for the cake.  Add crumbled Oreos on top for ambiance.  

Place one of the cakes on top of the Oreos and cover completely with orange frosting.  Place the second cake on top and cover completely with orange frosting, making sure to fill in the gap between the two cakes completely.  

To make the stem, connect two Oreos together with a layer of green frosting in between.  Cover the Oreos with green frosting, and then stick to the top of the cake.  

If you're feeling really creative, turn it into a Jack-o-Lantern cake by drawing on or carving in a face.  Serve and enjoy!

Like the cat wine in the background?  I've had it now for three years because it's so cute I don't want to open it.  Thanks to the fact that it is now three year old cat wine, I am also now scared to drink it.  


  1. This is absolutely adorable! We do birthday month at work and this would be the perfect cake to bring in to celebrate October :)

  2. Genius idea and what a fun way to spice up a cake for the Holidays!

    ~ Bev

  3. Soo cute! Definitely want to try this out!


  4. oh my goodness, this looks beyond amazing. Fabulous post, love. If you get a sec, I recently sat down with and opened up about working for Lauren Conrad and some exciting TV possibilities. I'd love if you'd check it out. xo

  5. Wow, that looks delishhhhh!!!!!!! I want to eat it all right now!

  6. What a great idea to cook in bowls–I would have never thought of that! Honestly, I'd LOVE to see the turkey cake. I've had my fair share of cake disasters, so it's nice knowing I'm not alone!

    The Glossy Life

  7. The cake looks really delicious! Great blog, so I'm a new follower =)

  8. This is the cutest cake I've ever seen. :)

  9. The cake looks so yummy and it's decorated soo cute! Such a creative idea to make a pumpkin decorated cake =)

    Suzie Q