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Easy to Make Pumpkin Cake
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Looking for a great cake for a fall bake sale, or maybe a centerpiece dessert for Halloween or Thanksgiving? Try this easy to make pumpkin cake! It doesn't require any special talents and anyone can put it together in a short time! You need a few basic items and you are ready! There are even additional flavor variations that will amaze you! They are only two ingredient cakes!
Begin with a basic cake mix. You will need two boxes of cake mix. I personally used a milk chocolate cake mix. The use of a mix helps to make this a very easy to make pumpkin cake. I prefer the milk chocolate, but I have listed others below that work just as well. Prepare each mix according to package separately then stir together gently. It takes two boxes to make the fullest and best shape for the cake and the cupcake stem.
You will next spray the wells of a cupcake tin with a vegetable cooking spray. Do NOT use paper wrappers for the cupcakes. They create a ribbed cupcake which doesn't work well as a stem. Proceed by spooning batter into two wells of the cupcake tin. Note: I LOVE the silicone ones as there is no need to fill empty wells with water with them. However, if you use a metal cupcake pan, be sure to put a teaspoon of water into each well to help balance the temperature of the pan as it bakes. Fill each well 2/3 full to get the best cupcake shape.
Next, spray a bundt pan with vegetable cooking spray and fill at least 2/3 full with the batter. This should use about the remainder of the batter, approximately 1 and 2/3 mixes. Fill the pan as much as possible will help to create the well rounded shape and height of the pumpkin desired. Bake according to package directions making certain to allow sufficient time for bundt cake to cook thoroughly. These bake longer than a regular shaped cake. Check the box and bake the appropriate time for a fluted pan. Once baked, place on wire rack to cool.
Next, use a piece of paper and a permanent marker to draw a simple leaf outline or two. On top of your outline, place a piece of waxed paper. This is your "pattern" for your leaves. You should be able to see the leaf through the waxed paper. While the cake is cooling, I placed 3 squares of almond bark into the microwave and melted them according to the package directions. Once completely melted, gently stir in green food coloring (or mix colors following directions below). Hint: food coloring will mix better as the bark begins to cool. Then spoon the almond bark onto the waxed paper filling in the outline. Use a knife to gently imprint the veins of the leaves. Set aside to cool. When almost completely cool you can add sparkle to these with a light sprinkle of a pinch of sugar. You can view these in the picture of the completed cake. If needed, they can be placed into the refrigerator to speed the cooling.
Cake Flavor Variations of Spice or Pumpkin
As hard as it is to resist a chocolate cake, the flavor profile of a pumpkin flavor inside the pumpkin shaped cake is absolutely wonderful. Add the fact that it is TRULY delicious and you are definitely going to be just as hooked on the pumpkin variation. For those who are less likely to go for these flavors....a spice cake gives a very savory twist as well.
Remember, it takes two full mixes to achieve the best pumpkin shape and stem cupcake. Stir each cake mix up separately and gently blend together. This is regardless of the flavor variation you choose: chocolate, pumpkin or spice.
To make the pumpkin flavor variation, begin with yellow cake mix. Stir in one full can of pumpkin puree for one cake mix. For an additional kick of flavor, I added one teaspoon of cinnamon. Gently fold the ingredients together until there are no lumps of dry mix remaining. The batter WILL be very thick. This thickness is perfectly normal! After blending both mixes separately, fold together. Spoon out the cupcake then spoon remaining batter into a bundt pan just like the chocolate cake batter. Spread evenly and bake according to box directions. Follow above directions to assemble and frost.
For the Spice cake variation, begin with a spice cake mix. Using room temperature ginger ale, stir approximately 6 ounces of soda into the dry mix. continue to stir in additional soda until your batter reaches the correct consistency. One note of caution, it will bubble and foam, but wait until you stir in each ounce before considering adding more! A soupy batter is NOT good! Again...follow the baking directions according to the box directions.
I know you will love these variations and encourage you to try them. You will be amazed at the difference it can make in the caloric and cholesterol levels in the cake. Use diet soda and skim off even more calories! Trim it out with the chinese noodles and it is a delight to look at as well! Look for my hub on the acorn bites which are a great accent too!
You're Ready to Assemble the Cake...
I used prepackaged frosting, again keeping this an easy to make pumpkin cake. I like the sour cream white, but any flavor of white frosting will do. It will take two cartons of frosting as you frost the entire cake. Remove 1/2 of the frosting from one carton and color it green. Color it with food coloring. Follow food coloring package directions to achieve the tint of color you prefer. Stir together the remaining frosting and color it orange. Remember that red and yellow mixed in equal parts will make a balanced orange color and blue and yellow mixed in equal parts will also make a good green. Once cake is completely cooled you are ready to frost it. Putting frosting onto a warm cake will cause the frosting to melt and run...NOT a pretty sight! Be sure the cake is cool.
Now....Place bundt cake top down on its serving plate. Turn the cupcake upside down and place into the hole in the bundt cake. This will create the pumpkin and stem shape. Frost the visible part of the cupcake green and all of the bundt cake orange, being careful to keep the two colors separate. Swirling the frosting up and down will help to give the texture of the stem and pumpkin alike. Once the cake is completely frosted, add the almond bark leaves. Complete your presentation by placing fried chinese noodles around the base of the cake on the plate to give the illusion of hay.
You Did It!
You have completed the easy to make pumpkin cake and everyone you know will think you are amazing! You can add facial features to create a jack-o-lantern face using melted chocolate in the same fashion as the leaves, or keep it plain! Either way it is sure to be loved by all ages!Ours sold for $25 at our bake sale here in small town USA! They even requested another for the next bake sale! I hope your will be a hit as well!
Photo and Text Copyright 2011 Deborah M. Carey