Halloween Pumpkin Cakes

This is a case of two classes one cake. It may have been half term in these neck of the woods last week, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t busy. If anything the scale of the commitments meant I was busier. A business meeting at a stunning private estate about something exciting coming to East Midlands in summer 2013, a trip to The Bulls Head, running a Halloween cake decorating for children, teaching baking in the evening to adults, being a pupil at the Brendan from GBBO Briliant Baking course at Seasoned and then finally making calzone for a local deli. It’s not surprising I fell asleep on the sofa this afternoon.

This cake merges the Halloween cake decorating and the evening baking class. These pumpking cakes are beautifully moist and you’ll struggle to realise the secret ingredient is pumpkin. Just like carrot cakes are sometimes topped with mini sugarpaste carrots surely pumpkin cakes can have the same decoration. Here I’ve made the pumpkin from sugarpaste icing, but they could easily be made from marzipan as that would work really well with the pumpkin. Obviously outside Halloween I don’t usually add the edible dirt (blitzed oreos).

I bought the pumpkin for these cakes weeks ago purely for the fact it was a pretty pumpkin. A sign of a food blogger who needs help as I now find vegetables pretty. No hope! To prep the pumpkin for this cake I just cut off the peel and bung it in the blender until it is in small pieces. It doesn’t need to be precooked.

Note: this raw cake mix is probably one of the most unappetising you’ll ever seen, but watch it transform beautifully in the oven. Ideally bake it in a muffin tin. The mixture is very liquid and need the support a muffin tin gives while it is baking.

Halloween Pumpkin Cakes

Makes around 9 cupcake sized cakes
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Halloween
Servings: 9 people


  • 70 ml vegetable oil or rapeseed oil
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g soft dark sugar
  • 150 g grated uncooked peeled pumpkin (I finely dice it in the blender)
  • 50 g raisins
  • 35 g walnuts chopped
  • 90 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tiny pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg or mace
  • ¼ tsp ginger

Orange cream cheese icing

  • 25 g cream cheese chilled (Full fat works best)
  • 25 g butter at room temperature
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 125 g icing sugar sifted
  • ½ orange zest only
  • 1/2 packet of Oreos blended for the edible dirt optional

Pumpkin decoration

  • Orange sugarpaste
  • cocktail stick
  • black edible ink felt tip pen
  • cloves


  • Preheat oven to 150°c. Line a muffin tin with liners.
  • In a large bowl beat the egg, then add the oil, sugar, pumpkin and nuts. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
  • Fill the cases 2/3 full with the mixture. Bake for 30 min, or until cakes are risen and cooked through. Allow to cool on a wire before icing.
  • While the cakes are cooling start to make the sugarpaste pumpkins. Take a small sprout-sized ball of orange sugarpaste and roll in to a ball.
  • Place the ball on a surface and press gently to give a flat top and bottom.
  • Using the length of a cocktail, make indentations in the ball to make it look like a pumpkin. Using an edible ink felt tip draw the eyes and mouth on the pumpkin.
  • Place a clove, bud side down, in the top of the pumpkin. This is the stalk.
  • Beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, orange zest and butter then gradually add the icing sugar. The icing sugar will stiffen the icing the more you put in, but taste as you go along to make sure you don't make it too sweet. Once the icing is ready, spread onto cake.
  • Dust the top of the cake with the ground up oreos then decorate with the sugarpaste pumpkin.

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