Plenty Sweet Life

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Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Cake

on November 2, 2015

This isn’t a cake made with pumpkin, it’s a cake SHAPED like a pumpkin! I made this cake for years to celebrate my oldest daughter’s birthday. Her birthday is actually the first week of November, but her parties seemed to end up being birthday/Halloween parties during the elementary and middle school years.  She’s all grown up now, but since we can’t get together to celebrate during the first week of November, we celebrated on Halloween and she requested a nostalgic traditional Halloween dinner birthday celebration with our traditional Halloween Lasagna and Spider Bread. This Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Cake was her birthday cake. I don’t have an actual recipe for making this pumpkin (because I saw it somewhere years ago and just tried to make one from a photo), so I’ll just type it out here.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Cake

Use 2 boxes of cake mix to bake 2 cakes, baked in a bundt pan according to the box directions. Use enough of the cake mix batter to make 1 cupcake to use as the stem. I use chocolate (this daughter is a chocolate girl) but you could use any flavor of cake mix.

Use 2 containers of Vanilla Frosting (I know, I know – I usually don’t use store-bought, but when I started making this cake years ago, I had 3 children under the age of 10) to make the green or chocolate frosting for the ribs, tendrils and/or leaves, and stem, and the orange pumpkin frosting. For the chocolate or green stem frosting, I add a couple of tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder or a bit of green food coloring. For the pumpkin frosting, I used orange food coloring.

Use 2-3 Hershey Chocolate Bars, cut into triangles, for the jack-o-lantern face. I usually get at least 2 because sometimes it won’t cut exactly the way you want it to. If you have 2-3 bars, then you have back-up (and I’m sure you can think of something to do with the extra).

This is also a great cake for Thanksgiving instead of, or in addition to your pies. It serves a lot of people since it’s two cakes in one – just leave off the face!


I greased and floured the bundt pan – we want no sticking! In this case, it doesn’t matter if the flour shows since the whole cake will be frosted. Don’t forget to make one cupcake for the stem.


Before frosting the cake, I use strips of waxed paper around underneath so you can pull them out later and keep your cake plate clean. You can see how to make this cake plate here. Put the first cake upside down on your cake plate and put some frosting on top of that to stick the top cake on.


Put the top cake on and line up the lines of the cake. Then get started with the frosting. You can see the lines of the cake here. I follow them with the green frosting to make the ribs. I also had to put some frosting around the top hole so the cupcake stem wouldn’t fall into the middle. You could also use a couple of toothpicks to hold the stem on as long as you remember to take them out before serving. Then I used a piping bag and put the frosting on the stem, ribs, and vines.


You could also use candy corn for the face and to make some decoration around the bottom. I used the last of the green frosting to make some vines around the bottom edge of the cake. Use a very sharp knife when cutting the face pieces. For some reason, I had a hard time with the candy bar I used. It kept cracking.


This is also a great cake for Thanksgiving instead of, or in addition to your pies. It serves a lot of people since it’s two cakes in one. Just leave off the face! Decorate it with candy corn or pumpkins.


This particular cake used two bundt cakes, but I think you could do the same with just one bundt cake.

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We’ve had fun with this Halloween/birthday cake over the years. Try this pumpkin cake for your next fall or thanksgiving gathering. It’s fun and festive!




2 responses to “Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Cake

  1. Garance says:

    Wow! That looks really good 😱😃

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