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Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

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Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake
  • Prep Time 2 hr 0 min
  • Total Time 8 hr 0 min
  • Servings 12
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Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

A pumpkin spice cake decorated to look like a Jack-o’-Lantern pail and filled with trick or treat sweets.

Ingredients

Cake:

1
Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ spice cake mix
4
eggs
1/2
cup water
1
cup pumpkin puree
2
tablespoons butter, softened and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1
teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1
package vanilla pudding mix (4 serving size box)

Decorations:

Assorted candy
1
tub Betty Crocker™ Whipped white frosting
Betty Crocker™ neon food coloring gels
18
ounces orange fondant
2
ounces black fondant
Lollipops
1
black licorice lace

Directions

  • 1 Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  • 2 Spray the inside of both halves of a sphere cake pan with baking spray. Set the round metal support rings on a baking sheet and place one cake pan, open side up, on each ring.
  • 3 Combine cake mix, eggs, water, pumpkin puree, butter, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla pudding mix in a mixing bowl. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then on medium for 2 minutes.
  • 4 Evenly divide batter among cake pans.
  • 5 Bake for 55-65 minutes, turning pans 180 degrees after 45 minutes of baking until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.
  • 6 Allow cakes to cool completely, then level them.
  • 7 Cut just enough off the rounded part of one of the cakes so it sits flat without rolling. Cut a cake round to fit that flat bottom surface and set the cake on it. Cut a shallow round well in the flat top of this cake.
  • 8 The other cake will become the top of the pumpkin pail. Cut a shallow round well in that cake to resemble the opening of a pumpkin pail.
  • 9 Freeze the cakes for 4 hours or overnight. Then remove cakes from freezer and fill the bottom cake's well with candy.
  • 10 Add a bead of frosting around the top edge of that cake, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the candy. Set the other cake on top. Carve so the sphere looks like a pumpkin.
  • 11 Color white frosting using orange gel coloring.
  • 12 Frost the entire cake, including the top well, with orange frosting. Smooth frosting, then place cake in freezer for about 30 minutes.
  • 13 Roll orange fondant out into a 14-inch round. Cut a 2-inch circle in the center. Place the fondant over the cake, lining up the hole with the well in the top of the cake.
  • 14 Smooth fondant, cutting off excess. Cut a circle of fondant to fit in the well. Cut a strip of fondant and attach it to the inside of the well. Fold the orange fondant that was used to cover the cake, over the strip.
  • 15 Use a fondant tool to create grooves vertically on the pumpkin.
  • 16 Roll out black fondant. Cut out two triangular eyes, one triangular nose, and one mouth. Attach to the orange fondant.
  • 17 Poke a lollipop into the center of the well so it's tall enough to attach to the handle. Poke a black licorice lace into each side of the pumpkin cake to create the handle. Attach the top of the licorice to the lollipop using some tape. Add more candy inside the top well.
  • 18 Serve!
See Step By Step

Step By Step  

A Halloween cake bursting with candy both inside and out!

As prepared by Hungry Happenings,

This nostalgic pumpkin cake not only tastes great, but will bring back fond memories of trick-or-treating. 

For most of my childhood, candy from trick or treating was collected in a plastic pumpkin pail. These classic pails are still one of the most popular vessels for kids to carry around their sweet treats on Halloween, and its shape is quite easy to recreate out of cake.

Not only does this cake look like a pumpkin, it tastes like one too! I doctored up a Betty Crocker Spice Cake Mix by adding some pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice to make this cake pumpkin through and through.

The toughest part of decorating it was covering it in fondant. Covering a spherical cake in fondant is not for the faint of heart. It takes patience; I suggest keeping the fondant rather thick when it's rolled out so when it's stretched over the bottom curves of the cake, it doesn't get too thin and tear. But once you get it covered, it takes mere minutes to transform it into a cute pail filled with candy!

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

First, you'll need a sphere-shaped baking pan to make this cake. Coat both halves in baking spray and set them on the support rings on a baking sheet.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Whip up the pumpkin spice batter.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Then divide it among the pans.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Bake the cakes, rotating them 180 degrees after 45 minutes. This will keep one side from browning too much. The cakes will crack, but don't worry; you're going to cut off the cracked tops anyway.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

I find it easiest to level the cakes using a cake leveler, but a serrated knife will do. You need to make sure you hold the cakes so that you are cutting straight across, not at an angle. It's easiest to cut a small slice off the rounded part of the cake, so they sit flat before leveling them. 

Choose which cake will be your bottom and cut a small round of a cake board to fit the bottom of the cake. To keep things neat and clean, set the bottom layer on a larger cake round. You'll remove this later, but it will keep your lazy susan free of orange frosting.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

If you want candy hiding inside your cake as well as on top, cut a shallow round well in the bottom half of the sphere. To do this, I pressed a round cookie cutter into the cake, then scooped out the cake crumbs and removed the cutter.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Next, you'll need to make the top sphere look like the top of a pumpkin pail. Cut a slice off the top and create another well.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Fill the bottom well with candy. Use orange coloring to color the white frosting and then spread some around the edge of the bottom cake layer, keeping the frosting 1/2-inch from the candy.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Set the other cake on top and carve it to give it a more realistic shape. You can leave it round, if your prefer. I made mine a bit more oval.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Frost the entire cake, including inside the top well.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Smooth out the frosting and pop the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Roll the orange fondant out to a 14-inch circle. Cut a 2-inch circle in the center.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Place the fondant over the cake, lining up the hole with the well in the top of the cake. The hole will stretch a bit but still be smaller than the opening, which is what you want.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Here is the tricky part. Begin smoothing the fondant around the top of the cake. As you go down and around the cake, pull the fondant up and out, away from the cake, and smooth as you go, stretching the fondant. Go slowly so you don't tear the fondant. Continue around the cake and down under the bottom. You may want to cut off some of the excess before you go around the very bottom so it won’t continue to pull. Then smooth out the bottom and cut off any remaining excess.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Cut a round of fondant to go in the bottom of the well, then cut a strip to run around the inside edge of the well. Finally, fold the fondant down into the well.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Use a fondant tool to create vertical grooves in the pumpkin.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Poke a lollipop into the center of the well so it's tall enough to attach to the licorice handle. Poke a black licorice lace into each side of the pumpkin cake to create the handle. Attach the top of the licorice to the lollipop using some tape. I couldn't get my licorice handle to stay perfectly curved, but by taping it to the lollipop, at least it stood up!

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Roll out the black fondant quite thin. Cut out two eyes, a nose and a mouth and attach them to the cake. Mine just stuck, but if yours don't, use a bit of water to attach them.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Fill the cake with more candy and it's ready to serve.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Surprise Cake

Happy Halloween!

 

Beth happily spends her days creating fun food and handmade chocolate and enjoys sharing step-by-step tutorials with her readers on her blog Hungry Happenings. Be sure to check out her profile to see all the other festive foods she's made for Tablespoon.com.

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Nutrition Information 
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