Jack O' Lantern Pumpkin Cake Recipe for National Dessert Day, Early Taste of Halloween

Better early than late!

After late summer Zucotto Summer Pudding from Say it with Cake (Kyle Books USA, August 2013) by Edd Kimber, a self taught British baker, here's an early taste of Halloween on National Dessert Day.

Jack O’ Lantern Pumpkin Cake 

These little cakes, flavored with pumpkin, are perfect for a Halloween party. Once decorated they look just like mini Jack-o’- lanterns, and rather adorable they are too. You will need two mini bundlette trays to make the cakes, or you can make a single cake (see Tips). 

Makes 4 cakes (each serving 2 people)

⅔ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing

1½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

¼ tsp ground cloves

7oz pumpkin purée (see Tips)

⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp plain yogurt

1 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

For the cream cheese frosting

1 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature

4½ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1¾ cups full-fat cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla extract

orange gel coloring

a little black royal icing

Jack O Lantern Pumpkin Cake

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease eight mini bundlette cups. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices, then set aside. 

2. In a large bowl add the pumpkin purée with the yogurt, sugar, eggs, vanilla paste, and butter, then mix together until evenly combined. Sift the flour mixture over the liquid ingredients and gently fold together until the dry ingredients are incorporated (don’t beat the batter or the cake will be tough). 

3. Divide the mixture between the prepared molds, filling about half-full, and bake for 20–25 minutes until the cakes are risen and golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

4. To make the frosting, put the butter in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until light and smooth, about 3 minutes. Slowly beat in the confectioners' sugar until fully combined, then increase the speed and beat until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and vanilla extract, and beat until just combined. Do not over-beat or the frosting will be too thin. Color the frosting with a very small amount of orange gel coloring and mix to combine. 

5. To assemble, use a serrated knife to remove the top of each cake to make it flat. Sandwich two cakes together with a little frosting, and then use a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon to coat the cakes in a layer of frosting. If you like, you can pipe a face on the lanterns using a little black royal icing and a small plain piping tip in the piping bag. To make the stems for the pumpkins, roll a small amount of green fondant into a thin sausage and cut a short piece for each cake, placing it on the top. 


If you prefer, you can make a single cake using a 1lb loaf pan, although it won’t have the same pumpkin shape. Bake for 50 minutes at 350°F. 


You can use canned pumpkin if you can find it or use 7oz pumpkin boiled or steamed until tender, then drained and puréed using a blender.

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Say it with Cake' byEdd Kimber -published by Kyle Books USA, August 2013- photography by Georgia Glynn Smith)

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