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How To Make A Halloween Pumpkin Cake

Halloween is all about tricks or treats, but this cake is both trick and treat! This fun cake contains a trick, when you cut out a slice, a tasty treat is revealed because hidden inside is a stash of sweets.

This cake does require a bit of time planning as it’s made with two cakes baked in a Bundt tin, so if you only have one tin, you’ll need to bake it in stages. But apart from a bit of time, it’s a really easy recipe to make and kids will love being involved!



For the cake:

NB: These quantities are for 1 Bundt cake, you will need double the amounts to make 2 Bundt cakes separately

  • 375g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 350g granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 250ml buttermilk, room temp

For the buttercream frosting:

  • This is enough for the whole cake
  • 450g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1kg icing sugar, sifted
  • 120ml milk or cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Orange and green gel or paste food colouring
  • You will also need 2 packets Halloween themed sweets
  • ½ small package black gumpaste icing


  1. For the cake, preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C fan assisted / gas 4. Thoroughly grease a large rounded top Bundt tin, make sure to grease all the crevices. Flour the tin and knock out any excess flour. Set aside.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients, set aside. Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer until pale and well creamed, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl in between. Mix until mixture is pale and fluffy.
  3. Add one third of the dry ingredients and mix on low just until combined, then mix in half of the buttermilk and all of the vanilla, just until combined. Mix in half of the remaining dry ingredients, followed by the remaining buttermilk just until mixed. Finally, mix in the remaining dry ingredients just until combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared Bundt tin, smoothing the surface. Bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and leave to cool in the pan for 1 hour. Carefully turn the cake out onto a wire rack, and leave to cool completely, about another 1 hour.
  5. Make and bake a second Bundt cake after the first has been removed from the tin and is cooling, follow the same instructions above, except, line a cupcake tin with 2 paper cupcake papers in the centre of the tin. Fill both cupcakes to about 2/3 full with the batter, then pour the remaining batter into the Bundt cake tin. Bake both the cupcakes and second Bundt together, but very quickly remove the cupcake tin from the oven after 20 minutes. Try not to bump the rack that the Bundt is sitting on, and only keep the oven open as long as it takes to remove the cupcakes. Leave the Bundt to bake, but it may be done in 45 - 55 minutes. Leave the cupcakes to cool.
  6. To make the buttercream frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add icing sugar, milk or cream, vanilla and salt. Start beating together on lowest speed, once icing sugar has been mixed in, increase speed and beat until frosting is smooth and creamy. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that everything is well incorporated.
  7. Remove about a cup of the buttercream and set aside. Colour the larger quantity of buttercream orange, then colour the small quantity green.
  8. To assemble, trim the bottom of both Bundt cakes so that they're level. Reserve some of the off-cuts for later. Place one of the Bundt cakes on a cake plate with the level side up. Arrange a few strips of parchment paper around the Bundt to keep the cake plate clean while frosting.
  9. Spread some of the orange frosting over the top of the trimmed Bundt cake, then sandwich with the second Bundt cake, levelled side down.
  10. Fill the centre with sweets to about 2/3 full, then place one of the cupcakes in the Bundt centre to act as a plug which will make it easier to frost. Use some of the off-cuts to fill in any gaps around the cupcake if needed. (You can now eat rest of the off-cuts!)
  11. Cover the entire cake with the remaining orange frosting, smoothing it on with a small spatula. Frost the sides of the second cupcake with green frosting, then place this on top of the cake right in the centre to create the stem of the pumpkin, place it top side down. Spread a small bit of green frosting over the top to finish it off. Spoon the remaining green frosting into a piping bag, set aside.
  12. Roll out the black gumpaste, a few millimetres thick, then use a sharp knife to cut out a face design. Carefully stick the face onto the front of the cake.
  13. With the remaining green frosting, trim the end of the piping bag and pipe a few green tendrils and maybe one or two leaves on top of the pumpkin, coming from the green stem.
  14. Finally, run a knife around the bottom of the cake and remove the parchment paper.
  15. As a Bundt cake takes longer to bake and cool and you're likely to only have one Bundt tin, make sure to plan your baking ahead of time. A good idea is to bake one Bundt cake a day ahead, and the second early on in the following day. But both cakes can be baked a day ahead, and kept well wrapped in clingfilm and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
  16. Once decorated, cake will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
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