Halloween Pumpkin Cake

eyedocbakes
Pumpkin cake with chocolate haunted house shell, candy melt moon and witch and tombstones halloween scary cake fun cake

It’s Spooky Season! Anyone else super excited about this? Truthfully, I used to not be such a big Fall person, and definitely not a big Halloween person. Buuut, as of late, I’ve gotten more and more into it. I think it started a few years ago when I went apple picking for the first time. Then I made it a habit to go to a pumpkin patch every year, and so this year, I’m just all about Halloween too! I figured it was time to go all out on a Halloween cake. I made this delicious pumpkin layer cake, made soft and fluffy with my favorite- Lifeway Pumpkin Kefir. Layered with cream cheese frosting, and covered in American Buttercream, wrapped in a handmade chocolate silhouette of a Halloween ghost town, topped with a creepy handmade candy cemetery and a candy and chocolate big yellow moon and witch – this Halloween cake has it all! You’ll be sure to impress if you make this cake for your Halloween get-togethers! 

This post is sponsored by Lifeway Kefir,  but the opinions and thoughts are mine. Thanks for supporting the brands that make EyeDocBakes possible!

So this cake is best made over several days, since there are many parts to it. Of course, you can just make the cake itself and frost it, and it’s delicious as is! But, I’m going to explain how to do all of the decor here too so that you can replicate this very Halloween-y Cake at home! 

What You’ll Need. . .

  • Unsalted Butter
  • eggs
  • Lifeway Pumpkin Kefir
  • flour
  • granulated sugar
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • cloves
  • pumpkin puree
  • cream cheese
  • vegetable shortening
  • vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar
  • heavy cream
  • candy melts in yellow, orange, black, white
  • chocolate melting wafers

Pumpkin cake with chocolate haunted house shell, candy melt moon and witch and tombstones halloween scary cake fun cake

Making the cake layers. . .

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter in 30 second intervals. Let it cool to room temperature. Once cooled, add the eggs, butter, and pumpkin kefir to the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment on. Mix until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients with a whisk. Add to wet ingredients in 3 parts while mixing. Next add in the pumpkin puree and mix until just fully combined. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter 3 six inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper for easy removal. I like to use springform pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 20 minutes and then remove and let cool completely. 

Assembling the Cake. . .

  1. Slice the tops off of the cake if they are rounded to ensure 3 flat cake layers. 
  2. Beat butter and cream cheese together in stand mixer. Add powdered sugar in 1/2 cups at a time and mix with the paddle attachment until smooth. I added a few drops of black gel food coloring to the frosting to have a more Halloween look when slicing into the cake. 
  3. Place one cake layer on a 6 inch cake base. Spread cream cheese frosting on top with an offset spatula. Place the next cake layer on top. Add another layer of cream cheese frosting. Top with the last cake layer. Place a wooden dowel through the middle of the cake to help it stay together and straight while frosting. With the offset spatula, use the remainder of the cream cheese frosting to add a crumb coat around and on top of the cake. Then refrigerate for a couple hours, up to overnight if you’d like to continue the next day. 
  4. Next make the Buttercream frosting. Beat butter and shortening in stand mixer until smooth. Add sugar 1/2 cup at a time, and vanilla extract halfway through. If frosting is too thick, add heavy cream then continue to add sugar until desired consistency is achieved.  Next divide this frosting into four parts. Add a couple drops of food coloring to each bowl of frosting. I used black, purple, yellow, and orange. Use your offset spatula to add bits of frosting of each color randomly all over the sides of the cake. This does not have to be neat. Then use a cake scraper while turning the cake to smooth the frosting. Repeat until smooth and with the top of the cake. It doesn’t have to be totally perfect, since you’ll be covering a lot of it with the chocolate Halloween town. 

Pumpkin cake with chocolate haunted house shell, candy melt moon and witch and tombstones halloween scary cake fun cake

Making the Candy and chocolate Halloween town shell. . .

  1. Take a piece of parchment paper and measure it out around the circumference of the cake. Cut the parchment to correct length and height of the cake. You  should have a long rectangular piece of parchment paper. Use a pencil to draw Haunted Halloween houses on one side of the paper. They should be attached and not spaced out, ideally. I also drew in trees, and ghosts. Details such as windows are important. Feel free to use your imagination! Turn the pencil side down and tape it to a piece of acetate strip used for cake decorating, cut to the same length and height.
  2. Candy melts harden a bit quickly, so only melt one color at a time. First, melt the black candy melts in the microwave in 20 second intervals, mixing in between. Once melted, add the candy melt to a piping bag which I had fitted with a small round tip. I find that it is neater than just cutting the tip off of the piping bag. Use the black to outline the windows and some of the homes, as well as some of the other shapes (refer to photo). Next use the white candy melt to make the ghosts, and then orange for little pumpkins. Then use melting chocolate wafers to fill in all of the houses. I used yellow to fill in the glowing windows, and left some open so you can see the background of the cake showing through.
  3. The trick to attaching it to the cake is the candy/ chocolate has to  be somewhat wet still, because if it is completely dry it won’t stick to the cake well. If your candy/chocolate has hardened too much, you can use a clean blow dryer to undo that – but not for too long, as it melts quickly. Once it’s not hard, but just a bit tacky to the touch, lift the acetate from either end (easier if you have someone help you for this step. Slowly attach it all the way around the cake, pushing it gently into the cake and securing the two ends that meet with tape. 
  4. Something to note here is that you will see the back of the candy melt/chocolate, so don’t worry if you are not perfect in your decorating on the side you are working on. Also, if you want something in front, like a pumpkin, pipe that first, then pipe the house or tree over it, so it shows in front when you remove the paper. 
  5. Leave the cake refrigerated overnight like this. The next day, when ready to finish the cake, very carefully and gently remove the tape and slowly remove the acetate/parchment paper. The chocolate/candy shell should stick to the cake. Refrigerate until ready to continue decorations. 

How to decorate the top of the cake. . . 

  1. To make the moon and witch: Use a large round cookie cutter that is pre-buttered. Then melt yellow candy melt and place the cookie cutter over parchment paper. Place yellow candy melt into the cookie cutter smoothly to achieve a round moon. Next, I free-hand piped the silhouette of a witch on a broom out of black candy melts. Again, don’t be afraid to be creative here! Let both set in the fridge. Once both are set, use some melted candy melt to attach the witch gently to the moon (do this after you have removed it from the cookie cutter. Use the side that was on the parchment paper for the front)
  2. In a plastic baggie, break/smash 8-10 Oreos into crumbs to use as a dirt path in the cemetery. Meanwhile, mix black and white candy melts to make grey tombstones from Halloween molds. You can free-hand this as well though. I hand piped a silhouette of a Halloween tree out of black candy melts as well. Once ready to assemble, melt the chocolate wafers and spread generously over the top of the cake. This will be used to help the rest of the decorations stick. Next attach the sun. I use extra frosting in back (I colored some of the yellow frosting I had leftover into a dark green) to make sure it stays upright. Next attach the tree and tombstones, add pumpkin candies, the Oreo dirt road, and skull and bone bloody sprinkles. Once I put the cake on the cake stand I added more “dirt” to the bottom and some pumpkins around. And voila! Your lovely pumpkin Halloween cake is all done! 

Pumpkin cake with chocolate haunted house shell, candy melt moon and witch and tombstones halloween scary cake fun cake

If you liked this recipe, you might want to try. . .

  1. Berry Vanilla Kefir Cake
  2. Classic Carrot Cake
  3. Apple Cake

Tried this recipe?

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Pumpkin cake with chocolate haunted house shell, candy melt moon and witch and tombstones halloween scary cake fun cake

Halloween Pumpkin Cake

A six inch flavorful pumpkin layer cake, decorated to give you a fun scare this Halloween!
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time40 mins
Refrigeration1 d
Total Time1 d 2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 6 inch cake, butterceam frosting, chocolate shell cake, cream cheese frosting, Halloween cake, haunted cake, kefir cake, pumpkin cake, pumpkin kefir, scary cake
Servings: 1 six inch cake

Ingredients

Cake Batter

  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup pumpkin Kefir
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • tsp cloves
  • cup organic pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cup powdered sugar
  • black gel food coloring 2-3 drops, optional

Buttercream Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • cup vegetable shortening
  • 4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • black gel food coloring 2-3 drops
  • purple gel food coloring 2-3 drops
  • yellow gel food coloring 2-3 drops
  • orange gel food coloring 2-3 drops

Halloween Haunted houses shell and top decor

  • 1 bag of black candy melts
  • 1 bag of white candy melts
  • 1 bag of orange candy melts
  • 1 bag of yellow candy melts
  • chocolate melting wafers
  • 8-10 oreo cookies or oreo style cookies
  • 10-15 pumpkin candies
  • Halloween skull and bone sprinkles

Instructions

Cake Batter

  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter in 30 second intervals. Let it cool to room temperature. Once cooled, add the eggs, butter, and pumpkin kefir to the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment on. Mix until combined. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves with a whisk. Add to wet ingredients in 3 parts while mixing. Next add in the pumpkin puree and mix until just fully combined. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Butter 3 six inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper for easy removal. I like to use springform pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 20 minutes and then remove and let cool completely. 

Cake Assembly

  • Slice the tops off of the cake if they are rounded to ensure 3 flat cake layers. Make the cream cheese frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese together in stand mixer. Add powdered sugar in 1/2 cups at a time and mix with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add a few drops of black gel food coloring to the frosting to have a more Halloween look when slicing into the cake. Mix until you get a grey color frosting.
  • Place one cake layer on a 6 inch cake base. Spread cream cheese frosting on top with an offset spatula. Place the next cake layer on top. Add another layer of cream cheese frosting. Top with the last cake layer. Place a wooden dowel through the middle of the cake to help it stay together and straight while frosting. With the offset spatula, use the remainder of the cream cheese frosting to add a crumb coat around and on top of the cake. Then refrigerate for a couple hours, up to overnight if you'd like to continue the next day. 
  • Next make the Buttercream frosting. Beat butter and shortening in stand mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, while mixing in between. Add vanilla extract after you've added half the total sugar. If frosting is too thick, add heavy cream then continue to add sugar until desired consistency is achieved.  Next divide this frosting into four parts. Add a couple drops of food coloring to each bowl of frosting. (Black, purple, yellow, and orange.) Mix each separately until color is uniform in each bowl. Use your offset spatula to add bits of frosting of each color randomly all over the sides of the cake. This does not have to be neat. Then use a cake scraper while turning the cake to smooth the frosting. Repeat until smooth and same with the top of the cake. It doesn't have to be totally perfect, since you'll be covering a lot of it with the chocolate Halloween town and decorations. Refrigerate 2 hours to overnight.

Halloween Haunted Houses Shell

  • Take a piece of parchment paper and measure it out around the circumference of the cake. Cut to correct length. Also cut to correct height of the cake so you have a long rectangular piece of parchment paper that fits neatly around the cake. Use a pencil to draw Haunted Halloween houses on one side of the paper. They should be attached and not spaced out, ideally. I also drew in trees, and ghosts. Details such as windows are important. Feel free to use your imagination! Turn the pencil side down and tape it to a piece of acetate strip used for cake decorating, cut to the same length and height.
  • Candy melts set a bit quickly once melted, so only melt one color at a time. First, melt half of the black candy melts in the microwave in 20 second intervals, mixing in between. Once melted, I added the candy melt to a piping bag which I had fitted with a small round tip. I find that it is neater than just cutting the tip off of the piping bag. Use the black to outline the windows and some of the homes, as well as some of the other shapes you draw (refer to photo). Next use the white candy melt to make the ghosts, and then orange for little pumpkins. Then use melting chocolate wafers to fill in all of the houses. Use yellow to fill in the glowing windows, and leave some open so you can see the background of the cake showing through.
  • The trick to attaching it to the cake is the candy/ chocolate has to  be somewhat wet still, because if it is completely dry it won't stick to the cake well. If your candy/chocolate has hardened too much, you can use a clean blow dryer to undo that - but not for too long and on low heat, as it melts quickly. Once it's not hard, but just a bit tacky to the touch, lift the acetate from either end (easier if you have someone help you for this step.) Slowly attach it all the way around the cake, pushing it gently into the cake and securing the two ends that meet with tape. Something to note here is that you will see the back of the candy melt/chocolate. So don't worry if you are not perfect in your decorating on the side you are working on. Also, if you want something in front, like a pumpkin, pipe that first, then pipe the house or tree over it, so it shows in front when you remove the paper. Leave the cake refrigerated overnight like this.
  • The next day, when ready to finish the cake, very carefully and gently remove the tape and slowly remove the acetate/parchment paper. The chocolate/candy shell should stick to the cake. Refrigerate until ready to continue decorations. 

Decorating the top of the cake

  • To make the moon and witch: Use a large round cookie cutter that you butter first. Then melt yellow candy melt and place the cookie cutter over parchment paper. Place yellow candy melt into the cookie cutter smoothly to achieve a round moon. Next, free-hand pipe the silhouette of a witch on a broom out of black candy melts. Allow both to harden in the fridge. Once both are hard, use some melted candy melt to attach the witch gently to the moon (after you have removed it from the cookie cutter. Use the side that was on the parchment paper for the front - it will be smoother.) In a plastic baggie, break 8 - 10 Oreos into crumbs to use as a dirt path in the cemetery/around the cake. Meanwhile, mix black and white candy melts to make grey tombstones from molds or free-hand pipe them. I made 3. I hand piped a silhouette of a Halloween tree out of black candy melts as well - you may do this or skip it. Don't be afraid to be creative and have fun with it!
  • Once ready to assemble, melt the chocolate wafers and spread generously over the top of the cake. This will be used to help the rest of the decorations stick. Next attach the sun by placing it toward the back of the top of the cake - it should attach with the chocolate. ( I use extra frosting in back of the moon - I colored some of the yellow frosting I had leftover into a dark green - to make sure it stays upright.) Next attach the tree and tombstones, add pumpkin candies, the Oreo dirt road, and skull and bone bloody sprinkles. Once you put the cake on the cake stand add more "dirt" to the bottom arund the cake and some pumpkins around as well. And voila! Your lovely pumpkin Halloween cake is all done! 

 

 

 

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