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Pfoinkle

Pumpkin Shaped Cake

By: Pfoinkle
Category: Autumn Cakes, Food Shaped Cakes, Halloween Cakes

Pumpkin shaped cake with buttercream frosting and fondant accents.

Pumpkin shaped cake with buttercream frosting and fondant accents.

Pumpkin shaped cake with buttercream frosting and fondant accents.

I’m primarily a buttercream broad, but when I was designing the Dr. Horrible Party Cakes, I knew I was going to be using a lot of fondant.

I decided a pumpkin-shaped cake would be an excellent place to experiment with shaping fondant — it’s easy enough to make a lovely pumpkin cake with just buttercream frosting, but fondant is a great way to add some pumpkin leaves and curly vine details.

If I had it all to do over again, I would have rolled the fondant quite a bit thinner and I would have added some painted details to the leaves with liquid food coloring (a process I used a lot on the goggles cake).

But for a primarily buttercream broad, I was pretty satisfied with the pumpkin’s fondant accents.

Pumpkin Shaped Cake Supplies

  • Enough batter for three cakes (3 standard box mixes)
  • Buttercream Frosting (enough for approximately 3 cakes)
  • Fondant
  • Wilton’s Gel Food Coloring: Green, Orange, Yellow, Royal Blue (the Yellow and Royal Blue are optional colors)
  • Pumpkin Leaf Pattern
  • Toothpicks
  • Specialty Pans: Bundt Pan
The foundation of the pumpkin shaped cake is the bundt pan.

Using the bundt pan in ways it was not intended.

The foundation of the pumpkin-shaped cake is almost always the bundt pan. The contemporary bundt pan was originally designed for baking “bundkuchen”, a type of German coffee cake. Today the bundt pan is used for baking just about any type of cake — even pumpkin.

For the pumpkin cake, bake two bundt cakes. The size of your bundt pan will determine just how much batter is needed, but for the average pan, one box mix will do. Bake time will be considerably longer than when baking two layers from one box — close to twice as long, but start checking the cake early and make sure not to over-bake.

When I started this cake, I thought two bundt cakes were the answer for the perfect pumpkin shape.

I was wrong.

In order to keep the cake from collapsing, I knew I was going to use this stacking method and when I put the cake together, well… just look at the pics:

Looking for the perfect pumpkin cake shape.

Looking for the perfect pumpkin cake shape.

The first picture is of two bundt cakes stacked on top of each other. I like the curved edges on the top and on the bottom, but the curves in the middle are not making me happy.

So I leveled off what would traditionally be the “bottom” of each bundt cake and put the cake back together — and that’s the second image.

I now had a more traditional pumpkin-shaped cake — a very short, kind of flat, pumpkin-shaped cake.

And this is when the third box mix comes into play. I baked two 9″ layers (the size should match the size of your bundt pan). One would be used for the stem of the pumpkin and one would be the middle layer of the pumpkin cake — and that’s the third picture.

Now that I had a shape I was happy with, it was time for the frosting.

Tip: I use disposable chopsticks as my primary source of “dowels” for stacking cakes — not your good chopsticks, but those cheapo break apart ones that always accompany takeout and splinter your lips.

Smooth buttercream frosting.

Smooth buttercream frosting.

If you squeeze one batch of buttercream frosting, you can frost this entire cake, but if you apply frosting with a pastry bag and frosting tip (which tends to put the frosting on thicker), you might need 1.5 batches.

Before you add the orange coloring, set aside 1/2 cup of frosting (this will be the frosting for the stem).

I colored the frosting with Wilton’s Orange gel coloring, but because I wanted a more natural orange (and not cartoon orange), I added a tiny amount of Royal Blue. This just dulls down the orange and is a completely optional step. Once the cake is frosted, use the paper towel method to smooth the frosting.

Making grooved on side of the pumpkin cake.

Making grooved on side of the pumpkin cake.

Allow the smoothed frosting to “rest” for 10-15 minutes.

Place a paper towel on the frosting and gently drag the back of your finger along the cake to make the grooves of the pumpkin.

Stem made from cupcakes and covered in buttercream.

Stem made from cut out cakes circles.

Using a cookie/fondant cutter, cut circles of cake from the second 9″ layer of cake. Stack those layers (you’ll likely need to use toothpicks to stabilize the stack) and carve to your satisfaction. Make sure you don’t carve the stack so skinny that it will fall through the hole in the center of the top bundt cake.

Get the frosting you set aside earlier and color with Wilton Gel coloring (I used Kelly green). Frost the stem and then place the stem in the center of the cake — use toothpicks to hold the stem in place. Drag the tines of a standard dinner fork through the frosting to make it rough.

Pumpkin shaped cake with all buttercream frosting.

Pumpkin shaped cake with all buttercream frosting.

For you buttercream freaks, your work here is done! If you want some fondant extras, continue reading.

Download the pumpkin leaf pattern PDF

Download the pumpkin leaf pattern PDF

If you’re new to fondant, you can either purchase “rolled fondant” (ready-to-use) or make Pix’s Marshmallow fondant. They’re similar to work with, but Pix’s is reportedly yummy. Most ready-to-use fondant is… an acquired taste.

I say Pix’s is “reportedly yummy” because I’m a fondant weenie and I bought ready-to-use. ;)

Once you have the fondant of your choice, color it green with Wilton’s Gel Coloring (check Pix’s tutorial on Coloring Fondant).

But before you do all that, download this pattern and cut out the leaf patterns.

Cutting fondant leaves.

Cutting fondant leaves.

Use the downloaded leaf patterns to create the green fondant leaves.

Fondant leaves draped over plastic containers.

Fondant leaves draped over plastic containers.

To give the fondant leaves some interest, drape them over small plastic containers or bowls or whatever else you have in the kitchen that seems suitable. I used a mixture of plastic containers and chopsticks. :D

Fondant snakes wrapped around chopsticks.

Fondant snakes wrapped around chopsticks.

For the pumpkin vines, roll out some snakes of fondant. I wanted some variety, so I added some Golden Yellow in varying amounts to little bits of the already green fondant. Once you have the snakes, wrap them around chopsticks, lolly sticks, or the round handle of a wooden spoon. Allow the fondant to dry for approximately 30 minutes.

Vine curls removed from chopsticks and shaped.

Vine curls removed from chopsticks and shaped.

Once the vines have dried (but aren’t completely hardened), slide them off the chopsticks and stretch them out. You can also “bend” them so that they will fall more gracefully along the sides of the pumpkin. Allow the fondant to harden fully. If you try to drape the curls on the pumpkin too soon, the weight of the dangling fondant will stretch out the curls completely and/or cause the curls to break.

Pumpkin shaped cake with buttercream frosting and fondant accents.

Pumpkin shaped cake with buttercream frosting and fondant accents.

Once all of your fondant pieces have dried, attach them to the cake. For the curls, I just stuck one end in the buttercream. For the leaves, I just placed them on the pumpkin and allowed them to rest naturally against the stem and sides of the pumpkin.

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Comments

from: Twitted by mrsevilgenius

[...] This post was Twitted by mrsevilgenius – Real-url.org [...]

from: Deb

I think this cake is so beautiful.
It would make a wonderful,edible table centrepiece for a harvest celebration! How many servings do you think there would be?

from: Pfoinkle

Thanks, Deb!

The standard bundt cake serves 12-15 people, so I would plan on this serving 24-30.

To serve this cake, you slice down to the “stacking” board and slice up the entire top half. Then you remove the cake board and slice up the second half.

The extra layer in the middle gives the cake a more pleasing shape, but it would be difficult to separate it out to get more servings.

from: Pumpkin Cake — Karoline's Kitchen

[...] recipe is very forgiving and can be easily multiplied as well.  I modeled my assembly after this idea.  But, I didn’t use a cake in the middle, and I ended up slicing the bundt cakes in half [...]