Easy Pumpkin Shaped Cake

pumpkin-cake.jpgpumpkin cakepumpkin cakepumpkin-cake-1.jpgThis is the cake I made for Briana’s birthday party. It was really easy, and so realistic looking that people didn’t realize it was the cake. I made it with two bundt cakes (use a dense cake like pound or carrot) turned to make the shape of a pumpkin. I dyed the buttercream icing as realistically as possible, made the stem and leaves out of gumpaste, and put real mums around the base just for presentation. Try it!

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32 thoughts on “Easy Pumpkin Shaped Cake

  1. That looks unbelievably real! Two bundt pans? Who’dda thunk? I’m gonna put this in my inspirational cake section of my recipe notebook.Bravo. Yes, what is gumpaste? Is it edible? Sounds weird.

  2. Thanks guys. I was inspired by a Southern Living recipe. The idea to use two bundt pans is not original…I’m just not that clever. When I looked online I saw tons of variations on this. Most of them did not smooth and sculture the icing like this. Most of them either drizzled – which is beautiful too. Or they simply spread the icing. I used my traditional Viva paper towel method to smooth and sculpt. Make sense?

  3. Gumpaste is like fondant. It’s used to do the more delicate flowers and leaves. I could have used fondant which would have been much cheaper since I could make it myself, but I wanted to buy gumpaste anyway to practice some of the exquisite flowers I’ve seen in pictures. I might ask for a gumpaste flower kit for my b-day. I am a geek!

  4. I love how at the very bottom of the post you say “try it”!!! I can’t even fathom trying it :-) I’ll leave that up to you for sure! Great job.

  5. Wow, how did you get it to look speckeled? I might make a pumpkin cake for a party. I am the kindergarten “party mom” for the Harvest Party, surely those little guys wouldn’t notice if it isn’t very perfect!

  6. To get the color I used Wilton Icing gel dye (I have collected these over time). I began with plain orange. I did this in the mixer to get it even. It took more than I expected. then I mixed in a touch of brown. It took the cartoon look down a notch – made it more realistic. Then I added a little bit of moss green. I did this by hand which is why it is swirled in. I did a little more brown this way as well so that it would have dimension like a real pumpkin. It’s just add, and look, add and look. Also, gel dye always gets darker after an hour or so. I don’t think you could get the orange too dark, but if you go too heavy on the brown or green it will look muddy.

    For children it would be fun to just do bright orange, and you could cut out jack-o-lantern face from a dark fruit roll up.

    You can find 50 different ways online. just put “pumpkin shaped cake” in your search engine.

    If any of you try it, please post a picture on your blog and come back and tell us.

  7. The thing about Laurie’s amazing cakes is that they not only look good, they taste good, too. I have sliced cake in my freezer for anyone who wants to try some of her latest and who can get here faster than I can eat it myself….which means you better come in the next couple days or so! :)
    Thank you so much, Laurie, for all the time and effort you put into the cake. I LOVED it!

  8. The thing about Laurie’s amazing cakes is that they not only look good, they taste good, too. I have sliced cake in my freezer for anyone who wants to try some of her latest and who can get here faster than I can eat it myself….which means you better come in the next couple days or so! :)
    Thank you so much, Laurie, for all the time and effort you put into the cake. I LOVED it!

  9. Hey, I was in line at the grocery store the other day when the lady in front of me was glancing at the magazine cover on the rack .She was saying to the cashier, “There’s no way I could make that pumpkin shaped cake.” I couldn’t help but pipe up, “Oh, I have a friend who made one .It’s just 2 Bundt cake pans. ” You should have seen her face light up. “REally? Really! Two Bundt cakes? I can see that now.” I told her you made your own frosting and tweaked the colors to make them realistic. She said, “My cake would not turn out perfect like that one on the magazine.” I told her that I think the imperfect ones are actually more realistic looking one. I mean, come on, when’s the last time you saw a pumpkin that was exactly symmetrical and perfectly smooth like 2 Bundt pans facing each other? She was like, “yeh, I can do that!”

  10. Here’s the link to the Kraft pumpkin cake:
    http://www.kraftfoods.com/main.aspx?s=recipe&m=recipe/knet_recipe_display&wf=9&recipe_id=65453

    I thought you would find the difference intresting.
    They are not even in the same league.

    They did not use two bundt cakes, just one pkg. (2-layer) cake mix and 12″ flute pan. I vote for yours. I might substiute frosting for the gumpasted (since I don’t even know where I could buy it.). I think the frosted icecream cone and leaf would work. Thanks for posting the photo. Great job.

  11. I know this is late but I was searching for pumpkin shaped cakes online and came across your blog. Is there any chance that you have a pic of this cake? Everyone acts like they saw it but I don’t see a pic on the blog. If you can help, I’d appriciate it. I’m trying to get pics so I can have a pumpkin patch wedding cake made. Thanks.

  12. Susan,
    sorry it took so long to get back with you. I use a viva paper towel to smooth out the icing. i wrote about it in cake decorating 101: the icing on the cake.

  13. I made a pumpkin shaped cake several years ago for a Carnival at the kids’ school. I didn’t use Gum Paste for the stem, I used a ho ho. (a twinkie frosted will work too)

  14. I’m making a pumpkin cake this weekend but just using box cake, the kids just don’t like pound cake. I hope it’s not too soft to decorate. I’m also going to use this technique to make a spice cake and cover with cream cheese frosting for adults. GumPaste can be purchased at Michael’s and WalMart as well as cake decorating stores. Have never used it, but heard it’s a great medium.

  15. Hi Laurie, I want to try to make something like this for thanksgiving. I was wondering what recipe you used for the buttercream icing. It always find it hard for me to get the consistany right.

  16. Grace, I use the wilton butter cream recipe. i use a pinch of salt and real vanilla extract instead of the clear one. sometimes i use half butter, half shortening – but this is harder to work with to make the surface smooth (using the viva paper towel recipe).

  17. good lord girl. He gave you a HUGE talent ( you know that i had to look this up after we talked this afternoon!!!)

    it was so nice to just really talk to you today. Thank you for your easy, no matter how long time has passed, friendship.

    xoxoxo

  18. I love your cake and found somthing similar in the Charleston Home magazine. Yours looks much more realistic. Can I purchase gum paste or do I have to make it from scratch?

  19. I have looked at so many pumpkin shaped cakes on the internet and yours, by far, looks more realistic than any I have seen . . . including ones that took 1st place in competitions! Your cake is amazing. I really think you should (hope you will) make a video to post online to show people how to do it. A picture is worth a thousand words.

  20. How many people will this cake serve and do you have to put support inbetween layers to get it sturdy?

  21. Hi, I am going to attempt to make a cake like this for my sister’s wedding shower, themed “FALL in love.” I also want to do a fall scene, and put decorative scarecrows on the side…Can you please tell me the recipe for the icing? Also, does it matter what cake I use? I’m thinking maybe a carrot cake or spice cake…Your cake is absolutely beautiful! And can you please tell me what the viva paper towel idea is? Could I make the bottom cake from rice cereal treats or something to make it more sturdy?

  22. bonnie,
    I think the cake would easily serve 20. it’s two bundt cakes. You do not need support in between the layers.
    Stephanie,
    I love the Fall in love idea. Too fun!! Carrot cake would work great. I have a fabulous recipe for one if you want it (I think it’s somewhere on the blog, so if you enter carrot cake into my search it should come up).
    The recipe is Wilton’s buttercream recipe with a few adjustments:
    Pure vanilla extract – go with high quality
    a little almond flavoring with the vanilla
    a dash of salt
    Good luck ladies!

  23. bonnie,
    I think the cake would easily serve 20. it’s two bundt cakes. You do not need support in between the layers.
    Stephanie,
    I love the Fall in love idea. Too fun!! Carrot cake would work great. I have a fabulous recipe for one if you want it (I think it’s somewhere on the blog, so if you enter carrot cake into my search it should come up).
    The recipe is Wilton’s buttercream recipe with a few adjustments:
    Pure vanilla extract – go with high quality
    a little almond flavoring with the vanilla
    a dash of salt
    The viva paper towel method is just using a viva pptwl to smooth the icing onto the cake.

  24. I think the cake would easily serve 20. it’s two bundt cakes. You do not need support in between the layers.
    Stephanie,
    I love the Fall in love idea. Too fun!! Carrot cake would work great. I have a fabulous recipe for one if you want it (I think it’s somewhere on the blog, so if you enter carrot cake into my search it should come up).
    The recipe is Wilton’s buttercream recipe with a few adjustments:
    Pure vanilla extract

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