A journey of hope and healing after a decade of infertility and two maternal near-misses.

Simply from Scratch: A Sweet Little Pumpkin Cake

**Update!  Due to popular demand, more how-to photos have been added to this post to help with the construction of the pumpkin.  Thanks for the feedback.  :)

Mini Pumpkin Spice Cake- www.thecreativeconfectionista.comThis was fun. And I can't even begin to tell you how amazing my house smells right now!  My dishes are oven proof which I've never taken advantage of until tonight.  Sure, I have a few pieces that frequent my oven... like my 8x8 casserole dish... but this was the first time my cereal bowls graced my oven rack.  I prepared a kicked up pumpkin cake recipe and divided the mixture into the two bowls to make the top and bottom of the pumpkin.  Cute, right?  (and oh, so easy!!)

The cake recipe is a glammed up box mix... boxed you say?  Hey, sometimes a boxed cake can be a thing of beauty.  I know the consistency of this cake is a little firmer which lent itself to be a good match for the pumpkin shape.  Here is the recipe I came up with.

Pumpkin Spice Cake 
1- box Betty Crocker Simply Moist Butter Recipe Cake Mix
1/3 c. butter, softened
1 c. canned pumpkin
3 eggs
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger
1 T. vanilla extract
1 tsp. Valencia Orange Peel

Preheat your oven to 325.  (350 if using a metal or shiny baking bowls)  Start by cutting the butter into the cake mix using a mixer.  Once well blended begin adding eggs one at a time.  Follow with the pumpkin and spices.  Beat the mixture for three minutes on high.  Most recipes will call for water too but the pumpkin has plenty of moisture so you will have a nice thick batter.  (I could have licked the bowl.  But I didn't.  Really.  You can ask Cody.)

Grease two over sized, oven-proof cereal bowls with cooking spray or butter.  Divide the cake batter between the two bowls.  Keep in mind, you may not be able to fit all of the batter depending on the bowl size.  Be conservative in your guesstimate... you don't want the batter to boil over in your oven!  I was able to fit two ladle-fulls in each bowl.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until the cakes are firm to the touch.  Cool completely.

Sweet Pumpkin Cake- www.thecreativeconfectionista.comPumpkin Frosting
1/2 c. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese
4 c. confectioners sugar, sifted
1/4 c. canned pumpkin (set aside)
food coloring (optional)
1- pretzel crisp
1- piece Hershey's chocolate


Cream butter and cream cheese until thoroughly mixed.  Slowly add sugar while beating frosting with a mixer.  Assess the consistency of the frosting... if it sticks to the mixer without sliding off, it's perfect.  If not, add 1/4 c. sugar in increments until desire consistency is achieved.  Remove 1/4 c of the frosting and set aside in a small bowl.  (this will be used for decorative accents later)  With the remaining batter, add the pumpkin and beat on high for 2 minutes.  Add more sugar, if needed.  The pumpkin colors the frosting lightly but if you would like a richer orange color, you can use red and yellow food coloring.  In the small bowl with 1/4c white frosting, add two drops of green food coloring.  This will be used to make the leaf on the pumpkin.

Once the cakes have cooled, remove them from the bowls and cut off the tops to make them level.  On one half, spread Pumpkin Frosting and top with the other half.  (you may use other fillings... fresh raspberry compote would be amazing!  I used Orange Marmalade to play up the citrus notes in the cake)  Place the cake in the freezer for about 10 minutes.  This will make it a little more solid before you begin layering the frosting.  I found that the freezer is my friend!  When the frosting was a little too fluid, back in the freezer it would go.  I put a crumb layer on and then went back to add the decorative layer with the knife strokes running vertically to make the grooves of a real pumpkin.  Then back in the freezer it went.

While the cake was setting, I took my green frosting and layered the pretzel crisp with it to make a leaf.  I placed it on parchment paper and... you guessed it... stuck it in the freezer to set.  When everything was pretty solid, I pulled the cake and leaf out and put it together.  Not a bad pumpkin for my first try!

The verdict?  The cake was AWESOME!  I would not change a thing!  It was delicious, moist and it baked up perfectly!  The cinnamon and ginger were a nice touch too.  You could taste both but they weren't overpowering.  The frosting?  While it tasted great, the pumpkin addition made it a little too thin.  I think I would cut that out next time unless I was preparing the cake in a 9x13 dish where the frosting could just rest on top verses being spread over a little sphere.  Overall, I would definitely try this again!  I loved how easily the cake took shape just by using an unorthodox baking dish.   


  1. He is all better now! Come on over, can't wait to try it!

    1. I'll have to make a new one for my Little Pumpkin. :)

  2. Just one question, Is the Betty Crocker Simply Moist Butter Recipe Cake Mix a yellow cake mix or any other flavor? I saw a recipe using Butter Pecan cake mix-that is the reason I am asking (just in case your other followers were wondering). I hope to try this recipe for our Halloween party.

    Thanks, CC!

    1. It was a yellow cake recipe... or specifically "yellow butter cake".

  3. Cute!!! This would be a nice addition to a Thanksgiving dessert table...maybe the centerpiece, surrounded by my Turkey cookies!

    1. Thanks! I was actually thinking about making this for Thanksgiving at Aunt Evelyn's this year! There are always so many desserts so the size would be perfect. And your turkey cookies are ADORABLE!!! I think we need to have a baking session at the next book club. :)


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