Usborne Books at Home

Skip to main content

Make your own petrifying pumpkin cake!

6th October 2015

Taken from the Children's Cake Decorating Book (arriving in November!), this delicious cake is an ideal 'showstopper' to make during half term or in preparation for a Halloween party.

Follow the simple step-by-step instructions below and get baking!


A piece of pumpkin or squash weighing around 350g (12oz)
1 orange
175ml (12 tablespoons) sunflower oil
200g (7oz) soft light brown sugar
4 medium eggs
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or mace (optional)
A pinch of ground cloves (optional)
100g (4oz) plain or milk chocolate chips

For the topping:
1 orange
50g (2oz) softened butter or margarine
100g (4oz) icing sugar
Red and yellow food dye
100g (4oz) plain or milk chocolate
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

For decorating:
Pumpkin decorations - You will need some whole cloves, a cocktail stick and red, yellow, green and brown marzipan (remember marzipan contains nuts) or ready-to-roll icing.

You will also need a 20cm (8in) round, deep cake tin.


1. Heat the oven to 180°C, 350°F or gas mark 4. Grease and line the tin.  
2. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the rind from the pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Grate the pumpkin on the big holes of a grater. Stop when you have 250g (9oz).  
3. Grate the rind from the outside of the orange on the small holes of the grater. Put it in a big bowl.  
4. Put the oil and sugar in the bowl with the zest. Beat for a minute with a wooden spoon.  
5. Break an egg into a cup. Tip it into the oil and sugar mixture and mix well. Do the same with each of the other eggs.  
6. Add the grated pumpkin and mix it in. Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices. Tip in the chocolate chips.  
7. Fold everything together gently with a spatula or a big metal spoon. Scrape into the tin. Bake for 50 minutes until risen and firm. Test with a skewer.  
8. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn the cake onto a wire rack. Leave it upside down to cool completely.  
9. For the topping, grate the zest from the orange on the small holes of a grater. Squeeze the juice from half the orange. Put half the zest in a big bowl and add the butter or margarine.  
10. Beat until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the orange juice and a few drops of red and yellow food dye. Mix until orange and fluffy.  
11. Put the cake on a serving plate with the flat side up. Spread the orange frosting around the sides. Put the cake in the fridge.  
12. Melt the chocolate. Stir in the cinnamon, ginger and the remaining orange zest. Pour it over and arrange the pumpkin decorations.  
To make the pumpkin decorations...  
1. Squash and knead some red and yellow marzipan or icing together to make orange. Roll some into a ball the size of a golf ball.  
2. Put the point of the cocktail stick against the bottom of the ball. Tilt the stick up and over, so it makes a groove up the side of the ball, ending in the middle.  
3. Make more grooves all the way around. Push your thumb into the middle of the ball to make a dent.  
4. Take a little green marzipan or icing. Roll it into a thin string. Wrap it around the cocktail stick to make a tendril. Push it off the end of the stick.  
5. Take a clove. Remove the round part. Put the end of the tendril in the dent of the pumpkin. Use the divided end of the clove to spear it gently in place.  
6. Use the brown marzipan or icing to shape eyes and a mouth. Push them on gently. They should stick.  

And now, time to eat!

Don't forget...

Share your photos with us on Facebook or Twitter and show off this tasty treat!