I made this cake for my sweet niece Kelsey's seventh birthday. When she said she wanted a pumpkin cake for her October birthday, I thought of Martha Stewart's Great Pumpkin Cake. She makes it with two bundt cakes, one inverted on the other - isn't that clever?
I made yellow cake for the bottom layer; frosted in between with dark chocolate frosting; and made Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake for the top layer. The orange frosting is all-butter buttercream frosting with orange food coloring, and I made the jack-o-lantern face with a small round cake decorating tip and the same dark chocolate frosting from between the layers. The stem is an ice cream cone covered with chocolate frosting. I made the grooves in the pumpkin with an off-set spatula. At the party, we put some candy corn around the bottom to finish it off.
I've posted these recipes before, but I'll include them here because I think this is a great cake for this month. If you made a completely chocolate cake, you could make an orange-flavored buttercream (with orange zest and orange extract) for a sophisticated taste. My chocolate cake came out very soft and crumby, so I used a crumb coat - I mixed 1/2 cup of buttercream with 1 tablespoon of milk and lightly frosted it. I then left it in the refrigerator for about an hour so the crumb coat could crust over. I was able to frost the cake without catching crumbs in the frosting. If you need to transport this cake, you can also let it crust over in the refrigerator. I put a piece of aluminum foil over it loosely, and it survived an hour car ride on my lap with no problems.
Since you are making 2 cakes, this cake should serve 20-30 people.
Buttercream Frosting (this made enough with about a cup or so leftover)
4 sticks butter, softened
8 cups confectioner's sugar
2 t. vanilla
4 T. milk
orange food coloring (Wilton's gel/paste)
Beat butter with mixer until light. Mix in vanilla. Add sugar one cup at a time. Add milk and orange food coloring and beat until fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
Hershey's Dark Chocolate Frosting
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Special Dark Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.
Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Special Dark Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling coffee
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a bundt pan.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling coffee (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
Preheat oven to 350.
2 1/4 c. flour
3 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 3.4 oz. pkg. vanilla pudding
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
4 egg whites
Grease and flour a bundt pan.
Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix in a medium bowl.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla.
Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to the batter, ending with flour.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Gently spoon into pan(s).
Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes until golden and no crumbs cling to cake tester inserted in the middle.