Polka Dot Pumpkin Halloween Cake


posted by Ashton
August 18, 2020

Polka Dot Pumpkin Halloween Cake

This simple pumpkin cake has a delicious surprise inside– deliciously fudgy polka dots. I’m sharing the do’s and don’ts I learned from my first attempt at making a “surprise inside” cake!

Related Recipes:

Polka Dot Pumpkin Halloween Cake

Ingredients

  • Yellow cake mix
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ¼-½ cup milk
  • orange food coloring (optional)
  • baked chocolate cake
  • ¼ cup chocolate frosting (store-bought)
  • black food coloring (optional)

Polka Dot Pumpkin Halloween Cake

Directions

1. Make the cake balls (the polka dots).

  • DO: use any baked chocolate cake that you want to use. It can be store-bought, it can be homemade, it can be made with a cake mix– whatever! And it doesn’t have to be in any particular shape (it can even be in cupcake form), because you’re just going to crumble it all up anyway.
  • DO: use a cake mix if you want to follow my recipe exactly*. If you feel comfortable doing your own thing, that’s fine! I made a cake with a cake mix and used HALF of the baked cake in this recipe. The rest of it is in my freezer for making cake ball truffles at holiday time. 
  • DON’T: make the cake balls larger than a teaspoon. I tried to hide it some in the pictures (sorry!), but most of my slices just had a black blob in the middle instead of cute little polka dots. That’s because my cake balls were too big, so they were too close together in the cake.
  • DON’T: feel like you have to use black food coloring. The polka dots would have most likely been dark enough without it; but I really wanted a definite orange-and-black look with Halloween in mind, so I added a little coloring to punch it up a bit.

Polka Dot Pumpkin Halloween Cake

2. Make the pumpkin cake batter.

  • DO: use any pumpkin cake recipe that you like best. The cake mix version I’m providing you in this post is a recipe that is super quick and easy. But if you’re looking for a more robust pumpkin flavor and texture, I highly recommend this pumpkin cake recipe
  • DON’T: use pumpkin pie filling. Every Fall I have an inbox full of angry emails from bakers who accidentally used pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin pureé and ended up with a recipe flop. Be sure you’re buying 100% pure pumpkin!

Polka Dot Pumpkin Halloween Cake

3. Layer the cake batter with the cake balls.

  • DON’T: put the cake balls too close together. Which is a great segue into the next bullet point…
  • DO: put a nice, thick layer of cake batter in between the two layers of cake ballsIf I had to quantify how much cake batter should go in each layer, the layers would go something like this:
    • First Layer: 1/4 of the cake batter
    • Second Layer: several black cake balls
    • Third Layer: 1/2 of the cake batter
    • Fourth Layer: several black cake balls
    • Fifth Layer: 1/4 of the cake batter

Polka Dot Pumpkin Halloween Cake

4. Bake at 350ºF for 45 minutes. Let cool and invert onto serving plate.

Polka Dot Pumpkin Halloween Cake

Related Recipes:

Ingredients

  • Yellow cake mix
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup milk
  • orange food coloring (optional)*
  • baked chocolate cake
  • ¼ cup chocolate frosting (store-bought)
  • black food coloring (optional)*

Instructions

  1. Assuming you used a cake mix to make a chocolate cake… divide the baked cake in half. Put one half in a bowl, and set aside the second half for other use.
  2. Crumble the cake and use a fork to mix it with the chocolate frosting until you have one, cohesive mixture. If the mixture doesn’t stick together to form a ball, add more frosting a tablespoon at a time.
  3. Use a teaspoon to form to scoop the mixture. Roll into balls. Set aside.
  4. Make the pumpkin cake batter by whisking together the yellow cake mix, pumpkin pureè, and milk.
  5. Alternate layers of the cake batter with layers of the cake balls in a well greased bundt pan.
  6. Bake at 350ºF for 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and invert onto serving plate. Slice once completely cool.

Notes

*food coloring is completely optional. I like it to make the Halloween colors really pop.

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Polka Dot Pumpkin Halloween Cake

Polka Dot Pumpkin Halloween Cake

Polka Dot Pumpkin Halloween Cake



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