Pumpkin cake: a tutorial

If you are having a Pumpkin-themed party, as we do every October half-term, then you will be in need of a centrepiece. Step forth my guide to creating a marvellous Pumpkin cake. It was a big hit last year.

Firstly, of course, you need to make your cake. I opted for three layers of cake, made with recipes I use regularly, but it would be just as easy to use a cake mix, or indeed shop-bought. The layers are for the height, as a ‘classic’ pumpkin is usually as high as it is round. Sandwich your layers together with frosting (I always keep a stash of Betty Crocker for party cakes) or buttercream. It’s also worth sticking your base layer to the plate with some buttercream too to prevent shifting whilst you are decorating it.

layer up the cake

Next you need to ‘model’ your pumpkin. Trim the top so that it has a pronounced dome (if you made a well-risen cake, you won’t need to do much!) I then cut a couple of wedges into the top to give the impressiomn of the dents in a pumpkin’s skin. Remember that, when covered in icing, these dents will be less deep, so don’t panic if you end up with a bit of a chasm in your cake top. Using the leftover bits of cake, I fashioned a stem, sticking it together with a good splodge of icing.

Once you are happy with your basic shape, then get busy with your icing:cover the whole cake in yet more frosting, in a thin and even layer, and put to one side. Then roll out your icing: I used about 3/4kg of orange fondant icing, bought at my local cake shop, and rolled it out (using plenty of icing sugar to stop sticking) to about 4mm thick. Then cover your cake with it, using the edges of your hands to push the icing into the crevices and around the base. Once you are happy with it, trim off the excess and use the end of a knife to tuck the cut edge under the base of your cake.

cover the cake in orange icing

Check your cake over and dust off any excess icing sugar, but don’t stress too much about the overall appearance, as pumpkins aren’t all smooth and blemish free (on which note, don’t look too closely at the pictures for the same reason :D) Then take your green icing, with a star nozzle, and pipe on the details: I covered the stem in icing and then piped curly trails across the orange body of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin cake

 

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