How to Make a Pumpkin Cupcake Cake for Halloween
Easy Halloween Pull-Apart Cupcake Cake for Parties
Need an idea for a fun and easy Halloween dessert to serve at a party or school function? This pull-apart pumpkin cupcake cake is super cute and very easy to make!
Because my cake decorating skills are not the best—and because I am usually running short on time—I like to make simple pull-apart cupcake cakes when one of my kids needs treats for a class party or bake sale. They are less messy to eat and much easier to manage than a regular sheet or layer cake, and each cupcake is the perfect portion size for partygoers.
Follow along as I show you how to make a pumpkin cupcake cake! I used a boxed cake mix to make my cupcakes because I like things simple and easy, but you can use any homemade cupcake recipe that you like. I think pumpkin spice cupcakes with a cream cheese icing would taste divine, especially as a treat for the more mature palate.
What You'll Need
- 1 box of cake mix
- Whatever your cake mix calls for (likely eggs, butter, and vegetable oil)
- Cupcake liners
- Icing (recipe below)
Step 1: Bake 24 Cupcakes
You will need 24 cupcakes of any flavor to make a pumpkin cupcake cake. Bake the cupcakes according to the instructions on the cake mix or the recipe you are using.
One cake mix makes 24 medium sized cupcakes. I made chocolate fudge cupcakes because they are my personal favorite! I like to use cake mixes because I am a bit of a lazy baker and they are perfect to have on hand for when your children wait until the last minute to tell you they need a class treat for the next morning just as they are rolling into bed.
Step 2: Make the Icing
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup milk
- 4 cups icing sugar
- Food coloring
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat the softened margarine until fluffy. Add 2 cups icing sugar and half the milk and continue beating. Slowly add the rest of the icing sugar and milk until thoroughly combined.
- Place 1/2 cup white icing in a small bowl and tint with black food coloring for creating the details of the jack-o-lanterns face. Combine another 1/2 cup white icing plus 2 tbsp cocoa in a second small bowl for making the stem. You can also use green food coloring instead of the brown for the stem. Tint the remainder of the icing a bright orange.
- You may need to add more icing sugar to the tinted icing if it is too runny, especially if you are using liquid food colorings.
I like to use Wilton gel colors for tinting icing and other baked goods because they require very little to use to make bright true colors and they do not alter the taste of the icing.
Step 3: Decorate the Cupcakes
- Set aside 2 cupcakes for the stem. Pipe brown or green icing on these.
- For the remaining 22 cupcakes: Starting from the outside edge, pipe the orange icing in a circular motion around each cupcake, ending in the middle.
Step 4: Arrange the Cupcakes
Arrange the cupcakes on a large platter or cake board as shown in the picture above.
Step 5: Make a Jack-o'-Lantern
- Using a small tip and black icing, pipe the eyes, nose and mouth onto the arranged cupcakes.
- Serve, pull apart, and enjoy!