Chocolate Pumpkin Jack-O’-Lantern Cake

A rich, chocolate pumpkin cake with a hint of spice, dressed up just in time for Halloween.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and line three 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the pumpkin puree and the lemon juice. Stir in the vanilla and Natrel Dark Chocolate Milk. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until fully incorporated.
  5. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients to the butter mixture in two parts, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.


  1. Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and cream cheese until fully incorporated. Add 4 cups of sifted icing sugar and beat until frosting thickens. If frosting is too soft, add up to 1 more cup of sifted icing sugar. (If the frosting is too stiff, beat in 1 tbsp of milk.) Stir in the cardamom and orange zest.
  2. Place a scant half-cup of the frosting into a smaller bowl. Incorporate black food colouring. In the large bowl of remaining frosting, incorporate orange food colouring.


To assemble the cake
  1. Place your bottom cake layer on a plate and top it with one third of the orange frosting. Only frost up to the cake’s edges- do not frost the sides. Repeat with the second and third cake layers.
  2. Pipe a Jack-O'-Lantern face onto the top of your cake.

One Tough Cookie

Toronto, Ontario

Alanna Lipson is a Toronto-based sweets lover who spins many plates, most of them food-filled. She is a culinary writer, a food stylist and photographer, a recipe developer, but, most importantly, an all-around food lover.

View profile