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Pumpkin Bundt Cake

This simple pumpkin bundt cake might look just like a real pumpkin but don’t forget, it tastes amazing too! A moist chocolate bundt cake loaded and filled with orange zested buttercream frosting for a burst of scrumptious flavor!

Now I know homemade baking can be a scary thing for many people. This recipe ideally skips all of the typical fuss and stress around home baking. A simplified base with a perfectly smooth frosting and some simple decorations is all you need.

Be sure to grab the full recipe & check out the full video tutorial in the recipe card below. And if you try this recipe (I mean you totally should be), tag me on Instagram @imancake and use the hashtag #BakingWithMANCAKE.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

prep time: 15 MINUTES total time: 65 MINUTES

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ sticks butter at room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water or fresh brewed coffee
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • Orange food gel color
  • Green fondant
  • Brown Fondant
  • 1 cupcake

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the Cake

  1. Double this recipe for two identical bundt cakes.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy on a medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla.
  4. Beat butter mixture at a medium speed for about 1 minute.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture while alternating with water. Be sure to start and end with the dry ingredient mix.
  7. On a low speed, mix until creamy. You should not need to mix longer than a minute at most. With that said, be sure not to over mix.
  8. Pour cake batter into a prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan. After, invert onto cooling rack and let cook entirely.

For the Buttercream

  1. You’ll want to make two batches. Simply double the buttercream ingredients listed above.
  2. Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar & set bowl aside.
  3. Cream butter & shortening.
  4. Blend in vanilla extract.
  5. Scrape down the sides.
  6. Place your mixer on the lowest speed & slowly add in your powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
  7. Do not worry if your buttercream looks crumbly & dry because we will fix that next.
  8. Scrape down the sides one last time.
  9. With your mixer on a medium high speed, slowly add in heavy cream, a few drops of orange food gel, and orange zest.
  10. Turn mixer up to a high speed and whip your buttercream until you have light & fluffy consistency you are looking for.

Assembly

  1. Cut bottoms off cakes.
  2. Pipe or smear orange buttercream onto bottoms. Sandwich together.
  3. Depending on the shape bundt pan you use, you may need to contour the outside using a knife to sculpt into a pumpkin shape.
  4. Cover in orange buttercream. Refrigerate to help the sculpting process.
  5. Using a knife, smooth into ridges. Add a second layer of dark buttercream to create dimension. 
  6. Smooth the buttercream. You can easily cut a yogurt cup into a half circle-shaped tool. It’s flexible and doesn’t gouge the buttercream. 
  7. For the final smoothing chill the pumpkin in the freezer and use the back of a spoon dipped in hot water.
  8. Take your brown fondant and shape a pumpkin stem. Add stem to the top of the pumpkin. 
  9. For the leaves, roll out your green fondant to about 1/4 inch thick and punch out a few leaves with a leaf punch cutter. For the vines, simple roll out fondant and curl the tips to resemble vines as you place them on your cake.

Notes

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Be sure to allow your dairy ingredients to reach room temperature. Room temperature ingredients not only combine more effortlessly (no over-mixing needed) but they also trap air so much better. This trap air will expand and produce a fluffy texture during your baking process.
  • Prepared Pan: There will always be the “next best way to prepare your pan” article. Simply put however, the most effective way i find in my kitchen is a light rub of shortening around the sides, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, & a very light dusting of flour (cocoa powder for chocolate baked goods) all throughout.
  • You can use this buttercream right away or place it in an airtight container in your fridge until ready to use. Just be sure to whip before using.
  • If you’d prefer to skip the shortening, simply swap it out with 1 additional stick of room temperature butter.
  • If you’d prefer a more white, stiffer, buttercream then simply omit the butter & replace with 1 additional cup of shortening. Also be sure to swap out the vanilla extract for clear vanilla extract.
  • Make sure you sift your powdered sugar. This will help the sugar mix into the butter & shortening smoothly.
  • When all your powdered sugar has been added in, the buttercream will appear dry. Don’t raise the alarms. When adding in your milk or heavy cream, your buttercream will start to have the fluffy texture it‘s known for.
  • Keep in mind that your heavy cream should be added in 1 tablespoon at a time. I do this way to make sure I am not drowning my buttercream to the point of a soupy mess.
  • Also worth mentioning, if desired, you can easily swap out the heavy cream for equal parts of your preferred milk such as whole milk or buttermilk.
Daniel Pagan
Dan is the creator and sort of charming host of the YouTube Channel MANCAKE, dad to Gwennie the Corgi, downtown Pittsburgh resident, and an avid baker of all things delicious since he discovered his passion for it many years ago. (He / Him / His)