pumpkin patch cake

Or, pumpkin patch cake topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting, crumbled chocolate cookies and fondant decorations.
Remember that pumpkin shortage we had last year? I’m not helping matters. I went through four cans of pumpkin (I’m a Libby’s gal) for challenge 8 of Project Food Blog. And yet… I didn’t make it to Challenge 8. That’s right. My marshmallow video risk? Did not pay off. So I bid a fond farewell to Project Food Blog. While I’m disappointed, I’m not very surprised. And I’m glad to have my time back (and I’m shuddering a bit at the expense and time I poured into the challenge.) But I had prepared my next challenge anyway since it’s right up my alley. So I’m still going to share it with you.
The challenge: create a sweet or savory baked good featuring pumpkin. I tried a few versions of pumpkin cut-out cookies that were… just OK. I didn’t want to settle for just OK. So then I tried cake. This one is yummy, moist, and not too heavy. The cream cheese frosting is a nice complement, and only subtly chocolate-y. So yay. I was sticking.
Hey, wait a second. I see someone back there.
Isn’t that…..?
Yep. Yep. I think it is. What’s he doing in that pumpkin patch?
(Yes, he’s edible. So’s the sign.)
how to make a pumpkin patch cake

you will need:*

pumpkin cake recipe (below)
chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe (below)

package of Nabisco famous chocolate wafers

rolling pin
sealable plastic bag
food coloring
confectioner’s sugar
whole cloves
1-inch leaf fondant cutter
pizza cutter

*The cake and frosting recipes are at the bottom of this post. Find the leaf fondant cutter (probably in a set) and fondant in the baking aisle of the craft store. For food coloring, I prefer Americolor soft gel pastes (Electric Green and Orange used here). The chocolate wafers are available in the supermarket. For tips on finding supplies, click HERE.

what to do:

step one: bake the cake
Prepare the cake recipe below and let cool completely. And I mean completely.

step two: frost your cake
Place some chocolate wafers in a sealable plastic bag (work with about ten wafers at a time). Crush with a rolling pin or mallet over a cutting board. Set aside. Prepare the frosting recipe below and use the spatula to spread on the cake. Immediately top with crushed chocolate cookies.

step three: make your fondant decorations
Prepare lime green and orange fondant by kneading drops of food coloring into a handful of fondant very well. If fondant gets too sticky from overhandling, let it sit at room temperature uncovered about fifteen minutes. Start with just one or two drops of coloring and add more until desired color is achieved.

For the pumpkins: Roll a ball of orange fondant in your palms about 3/4-inch in diameter. Flatten the top and bottom slightly with your thumb and forefinger, and stick a clove in the top. Press the side of a toothpick into the fondant to make indentations on the sides. Prepare 25 to 30 pumpkins, or as many as desired.

For the leaves:Roll lime green fondant thinly on a surface lightly dusted with confectioner’s sugar to prevent sticking. Cut out leaf shapes and set aside. If desired, attach to the tops of a couple pumpkins with a dab of water. Cut out about 50 leaves, or as many as desired. Reserve some lime green fondant and wrap well. You will need more for the vines in step four.

step four: assemble your pumpkin patch cookies
With a sharp knife cleaned frequently, cut cake into 2-inch squares and arrange on a platter or cake stand. Roll out the green fondant as in step three. Use the pizza cutter to cut out strips about 3/8-inch thick and 4-inches long. Gently pinch along the length of the vine to rid of sharp edges, then loop and bend vines. To arrange on each piece of cake, tuck one end of a vine into frosting to secure, and place a pumpkin on the other end, gently pressing into frosting. Insert leaves as desired.

the recipes:

pumpkin cake (adapted from TLC Cooking)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Briefly whisk together flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter in a standing mixer with the flat beater (or with an electric hand mixer). Add the sugar and blend well. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract and blend well. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing well. Spread into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely. Yields: about 28 squares.

chocolate cream cheese frosting

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend the cream cheese and butter. Add confectioner’s sugar and blend well. Add cocoa powder and vanilla and blend.

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!


  1. Beth says

    Brilliant! This is so so cute! I am totally shocked that you didn't advance to the next round, I watched a good number of the videos and yours was by far the most creative and best! You are still OUR FAVORITE food blogger of all time.

  2. SprinkleBakes says

    I loved your marshmallow video. It was one of my favorites! I need to go see who made it through because all the people I voted for did not go to round 8!

    I love your pumpkin cake! Just, adorable.

  3. Lorraine says

    I cannot believe the news. Your video was great. I don't know why it didn't make it. I love the pumpkin patch cake also. I love your site and continue to read it frequently!

  4. Beth says

    Your cake is so cute! And I'm sorry you didn't advance to the next round. I loved your video (in fact that's how I discovered your lovely blog).

  5. Rose White says

    That is so cute. I would like to try this one since it is so easy and simple. I just hope that my friends like this when I bake some. Thanks for sharing.

  6. bridget {bake at 350} says

    Oh, I'm so sorry! I loved all of your original posts! You should be proud and I think only good things can come of it!

    PS…love this cake, too!

  7. Paula says

    You should be very proud that you advanced to round 7 in the competition. I admire everyone who had the nerve to enter.

    Your Pumpkin Patch Cake is adorable, love your fondant work.

  8. Amelia PS says

    A www! Too incredibly Charlie brown adoable! You are a great blogger. So glad I met you via pfb: I loved all your entries! Amelia

  9. Sarah-Lyn says

    What!? This is AMAZING!!

    I just stumbled upon this entry as I finish uploading photos to my own blog … I just love your blog! What a cute cake :)


  10. Hot Polka Dot's Mom says

    "Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one." – Linus

    Brilliantly creative and fabulous post. Well done!

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