Halloween Surprise Cake

There are so many fun ways to bake at Halloween and this surprise cake featuring a hidden pumpkin is one of them.

There are 2 cakes to be made; one coloured and one plain. You need to plan ahead as they can’t be made at the same time. I tend to make my coloured one in the morning, get my jobs done and then get the second one made later in the day. It can be decorated the same or next day.

I make this cake in a one lb cake tin. It rises quite a bit and it’s a good size when finished. I mixed yellow and red gel together to get the shade of orange and as it was a pumpkin cake, I made the second cake a chocolate one but you could leave it plain if you want. As the surrounding cake is made with cocoa, I didn’t add any flavour but you could add some orange zest for extra zing if you like.

So the ingredients for both cakes are almost the same:

  • 100g softened butter x 2
    85g caster sugar x 2
    2 large eggs, x 2
    130g plain flour (for the second cake, use 100g flour and 30g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder x 2
    50ml milk x 2
    Food colouring (use gel, not liquid) mix red and yellow
    Pumpkin shape cookie cutter

Suggested topping: 50g milk or dark chocolate melted with 1 tsp coconut oil. Halloween decorations; Spooky eyes; Gummy worms …. or just icing sugar


Preheat oven to 180C / 160C Fan / Gas 4. Grease and flour a 1lb loaf tin or use a liner.

It’s the same method for both cakes. The changes are in italics.

Cream the butter and sugar till it’s light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each one.

In a small bowl, mix the flour and baking powder and stir this into the mixture alternatively with the milk till all used up.

For the second cake, add the cocoa powder to the flour and baking powder and continue as above.

Making the first cake, add the gel colour till you get the shade you want.

Put the batter into the tin and bake for approximately 55/60 mins. Test with a skewer and if it comes out clean, it’s ready. Leave to cool for about 10 mins before removing and letting cool on a wire rack completely.

Once the coloured cake is totally cooled, use your pumpkin cookie cutter to measure the width along the top of the cake with a knife so you know where to cut. Once sliced, use your cutter and press out pumpkin shapes.

Put about 1/3 of the cocoa batter into the bottom of the prepared tin and up the sides, front and back.

Arrange the pumpkin shapes close together in a row on top of the cocoa batter and fill the gaps and top with the remainder of the cocoa batter so all the pumpkins are covered.


Bake for 50 minutes and cool in the tin for about 10 mins before removing to totally cool on a wire rack.

Decorate as frighteningly as you like 🙂

Love dripping down the sides!

Bake with love

Soraya x

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