Recipe: Chocolate Pumpkin Cauldron Cakes

It's Halloween!  Well, it's October, the month of Halloween, and if you're not celebrating already, I don't know what you're waiting for.

If you missed Halloween around here last year, there's plenty for you to get caught up on, including Trick 'r Treat cookies, spooky cocktails, a Necronomicon cake, and Jack Skellington cake pops.  But a new year calls for new treats, and I knew just what I wanted to do this year.

I love Harry Potter (check out my visit to Universal Studios Wizarding World Here!), but despite being a story that centers on witches and wizards, it has actually never struck me as a particular Halloween-esque tail.  Sure, it could be scary, on occasion. I mean, Voldemort's noseless face would give anyone nightmares.  But the school year timeline for these books always made it feel more like a general adventure fantasy than a particularly Halloween-y one.

Luckily, JK Rowling sure didn't skimp on the witchy treats.  I've always loved how many magical candies and pastries are mentioned in the books, from Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans and Chocolate Frogs to Pumpkin Pasties and Sugar Quills, there's no shortage of inspiration, whether you're throwing a Harry Potter party or just want a festive Holiday dessert.

So, when it comes to Halloween, cauldron cakes seemed like an obvious choice.  Even if you're not a Potterhead, these can easily fit onto any Halloween dessert table.  The cakes are pretty easy to make with a little doctored up cake mix.  For the cauldron shape, I just flipped 'em upside down and cut a little hole in the top.  

Let's get to baking!


Chocolate Pumpkin Cauldron Cakes


Chocolate Ganache

4.5 oz dark chocolate

1/2 cup heavy cream


Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

1 box chocolate cake mix

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 can of pumpkin

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vegetable oil


Buttercream Filling

1 cup softened butter

2 -3 cups powdered sugar

pinch of salt

food coloring

I make the chocolate ganache to start, because it has to cool enough to get to a piping consistency.  Put chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.  Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until just boiled.  Remove from heat, and dump the cream onto the chocolate.  Mix until the chocolate melts and you've got ganache!  Set aside to cool and thicken.

For the cakes:

Heat oven to 350F.  Spray a cupcake mold with baking spray and set aside.

Combine the cake mix and the pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, mix the eggs, pumpkin and oil together.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix to combine.  Fill your cupcake mold and bake until done, about 16-20 minutes.

For the frosting:

Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until mixture is thick enough for piping.  Add a pinch of salt and a couple drops of food coloring.

To assemble:

Flip the cupcakes so that the rounded dome is now on the bottom.  If they have trouble standing straight, you could use a serrated knife to shave a little off the bottom and make a flat surface.  

Use a small knife to cut a hole in the top of each of the cauldrons.  Put the buttercream in a piping bag affixed with a star tip and fill each of the holes on your cakes.

For the ganache details, fill a piping bag and cut a small hole in the tip.  Add handles to the side of the cauldron.  Cut a larger hole and pipe around the lip of the cauldron.

Use sprinkles to add some fun.  Something wicked this way comes!