Have you ever wondered why we decorate with pumpkins in the Fall?
Besides making your home look Fall Fabulous, the beautiful orange fruit is symbolic of a harvest time, the changing of the leaves, and the brisk changing of the weather.
Why Do We Carve Pumpkins?
The practice of carving pumpkins dates back to a centuries-old Irish myth about a man named “Stingy Jack.”
According to the folklore, Jack was a sneaky guy who outwitted the devil time and time again.
According to History.com, Jack was the town drunk with a cunning side. On one night, Jack met the devil for a drink and he convinced the devil to change into a coin. Jack did not want to pay for the drinks with his money and he also had another plan he wanted put in place.
When the devil changed into a coin, Jack placed the coin in his pocket next to a silver cross. The devil was unable to change back into his original form, and Jack held him that way until the Devil agreed not to take his soul. Tricky!
Next, Jack convinced the devil to climb up a tree to steal a piece of fruit. He quickly carved the sign of the cross into the tree bark. Again, the devil couldn’t come down until he agreed another demand from Jack. This time the ultimatum was not to bother him for another 10 years.
As the legend goes, God would not accept Jack into heaven when he died and he sent him down to visit the devil in hell. But the devil kept his promise. He wouldn’t let Jack into hell, either, and imprisoned him to an even darker fate.
The devil sent Jack into the dark night to roam the world for eternity, with only a coal to light his way. Jack lit the coal, put it in a hollowed-out turnip and has been drifting through the world, scaring children ever since.
Townsfolk began to refer to this figure as “Jack of the lantern,” and shortly thereafter “Jack o’ lantern.” People began to carve their own lanterns out of turnips, beets, potatoes and eventually pumpkins in hopes of warding away any ghostly spirits.
How to Make a Realistic Pumpkin Shaped Cake
First, you will need to decide what flavor cake you would like to have for your pumpkin The cake can be any flavor you like.
Here are a few links to cakes and a butter cream frosting recipes if you need one:
The Ultimate Chocolate Cake ,Butter Cream Icing ,Beloved Vanilla Cake,Banana Brandy Raisin Pecan Cake/Bread with Brandy Buttercream Frosting,Orange Pound Cake, Devine Vanilla Rum Cake, Strawberry Cake with Homemade Strawberry Compote Filling and Topped with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
- A 9×13 baked cake
- Buttercream Frosting
- Food Coloring
- Piping bag
- Cling wrap
- Paint brushes
Bake your cake in a 9×13 pan. When the cake is completely cooled, remove it from the pan and place it on a work surface.
Decide on what size you would like for the pumpkin be. I wanted small pumpkins as table decorations to go around cupcakes for a neighborhood event.
The pumpkins were approximately 6 inches by 6 inches minus the stem. To achieve this overall size, the buttercream frosting was taken into account and the cakes were cut 4 inches round.
Using a 4 inch cookie cutter, I cut out cake rounds and then placed the cake rounds in the refrigerator to get them cold.
Make up your Buttercream Frosting while the cakes are getting cold. Add food coloring to obtain the color you like to the buttercream frostings.
- On your work surface, lay out string as pictured and place cling wrap on top of the string.
- Pipe frosting onto the cling wrap and place your first cake layer on top of the frosting.
- Top off the cake with a layer of frosting and then place the next cake round on top of the first layer.
- Apply ( pipe or with an off spatula) frosting around the cake
- Pull up the cling wrap to completely cover the frosted cake
To make a realistic pumpkin, the height needs to be at least the same as the wide…if not greater
Bring up the string pulling the ends tight creating the indentions into the sides of the pumpkin. Tie the strings into knots
Using your finger, smooth the frosting and shape the pumpkin
Place the pumpkin in the refrigerator for the frosting to set…about 30 minutes
Remove the pumpkin from the refrigerator and cut the string and remove the cling wrap.
Adjust the frosting ( smoothing out ) where needed
Using a paint brush, add coloring the the frosting to make the pumpkin cake look like a real pumpkin
Add additional coloring with food color to the stem area
Select a nice size pretzel to use as the stem. Break off pieces of the pretzel leaving the curve section intact to use as the stem
This is a fun and easy 3 D cake to make. Your friends and family will not believe that you made it. It definitely will fool many in thinking that it is a real pumpkin.
Please share your picture if you make this Pumpkin Cake. I would love to see them!