Black Magic Hidden Pumpkin Bread




About: Hands-on DIY lover and borderline crazy crafter. I love Halloween and creepy food.

Today we’re going to make a pumpkin loaf that is dark as night on the outside but holds a sweet surprise in the middle – a hidden pumpkin!

This recipe is actually one I consider a “shortcut” recipe because it calls for box mix rather than making the entire thing from scratch…but I’ll show you how to add in a few extra ingredients to help elevate the flavor and fool any discerning palate into thinking it’s 100% original.

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Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • · 1 box of pumpkin quick bread mix (I used Krustez)
  • · 1 box of vanilla/white pound cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • · Red food coloring
  • · Yellow food coloring
  • · 2 T. Black food coloring
  • · Sour cream
  • · Milk
  • · Pumpkin shaped cookie cutter
  • · 1 T. Pumpkin pie spice mix (McCormick is my go-to. I use it on EVERYTHING!)
  • · 1 T. Vanilla extract

Step 2: Getting Started

Start by first making your vanilla/white pound cake. Follow the direction on the box exactly except where it calls for water. Take whatever measurement the box calls for (in this case 2/3 cup water) and substitute in 1/3 cup sour cream and 1/3 cup whole milk. The added fat from the sour cream and milk will make your cake moister and denser and oh so much tastier! Trust me on this…it’s worth it.

Add in 1 Tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice and enough red and yellow food coloring to give the mix a deep orange color.

Pour your mixture into a well-greased and floured baking pan and put in the oven as directed by the cake mix (don’t worry, the addition of sour cream and milk shouldn’t affect the baking time so just go ahead and follow the directions as they’re printed.)

Step 3: Slice and Dice Your Way to Pumpkin Happiness

After your loaf is done baking, you want to allow it to cool before attempting to remove it from the pan.
Once it’s cooled, slice your loaf into even slices, about the thickness of a piece of bread. Using your pumpkin shaped cookie cutter, carefully cut out pumpkin shapes from the center of every slice, stacking them on top of each other as you go to create one long pumpkin shaped loaf log. DO NOT THROW OUT THE SCRAPS. SAVE THEM AND PUT THEM IN A BOWL AND THEN CLICK HERE TO MAKE ANOTHER FUN HALLOWEEN THEMED TREAT – BUBBLING CAULDRON CAKE POPS!

Step 4: Black Like My Heart...

Now it's time to make the mix for your second loaf, this time using the pumpkin quick bread mix.

Again, make your liquid substitutions, swapping in equal amounts of milk and sour cream for whatever liquid the box calls for. Add in your vanilla and your black food coloring, mixing well. You should end up with a mix that is black as sin and smells like pumpkin heaven.

Step 5:

Gently place your pumpkin shaped log from your first loaf into your cleaned and re-greased/re-floured loaf pan.

Using a spoon, carefully pour your black pumpkin bread mix around your pumpkin shaped log, making sure to fully cover it.

Pop the loaf pan back into the oven and again bake it according to the directions on the box.

Step 6: Tasty Tasty Black Magic!

When your loaf is fully baked, it should look completely black as the mix will have risen up and around the hidden pumpkins in the middle.

Let your loaf cool before carefully removing it from the pan.

If you’ve done it right, you shouldn’t be able to see any orange peeking through your loaf.

Hand a knife to a friend and have them slice open your loaf, revealing the magically embedded pumpkin inside!

Serve fresh and warm with ice cream or slice and toast and serve with butter and coffee in the morning for a pumpkin spiced treat!


I have even more disgustingly delicious recipes available online both through as well as my blog, The Necro Nom-nom-nomicon. Enjoy and have a deliciously disgusting Halloween!!

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    10 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Wow! Great, detailed Instructable!


    2 years ago

    What a great idea. As a long time baker I wouldn't mix up the second black batch until the first one is baked, cooled & cut out. The mix has baking soda in it and will work better if it isn't mixed ahead of time and left to sit for an hour. From King Arthur Flour's website:

    Baking soda works by reacting with the naturally acidic ingredients in a
    dough or batter (e.g., buttermilk, sour cream, citrus juice or, less
    obvious, brown sugar, chocolate, or molasses). It releases most of its
    gas immediately when combined with an acid and moisture, and a bit more
    when heated. Try to get a baking soda dough into the oven as quickly as
    you can, as it begins losing its leavening ability as soon as it's

    I also noticed in your photos that the pumpkin in the center looks to be a bit scorched on the bottom. I'd put a layer of the black down and settle the pumpkins in it and then add the rest of the black mix.

    Very creative! I voted for it!!

    1 reply
    Tye RannosaurusHollyHarken

    Reply 2 years ago

    Excellent suggestions and i adjusted the recipe according to your observations. Thank you so much!


    2 years ago

    Very cute and ingenious. I voted.


    2 years ago

    lovely! so creative


    2 years ago

    I want this! YUM!!! Please make a gluten free version! :) JK...maybe I will! :) Looks so good!


    2 years ago

    Love it!


    2 years ago

    That looks very cool! Don't forget to add the link to your cake pops! (Maybe the Instructable is still in progress). :) Got my votes!

    1 reply
    Tye Rannosaurusoffseid

    Reply 2 years ago

    Oh shoot! That was supposed to link. Thanks for the catch! Fixing now.