Pumpkin Patch Cake




About: Like to solve everyday life little problems. I'm curious about things I don't know much. Like to do things that require and allow creativity.
When I saw a picture of a pumpkin patch cake I knew right away I would someday try to create it. Before I knew, I was in it making the pumpkin patch cake.

It’s very much like a pumpkin patch in miniature with mini cupcakes frosted to look like little pumpkins and crushed dark chocolate as dirt, so little kids will appreciate the playfulness of the mini cupcakes and choose their own pumpkin. Adults will appreciate a more substantial slice of the cake.

The most fun and also challenging step is to create the realistic little pumpkins. It took me a couple of unsatisfactory trials before I mastered the technique and achieved the effect I love. The ingredients are not demanding except orange food color and orange sanding sugar. I have searched several local stores with no findings. So the orange frosting was achieved by mixing yellow food color and red food color in about 3:1 ratio; I created the orange sanding sugar by adding red food color to yellow sanding sugar.

Below are ingredients needed to create this pumpkin patch cake:

  1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® devil's food cake mix
  Water, oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
  1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped cream cheese frosting
  Red food color
  Yellow food color
  Green food color 
  Orange sanding sugar (yellow  if you couldn’t find orange sanding sugar) 
  Green sanding sugar
  12 pretzel sticks
  1/2 cup chocolate wafers, crushed
  2 fresh mint sprigs

Let's get started: 

Step 1: Prepare Oven and Baking Pans

Preheat oven to 350°F.


Grease and lightly flour 8 by 8 inches square pan (That’s what I have, you can use 9 by 9 inches as well) as following: place it in the preheated oven, when it’s hot, run butter stick over the bottom and sides of the pan to grease it. You can use a brush to grease it evenly. Use 1 tbsp flour and a fine strainer or sieve to flour the bottom and sides of the pan evenly.

Place baking cup (preferably black or dark color) in each of mini muffin cups.

Step 2: Prepare Cake Batter

In a large mixing bow, use a spatula with flexible tip to break lumps in cake mix.

In another mixing bowl, place water (1 ¼ cup), oil (1/2 cup) and eggs (3) as listed on the cake mix box together.  Beat them well. Pour it to the cake mix bowl and mix well. Fill paper baking cups 3/4 full. Pour remaining batter into square pan.

Step 3: Bake the Cupcakes and the Square Cake

Bake cupcakes 15 minutes; bake square cake 25 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

Step 4: Create Little Pumpkins: It's Magic!

Place one-third of frosting in a small bowl. Add 3 drops of yellow food colors and 1 drop of red to it at a time, mix it well with the frosting until light orange color is achieved.


Frost mini cupcakes with orange frosting.


Cover frosting completely with orange sanding sugar by lightly rolling and dipping in the sanding sugar. Create orange sanding sugar from yellow sanding sugar as following: pour half of the yellow sanding sugar in a zip log bag, add 2 drops of red food color at most, mix them well, transfer the orange sugar to a plate to let off moisture.


Break pretzel sticks in half; press half pretzel into center of each cupcake. Press vertical lines into sides of each cupcake with the side of ice pop stick or flat toothpick to make ribs of pumpkin.

This is the most fun and also challenging step of this project. I succeeded after a couple of not satisfactory trials. Once it worked, it felt like magic. If you try this project and run into questions, please feel free to ask me.

Step 5: Frosting the Square Cake

Add several drops of green food color to the remaining frosting, mix well. Place square cake on serving plate or tray. Flat and smooth the top of the cake with a knife if necessary. Frost cake with green frosting. Designate 1 corner of cake to become black; cover the corner with crushed chocolate wafers. Sprinkle wafers over center of cake, leaving some of green frosting showing at other edges of cake.

Step 6: Assemble the Pumpkin Patch

Arrange mini cupcake pumpkins on top of crushed chocolate wafers. Sprinkle green edge of cake with green sanding sugar. Press small mint leaves onto pumpkin cupcakes near pretzel “stem.” Arrange remaining mint sprigs between pumpkins to create appearance of vines. 

Step 7: Enjoy!

I love how the cake turned out. I took lots of photos. I stored it loosely covered before I would present it to a farmer friend who gave me two pumpkins last and this year. This cake would make him blossom. I'll be making two more of this pumpkin patch cake this Halloween season. 


Please vote it for Pumpkin Contest and Halloween Food Contest if you liked it. Thanks a million.





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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago

    So cute! love it!



    5 years ago

    So cute


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks very much. Just posted a red bean muffin recipe. Hope you'll like it.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks. Kids liked the pumpkins and the cake tasted good. Try it if you like.
    Thanks for asking. My pregnancy is so far so good. Except that making maternity clothes keeps me busy. It seems a pregnancy from summer to deep winter needs new sets of clothes all the time. I remembered one or a couple loose fitting gowns were enough to for pregnancy from winter to deep summer.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Sooo cute! love it!
    btw...how is your pregnancy going on? good luck! hope you win


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Contest entry was just received and is being reviewed. Instructables robot said it may take 1 business day for it to be accepted.
    Happy holidays.