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This pumpkin shaped cake is made with pumpkin puree and topped with orange buttercream frosting.

Pumpkin Cake

I’ve been dreaming about this pumpkin shaped cake recipe ever since I first noticed it in my favorite episode of Gilmore Girls, “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving.” Like Sookie, you too can make this pumpkin cake for your Thanksgiving gathering with this recipe.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword pumpkin shaped cake
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 12


The Pumpkin Bundts

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of softened butter salted
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cans pumpkin puree
  • 6 large eggs
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp salt

The Orange Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) of softened butter salted
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • red food dye
  • yellow food dye
  • green icing
  • 1 cinnamon stick


The Pumpkin Bundts

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease two bundt pans and two slots in a muffin pan. Set aside.

  2. In your KitchenAid mixer, beat the softened butter and sugar on medium speed until incorporated. Next, add the pumpkin puree and eggs, beating on slow speed to start and working up to high.

  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and work up to high speed until everything is combined.

  4. Using a teaspoon or a cookie scooper, fill the two muffin pan slots with batter. Then, pour the remaining batter into the two bundt pans. Be sure that each pan gets an equal amount. Use a rubber spatula to smooth out the top.

  5. Bake the bundts for about 35-40 minutes and the muffins for about 18-21 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes up clean. Let cool for about 15 minutes.

  6. Carefully remove the bundts and muffins from their pans and plate on a cooling rack. Let cool completely until moving on with the recipe.

  7. When the bundts are no longer warm, carefully pick one of them up and face it decorative side down on the plate you wish to serve the cake on. Next, place one of the muffins right side up into the middle of the bundt.

  8. Next, it's time to make the frosting.

The Orange Buttercream Frosting

  1. n your KitchenAid mixer, beat the butter. Then, add in the powdered sugar and start off mixing on slow speed. Next, add the heavy cream, pumpkin pie extract, and salt.

  2. Once all ingredients are fully incorporated, you can begin adding the food dye. There’s not an exact science to the color, it’s more about eyeballing it. There should be about 3x more yellow than red dye added to create a nice orange color. Keep adding the dye and beating on high speed until you create a hue that you are satisfied with.

  3. First, you will want to frost the first bundt cake—the one that is already on your serving plate. Put a thin layer of frosting on top of it to create a base by which the second bundt cake can stick to it. 

  4. Next, place the second bundt right side up on top of this layer of frosting. Then, place the second muffin right side up into the middle of the second bundt.

  5. Using an icing spatula, start by frosting the top, including the muffin, then work your way down to the middle and bottom. Apply a second and third layer of frosting, laying it on thick to fully cover the cake. As you get towards the end of applying the frosting, smooth it out by running the spatula in a circular motion around the cake as you spin the cake pedestal or plate.

  6. Once complete, insert a cinnamon stick into the center of the muffin to create a stem for the pumpkin. Then, use the green icing to draw leaves on the top.

  7. Serve and enjoy Sookie St. James style!