This pumpkin spice cake recipe is mini pumpkin flavored Bundt cakes that are topped with white chocolate ganache and fondant decorations to resemble actual pumpkins. A unique and festive offering for Thanksgiving that is sure to get rave reviews!

I’m always looking for fun dessert recipes to go on our Thanksgiving table. Some of my favorites include a cookie cake decorated with fall sprinkles, classic chocolate crinkle cookies, no-bake chocolate lasagna to save on oven space, baked apples or pumpkin spice cake.

Pumpkin spice cake topped with orange glaze and fondant decorations on a serving platter.

It seems like an age old debate: cake or pie? Everyone seems to have a preference one way or another. I am definitely a cake person! I thought it would be fun to serve something a little different for Thanksgiving dessert in lieu of the traditional pumpkin pie. These fun little pumpkins that actually taste as good as they look! A homemade pumpkin spice cake is the key to the amazing flavors here.

Pumpkin Spice Cake Ingredients

To make this recipe, the ingredients you will need include flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil, applesauce, pumpkin puree, eggs, white chocolate chips, heavy cream and fondant. You will also need a 6 cup mini Bundt pan, orange and green gel food color and a fondant mold to shape the leaves. I used copper and juniper food colors from Wilton.

How Do You Make Pumpkin Spice Cake?

Preheat the oven and coat the Bundt pan with cooking spray. Mix together the flour, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine both types of sugar, applesauce and oil. Add the canned pumpkin puree to the sugar mixture, then add the eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Fill the Bundt molds with the batter and bake. You will need to bake the cakes in batches unless you have two cake pans. Let the cakes cool completely.

To make the ganache, heat the cream and whisk it with the white chocolate. Add the copper or orange food gel, then let it sit until it starts to thicken. Use the ganache to attach two of the cakes together on their flat ends to make a pumpkin shaped cake. Drizzle more of the ganache over the top of each set of cakes.

Knead the green food color into the fondant. Press small pieces of fondant into the mold to make leaf shapes. Roll out more of the fondant with your hands to create pumpkin stems, and use a toothpick to add detail such as ridges on the stem.

Place a fondant stem in the hole of each Bundt cake set. Add a few leaves at the base of each stem, then serve and enjoy.

Cake making tools including fondant, a cake pan, tubs of gel food color and fondant molds.

Tips For The Perfect Cake

  • It is fine to bake the cakes up to 3 days before you plan to assemble them. Store the cakes in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • You can purchase Fondant, fondant molds cake pans and food coloring gel in the cake decorating aisle of most craft stores. You can also purchase these items online.
  • I recommend cutting each cake in half for serving, since each pumpkin is really two cakes in one. Slice in half lengthwise through the layers.
  • If your fondant is sticky, add a sprinkle of powdered sugar to keep it from sticking to your hands and work space.
  • This recipe uses oil instead butter to make the cake extra moist.
  • No pumpkin pie spice on hand? Use cinnamon mixed with a pinch of ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
  • Serve these cakes along with other crowd pleasing treats such as brownie cookies, molasses cookies and cheesecake brownies for a full dessert spread.
  • If you don’t have a fondant mold or can’t find one, you can simply roll out the fondant and cut out leaf shapes with a sharp knife.

Quick Tip

Look for white chocolate chips that contain cocoa butter, as they will melt better than the chips that contain palm oil. You can also use a white chocolate bar instead of chips.

Two bundt cakes stacked together with orange colored ganache on top.

Recipe FAQs

What is pumpkin spice cake made of?

Pumpkin spice cake is contains flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, eggs, vegetable oil, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice.

Does pumpkin cake have to be refrigerated?

Plain, unfrosted pumpkin cake, or cake topped with ganache does not need to be refrigerated and will stay fresh at room temperature for 3 days. If you use cream cheese frosting, then I recommend storing your cake in the fridge.

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A platter of pumpkin spice cakes decorated like pumpkins.

Pumpkin Spice Cake Variations

These cakes are perfect as-is, but you can easily customize the flavors to your tastes.

  • Pan: Want a delicious pumpkin cake but don’t feel like decorating? You can bake the batter in a 9″x13″ pan, regular Bundt pan, or make the mini Bundts but just serve them as-is without the decorations. Or use 2 9-inch round pans to make a layer cake.
  • Frosting: Instead of a ganache glaze, try using cream cheese frosting that’s been tinted orange. Another great option is a drizzle of caramel sauce.
  • Add-Ins: Feel free to add other ingredients to the batter. You can include up to 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, raisins, chopped pecans, mini chocolate chips or coconut. You can also add vanilla extract.

Everyone will be so impressed when you bring these pumpkin spice cakes out for dessert on Thanksgiving. Who needs pumpkin pie when you can have these beautiful little treats instead? Need more holiday menu inspiration? Be sure to check out my lists of Thanksgiving appetizers and fall recipes.

More Thanksgiving Desserts

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Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

5 from 12 votes

Pumpkin Spice Cake

AuthorSara Welch
Miniature pumpkin spice cakes are the perfect show stopping dessert for your holiday celebration!
This pumpkin spice cake recipe is mini pumpkin flavored Bundt cakes that are topped with white chocolate ganache and fondant decorations to resemble actual pumpkins. A unique and festive offering for Thanksgiving that is sure to get rave reviews!
Time
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Serves 10

Ingredients 

  • cooking spray
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces white fondant
  • gel food colors in shades of orange and green I used Wilton Icing Colors in Copper and Juniper Green

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 6 cup mini Bundt pan with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice; set aside. 
  • In another bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, applesauce and oil.
  • Add the pumpkin to the sugar mixture. Mix, then stir in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Fill each bundt 2/3 of the way full with batter. There will be batter left over for a second batch of cakes.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 5-7 minutes, then carefully invert the pan onto a cooling rack.
  • Wipe out the Bundt pan with a paper towel, coat with cooking spray, and repeat the process with the remaining cake batter. There should be enough to fill up 4 more Bundt cakes.
  • Bake the remaining Bundt cakes, and repeat the same cooling process as above.
  • For the ganache, heat the heavy cream in a medium bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals until very hot; cream should not be at a boil. Add the white chocolate chips to the bowl and mix until smooth. You may need to microwave the mixture for 10 seconds more if there are still lumps of chocolate after stirring. Add the copper icing color until desired shade is reached. Allow the ganache to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  • Spread approximately 2 teaspoons of ganache over the flat part of half of the cakes. Place the other half of the cakes on top to create 5 pumpkin shaped cakes.
  • Drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons of ganache over the top of each cake.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of the juniper green icing color to the fondant and knead until thoroughly combined. It is easiest to knead in smaller pieces. Add more icing color until your desired shade of green is reached.
  • Press teaspoon sized pieces of fondant into a leaf shape silicon mold for a total of 10 leaves. If you don't have a mold, form the leaves by cutting the shapes with a small sharp knife.
  • Using your hands, form 5 stem shapes out of the fondant. Each stem should be approximately 2-1/2″ tall and 1″ wide. Use a toothpick to create ridges on the stems.
  • Place a fondant stem inside the hole of each bundt cake. Add two fondant leaves at the base of each stem. Store at room temperature until ready to serve. Cakes are best served on the day that they’re made.

Notes

  1. It is fine to bake the cakes up to 3 days before you plan to assemble them. Store the cakes in an airtight container at room temperature.
  2. You can purchase Fondant, fondant molds cake pans and food coloring gel in the cake decorating aisle of most craft stores. You can also purchase these items online.
  3. I recommend cutting each cake in half for serving, since each pumpkin is really two cakes in one.

Nutrition

Calories: 626kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 64mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 6895IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 2.5mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Comments

  1. Can I make these a day or 2 in advance? Either the entire thing or at least make the bundt cakes (throw them in the fridge?) day before and then maybe ice them day of!

  2. 5 stars
    These are amazing. I don’t have your decorating skill so I just served them as mini bundt cakes. They tasted great!

  3. These are just adorable Sara! Love cake and have always wanted some of those mini bundt pans. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

  4. Wow! What a fun idea for pumpkin cakes. I never would have thought of using mini bundt pans to make pumpkins. Cool idea!