Pumpkin Pail Cake

By 10/12/2021April 26th, 20242 Comments

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This cake was inspired by the Josh Hasty movie, Candy Corn. My husband and I watched it last year during the pandemic when all we did was watch movies and I LOVED this movie. I loved the esthetic and the feel of it…the small town isolation, deserted roads, cool gray skies, skeletal trees with pops of orange, the old time carnival magic, the retro Halloween decorations in the diner…ALL of it. This film feels like Halloween to me, how it feels in my mind. The fun, the fear, the time of year. It’s just great! The revenge plot is a bonus, because lets be honest…Bullies are pieces of s#$t and deserve what they get… and Candy Corn definitely satisfies my horror movie bloodlust for righting wrongs. Go watch Candy Corn and have a piece of cake. Happy Halloween! 🎃

Rather than making a pumpkin spice cake, I decided to capture the old time feel of the movie by making an Old Fashioned Spice Cake that is dense and moist with a dreamy cinnamon buttercream frosting. The center of the cake has a festive surprise candy corn filling as well as the creepy topper of candy corn teeth! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pail Cake

Old fashioned Spice Cake with cinnamon buttercream is transformed into a candy corn filled pumpkin pail inspired by the horror movie, Candy Corn by Josh Hasty.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Halloween Food
Keyword: buttercream, Halloween, spice cake
Servings: 12 servings


  • Teeth mold (see recipe note for link)
  • Rope fondant mold


  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. cinnamon, ground
  • 2 tsp. allspice, ground
  • 1 tsp. cloves, ground
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg, ground
  • 2⅔ cup buttermilk
  • 1⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cup sugar
  • cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • cinnamon buttercream frosting (see below)
  • 32 oz. orange fondant
  • orange, white and yellow melting chocolate (teeth mold)
  • Black cocoa powder (for shading the pumpkin)
  • 1 bag candy corn

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon, ground
  • 4 tbsp. heavy cream


Candy Corn Teeth

  • Make ahead using teeth molds: Use a paint brush to paint a stripe of orange melting chocolate to the middle of the mold. Add white melting chocolate next into the top and then yellow to the roots. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes and then pop them out of the mold. Repeat until you have about 5 or 6 dozen candy corn teeth. (Note: I dusted them with the black cocoa powder to give them a little aging, but that's optional.)

Fondant Rope (not edible)

  • Make ahead: Roll out a thin rope of light yellow fondant and press it into a rope mold. Let it sit a bit and then gently unmold it. Repeat 3 more times so that you have 4 rope pieces. Place two of them together to create a piece of two-sided rope. Repeat with the other two pieces to make another two-sided rope.
  • Cut about 15 inches of floral wire and bend it into the shape of the pail handle. Bend the two finished fondant rope pieces around the curve of the wire so that they dry out in the shape of the wire. They will still be pliable and will need the wire for this is where I admit that...don't judge me...
    I hot glued the fondant rope to the wire. 😲 Yes, I didn't have any fondant glue or what ever is used so I literally hot glued the fondant ropes to the wire and it worked like a charm. The rope was strong, held it's shape and the wire ends were easy to stick into the cake. So technically the handle is not edible anymore. Age the rope by brushing with black cocoa powder. Set aside.

Prepare Spice Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two Bundt pans generously.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside.
  • In another large bowl, beat buttermilk, oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla together until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat for 3 minutes. Use a cupcake scoop to make one cupcake (bake cupcake for 12-14 minutes @350°) and then pour the batter evenly into the prepared Bundt pans, bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in pan for about 20 minutes and then turn them out on a wire rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

  • In a large bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar and cinnamon until smooth and fluffy. Add heavy cream and beat until well combined. Set aside.


  • Place one Bundt cake round-side-down on a parchment lined cookie sheet for the bottom of the pumpkin. Put a layer of cinnamon buttercream on the cake. Place the other Bundt cake round-side-up on top of the frosted cake. Spread a light and even base coat of cinnamon buttercream to the outside of the the pumpkin cake and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
  • Make a ridge of fondant to create the top of the pail by rolling out a thin rope of fondant. Place it on top of the pumpkin cake and pinch the fondant to a triangle so that it sits flush with the cake and rises to a point. Spread a second layer of buttercream frosting making sure to fill in against the fondant ridge so there is a smooth transition to create the lip of the pail. Chill for 30 minutes until set. Spread the final layer of buttercream and use your spatula to smooth out the frosting. This final frosting layer needs to be smooth so that your fondant will be smooth. Allow it to chill for another 30 minutes.
  • Carefully transfer the chilled cake to a clean serving platter and fill center with a bag of real candy corn, adding in 2-3 of the candy corn teeth you made. Cover the hole with the single cupcake that you made and frost the top with the remaining frosting. Chill another 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Roll out your orange fondant into a 30-inch long by 6-inch rectangle that is about ⅛-inch thickness. Wrap the outside face of the pumpkin with the fondant allowing the ends to overlap in the back or side of the pumpkin cake. Cut through overlapping fondant pieces to create a clean edge by removing the cut ends so that the ends seam together perfectly. Smooth out fondant to seal seam. The top will still be unwrapped at this point, but trim bottom of fondant and tuck into the bottom of the cake and smooth out any imperfections. Roll out a 10-inch circle and place on top of the cake, trim and smooth out. Pinch the top seam, it's okay if it isn't perfect, the pail is supposed to look old and worn.
    (Sorry I didn't get any pictures of this was my first time working with fondant, so I was too nervous about what I was doing to think to take pictures.)
  • Create a template (I printed out an enlarged image from the internet) and cut out the face in the fondant. Add details with fondant tools. Use a paintbrush to add black cocoa powder for shading the pumpkin and darkening the eyes, nose and mouth of the jack.
  • Shading with the black cocoa powder definitely helps hide a lot of imperfections, so use it generously like I did. 😁 Add the fondant rope and fill the top of the cake with candy corn teeth and serve!


Teeth Mold from
Rope fondant mold from Michael's.


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