Mini Halloween Pumpkin Spice Cakes

October 20, 2011 § 5 Comments

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. When I was young, I used to love getting dressed up to go trick-or-treating around my neighborhood. There was this one house that always gave out KING size candy bars – we always went there first! Now that I am a little too old to go around to my neighbors asking for candy, I love to make my own Halloween treats!

The cakes are spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and other pumpkin pie spices. Mini Halloween cakes are perfect for a party or get together because each person can have their own little dessert.

Try going for a dark orange glaze. I mixed red and orange food coloring together, but I wish I had made the color a more vibrant orange. When added on top of the caramel color cakes, the orange appears lighter than it did in the bowl. I think I’m going to try a darker orange color next time!

This is the brand of licorice I used. I found this particular brand at Gelson’s Grocery Store. This licorice is thick and already came cut into the perfect size pieces.



  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
For the Glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Red and yellow food coloring
  • Thick black licorice (I used Kookaburra Licorice Brand that I found at Gelsons Grocery Store) * Red Vine Brand licorice is too thin *
Preheat oven to 350°F
  1. Spray a mini bundt pan or mini angel food cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix the first eight ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. *Tip: You can substitute 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, and all spice.
  3. In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients and the sour cream in 2 alternating batches. Mix until incorporated.
  4. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the batter into each of the prepared cups. Do not worry if the batter looks like it only fills the cups halfway full – this batter RISES! Bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly and then invert onto a rack to cool completely.
  5. When the cakes are cool, use a serrated knife to cut the bottoms off so the cakes rest evenly. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. For the glaze, whisk together the sugar, butter, and water in a bowl. Mix in the food coloring until it’s a dark orange pumpkin shade. Dip the cakes individually into the glaze to cover completely. Let dry completely on the parchment paper.
  6. Stick a 2 inch piece of licorice into the center of each cake.
Makes 1 Dozen Mini Cakes
Recipe adapted from Food and Wine Magazine, October 2011 Issue

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