Natural vs. Glam~ Pumpkin Cake Design Fun in the Blog!

Hi everyone, fall is here!  It’s my favorite time of the year, and I’m excited to share a very simple way to create pumpkin decorations for your cakes.   We’re going to show you two different takes on a pumpkin cake—one very natural look, and one more glamorous look.  Have you ever seen glamorous pumpkins?  ;0)


A quick word about our cake– I crumb coated a double barrel six inch cake with Vanilla Buttercream tinted with Americolor Ivory Coloring Gel.  I then used my 2D (large star) piping tip to pipe vertical ridges.  I love this look and even more, I love that it just took me 3 minutes to make my way around  ;0)

Pipe vertical ridges of buttercream!  Cool effect-


Now, let’s talk PUMPKINS!

No surprise that I started with one of my favorite staples for my cake toppers–Rice Krispies Treats!  This is allows me to quickly create a stable form for our decorations without having to use a lot of fondant or gum paste.  It also holds it’s shape perfectly from the start.

To give you an idea of how many rice cereal treats you’ll need, it took five (22g) bars to create my largest pumpkin.



I’m just going to demonstrate one of my pumpkins, since the same techniques apply to all of them.  I mashed and compressed the cereal treats into a ball.



Then, I used my little rollin pin to create a depression on top.  By the way, keep in mind that pumpkins come in all different shapes and sizes…so, don’t feel confined to my method here. ;0)

How to make pumpkins for cakes!

Next, I rolled out my fondant (which was tinted with Americolor Orange coloring gel) to approximately 1/8- 1/4 inch thickness.  I lightly rubbed over my rice cereal treat with a little shortening so that the fondant would adhere a little better. The thickness of your fondant will determine how deeply you can create impressions in your pumpkin for added detail.

How to make pumpkins for cakes!

Next, cover your cereal treat and trim away the excess.

How to make pumpkins for cakes!

Next, my favorite part!  Adding impressions makes all the difference.  I used a small paintbrush handle to create lines in the pumpkin all the way around.  I used a rocking motion rather than dragging the handle across the fondant.

How to make pumpkins for cakes!

Further into the process– You can see how the depression that I created in the top of the cereal treat earlier gives our pumpkin a nice shape.  The thick impressions were made with the small paintbrush handle, and the thinner & lighter impressions were made with a toothpick.

How to make pumpkins for cakes!

I used brown fondant (scored with a toothpick) to create our stem.  I glued it onto our pumpkin with a little piping gel (dampening with water would be fine too).

How to make pumpkins for cakes!

I also used some green floral wire to create our pumpkin vines.  Just wrap around a paintbrush handle and slide off to create the coiled look.

How to make pumpkins for cakes!


Here, you can see  that I painted a few green accents onto the smaller ivory pumpkin that I made.  I used a paint created from Americolor Avacado Green coloring gel mixed with a small amount of vodka.  (Lemon extract is a good substitute for vodka if you don’t have any on hand)  –  I also painted a few strokes of orange here and there onto our orange pumpkins…but this is a completely optional step… I just like to paint ;0)

How to make pumpkins for cakes!


I also formed a few basic leaves by hand from fondant tinted with Americolor Avocado Green.

How to make pumpkins for cakes!


To make things fun, I decided to have a little black bird perched on one of the pumpkins.  I used a piece of bent floral wire for the legs (and anchored it into the pumpkin).

How to make pumpkins for cakes!


Then, I formed the other bird parts with black fondant. We’re talking VERY simple bird shapes.   I used the floral wire to create a little hole in the bottom of the body of the bird, so that later it will fit properly.  The eyes are fondant with a little black coloring gel pen, and the beak is a small piece of fondant.  Since the bird is very small, it dried quickly–After 30 minutes, I felt comfortable with assembling the bird (piping gel was my glue) and pressing onto the wire legs.

How to make pumpkins for cakes!

I drew on his little birdie toes with my black food coloring pen ;0)

How to make pumpkins for cakes!


Now, our cake is finished!


How to make pumpkins for cakes!

I hope that you enjoyed this little tutorial!  I think that this cake would be perfect for fall gatherings..and the pumpkins are so much fun to make!

This SHOULD be the end of the tutorial…but my curiosity got the best of me as I wondered how we could dress up our pumpkins a bit.  For fun, I decided to give them an EXTREME makeover!!   I happen to have some silver and gold highlighter dust that I wanted an excuse to break out–I love their metallic sheen.  So, if you’d like to see the glammed up version of this cake, let’s keep going!~~~

After taking the photo above of our finished fall cake, we removed the stems & leaves and started painting.  I am using gold highlighter dust here (and silver dust on our smaller pumpkin as well as a few accents.) —

**I LOVE the super shiny metallic look that highlighter gives us, but the big tradeoff is that highlighter dust is not edible and should not come into contact with your cake.  So, if you glamorize your pumpkins, just be mindful of this & don’t paint the parts of the pumpkins that will touch the cake…or at least, have a little barrier (Waxed paper, etc.).

I painted our pumpkin with a paint created from gold highlighter mixed with a touch of vodka.  After painting the pumpkin, I allowed it to dry before brushing over it with dry gold highlighter and a dry paintbrush.  I thought it would be nice to still have some orange showing through…but in the end we decided to go all the way!

How to make pumpkins for cakes!

Look at our pumpkin now!  I brushed the top with a little piping gel and sprinkled on some silver dragees.  We painted our stems, leaves, and vines with highlighter as well, and accented with silver hologram dust (which I love and don’t get to use nearly as much as I’d like to!) ;0)

How to make pumpkins for cakes!

Our silver pumpkin has gold accents and our gold pumpkins have silver accents.  I have some ribbon that I bought from Michael’s that is covered with rhinestones.  It made the perfect bling border for our dressed up pumpkin cake!  I secured with a little buttercream in back.

How to make pumpkins for cakes!

Are you ready for our shiny, new version?  Here it is!



How to make pumpkins for cakes!

I love how this one came out too.  I think that a few tiers of cake accented with beautiful silver and gold pumpkins would make a lovely and unique autumn wedding cake.  I hope that you’ll find inspiration in one or both of these designs and try them out for yourself!  If you do, I hope you’ll share with us!

Thanks for stopping by, see you next time ;0)

Pumpkin Tutorial by

Glamorous Pumpkin Cake free blog tutorial!

Category: Blog Tutorials, Custom Toppers & Figure Modeling, Fall, Gum Paste & Fondant


  1. Catherine says: #1

    Love love love this!!! Will be using this tutorial for Thanksgiving. THANK YOU :)

  2. BP says: #2

    This is amazing! LOVE it. I would love to make this for Thanksgiving this year. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  3. Stephanie says: #3

    Love them both!!!!

  4. melissa poua says: #4

    What could you use that would metallic and edible. Pixie dust and vodka? By the way, your pumpkins look amazing. At first glance, I
    thought you bought them at a craft shop.

  5. Sandik says: #6

    I really loved the looks of both of thee. You make doing new things with cake easy. Thank you so much!!!!

  6. TONITA COSTA says: #7

    GRACIAS POR LA TUTORIA . MY CAke de thanksgiving day,

    Este es my proyecto

  7. Wow Melissa, these are great!

  8. nancy parent says: #9

    Love them BOTH. I think I’ll do a dummy cake for a Nov cake show with the highlighted pumpkins. It’s very different and will be a great conversation piece! Thanks, Melissa!

  9. nancy parent says: #10

    And wouldn’t it be adorable with a Cinderella carriage as a topper on a bigger cake!? Love it!

  10. Cheryl Cole says: #11

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I absolutely love this cake, especially the glam one! You mentioned that the gold and silver dust is not edible. Is it still the dust you buy at a cake supply store? If so, what brand is it that you used if you don’t mind me asking? Thanks so much.

  11. Melissa Diamond says: #12

    Thank you so much for your comments!! I’m so happy to read that some of you will be using these designs.
    @Melissa– Regular gold luster dust or silver luster dust is usually labeled non-toxic. These have a nice sheen but don’t carry quite the dramatic shine that highlighter has. The online cake supply store that you purchase from should have info on this if you are unsure. There are differing opinions on using luster dust (not highlighter) on edible decorations…but in the US at least, it’s not that unusual. I usually just use luster dust, pixie dust, etc. on decorations that will be removed…but am most careful with highlighter as it is not labeled “non-toxic”.

    @Cheryl, you can buy gold highlighter at several online cake supply stores—the one I used happens to be from global sugar art. Here’s the link~

    link to

  12. Mariya Shikova says: #13

    Again lovely cakes Melissa.I am not surprised,but how do you always making so professional pictures?
    Thank you so much!

  13. Jennie says: #14

    This is beautiful…def want to try it thank you for your step by step way to make it.

  14. Trish says: #15

    These are both beeeeeeeeee-U-T-FUL!!!!!!

  15. Roseanna says: #16

    I love it. I am going to make the cake today and decorate tomorrow for Saturday. I usually use Pastry Pride or my favorite IMBC. What did you use on this adorable cake. Thank You.

  16. Roseanna D'Amico says: #17

    Hi, could someone tell me what a suitable frosting would be for this cake. Thanks

  17. BeBe says: #18

    Hi Roseanna, we used buttercream, the Fluffy buttercream recipe from the recipe section. You can use any frosting recipe that you can easily pipe with.

  18. That is a stunning cake! Thank you for sharing :)

  19. Roseanna D'Amico says: #20

    Thanks BeBe.

  20. Carolynn says: #21

    Glam is better!

  21. Sarah Gerber says: #22

    Hi Bebe. I want to make this with a spice cake receipe. Would it work with the receipe on your site? Also would prefer a cream cheese frosting, would that work.

    Thanks so much, the cake is stunning!

  22. Michelle Curry says: #23


  23. TerriLynn_TN says: #24

    Hi! I also have the same question as Sarah Gerber. Cream cheese frosting would be wonderful on a spice cake!! Do you know how many servings a 6″ double barrel would serve? I love both designs, but the little birdie on the pumpkin seals the deal for me. :-)

  24. Melissa Diamond says: #25

    Hi TerriLynn & Sarah– yes, cream cheese frosting would be great on spice cake! Any frosting that is a nice medium consistency and holds is shape well will work. The cream cheese frosting in the recipes section is one that I use more as a filling. When I want to use it as an outer frosting, I combine with a little regular frosting to thicken it. –

    A 6″ double barrel cake would feed approx. twice the amount of a standard 6″ cake. I would say 15-20, depending on how tall the cake is.

  25. TerriLynn_TN says: #26

    One more question, Melissa… is it necessary to put a bubble tea straw under the pumpkin topper for support? Thanks!!

  26. BeBe says: #27

    Hi TerriLynn, yes, you would need a bubble tea straw under the pumpkin topper. After a few hours, it would most likely start to sink a bit……you could even use a drinking straw if you don’t have bubble tea straws.

  27. TerriLynn_TN says: #28

    Thanks, BeBe! Y’all are so wonderful to answer questions so quickly. :-)

  28. cakeycreator says: #29

    How would platinum dust work with this, I wonder for the glam pumpkins? It is fully edible comes in gold , and silver, and you can order it online. There is also the antigue gold in the crystal colors line that is also fda approved. I think I would try those for the thanksgiving cake this year. You can both of these lines really inexpensive at country kitchen sweet art..

  29. Melissa Diamond says: #30

    Hi Cakeycreator- That sounds good to me! I’ve never worked with platinum dust– will have to check it out. I’m happy that you are going to make them for Thanksgiving!

  30. crisel_homebakery says: #31

    I love this!

  31. Carol says: #32

    What kind of cake and frosting did you use ?

  32. Mama Owl says: #33

    I love the frosting technique! That is so different and can be either country or classy depending on the layout of the cake! I like that! I do like the original cake better. But, then, I’m a country gal. :) Can’t wait to try out this new technique! Pinned so I won’t forget it :)

  33. GuppyLove says: #34


  34. Dawn says: #35

    I had a bride give me this picture for her wedding cake. I “guessed” at how to do it but was still unsure. But, thanks to tineye, the app, I was able to do a reverse image search and quickly found your fantastic tutorial. Thank you! I actually guessed correctly. That made me proud. Ha!

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