Brighten your Halloween festivities with this moist Halloween Surprise Bundt Cake. You’d never believe that this amazing cake is made from a store-bought mix. With the Halloween colors of orange, purple, and green, swirled into the cake, every piece is a surprise.
There are actually six colors associated with Halloween:
- Black is the color of darkness and death. Think of spiders, black cats, bats, and witches here.
- Orange is the opposite of black in that it signifies life and the bounty of the Autumn harvests, e.g., pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns.
- White is the color of ghosts and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night, along with skeletons and bones peeking through shallow graves.
- Red is the color of blood dripping from Dracula’s fangs and the victim’s throats. Blood is also often used in voodoo potions.
- Green is the color of monsters and goblins and ghastly slime.
- Purple represents the supernatural and all things mystical.
As I was thinking about the Halloween Surprise Bundt Cake, I knew that I wanted to use three of the six colors of Halloween. I just couldn’t bring myself to use black, and white really didn’t make sense. Ultimately, I decided to use orange, purple, and green. When I cut into the cake and saw the first piece, I knew that I had made the right decision!
Ingredients for Halloween Surprise Bundt Cake
I started with a store-bought white cake mix, but doctored it up a bit. This included adding butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, milk, sour cream, and cake flour to the cake mix. Then, I used orange, purple, and green gel colors.
I topped the cake with a cream cheese frosting made from cream cheese, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and confectioners’ sugar. I had debated about whether to drizzle orange, green, and purple frosting over the cake. However, I ultimately decided to leave the frosting white, and sprinkle on Halloween sprinkles and add candied pumpkins cut in half!
Making the Batter for the Halloween Surprise Bundt Cake
First, I creamed the butter and the sugar together until it was light and fluffy. This took several minutes. Next, I beat in the eggs, one at a time. After each addition of the eggs, I beat the mixture for a minute or so. Then, I beat in the vanilla extract, milk, and sour cream until it was smooth. After that, I sifted in the white cake mix, and beat the batter on low speed just until it was combined. Finally, I sifted in the cake flour, and beat the batter on low speed just until everything was combined. I finished the batter by folding all of the ingredients together with a rubber spatula to ensure that all of the cake mix and flour were incorporated.
Coloring the Batter for the Halloween Surprise Bundt Cake
Now comes the nerd in me! Before starting the cake batter, I weighed the bowl. Once the batter was made, I weighed the bowl again. I subtracted the weight of the bowl from the with the batter in the bowl to determine that I had approximately 48 ounces of batter. When I divided the 48 ounces by 3, the result was 16 ounces of batter for each of the three colors!
Therefore, I divided the batter into three separate bowls, each with 16 ounces. I colored the batter in each of the bowls with 10 to 12 drops of the gel colors.
Marbling the Colors for the Halloween Surprise Bundt Cake
Before adding the batter, I sprayed the bundt pan with a non-stick baking spray.
Then, I used ice cream scoops to scoop a layer orange, purple, green, orange, purple, and green batter into the bundt pan. Next, I used a butter knife to swirl or marble the colors together. I gave the pan a couple of taps on the counter to make sure that the batter was fully distributed. For the second layer, I added the three colors of the batter, making sure that they were added where two colors of the first layer came together. Because I wanted a more subtle swirl, I used a tooth pick to marble the second layer. I repeated the process for the third and final layer.
After giving the bundt pan a final tap on the counter, I popped it into a preheated 350° F oven for 55 minutes. When I removed the cake from the oven, I inserted a tooth pick into a middle portion to ensure that it came out clean. I let the cake cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before I inverted it onto the wire rack to cool completely.
Frosting the Halloween Surprise Bundt Cake
To make the frosting for the Halloween Surprise Bundt Cake, I started by beating together the cream cheese, vanilla extract, and cream until it was smooth. Then, I added the confectioners’ sugar and beat the frosting until it was smooth and creamy. That’s it!
I spooned the cream cheese frosting on the top of the cooled bundt cake, allowing it to drip down the sides a bit. Then, I added some Halloween sprinkles to the top of the cake. Finally, I positioned half candy pumpkins around the top of the cake.
I thought to myself that if the cake looked as good on the inside as it did on the outside, it’ll be amazing.
I was actually blown away when I cut into the Halloween Surprise Cake and saw the amazing designs and color combinations. Every piece was truly a surprise. On top of that, the cake tasted incredible. Happy Halloween! Yum!
- 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup (5.33 ounces) milk (See Note 1)
- 8 ounces sour cream (See Note 2)
- 15.25 ounce box white cake mix, sifted (See Note 3)
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted (See Note 4)
- orange, purple, and green gel food coloring (See Note 5)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (See Note 5)
- 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) confectioners' sugar
- Halloween sprinkles
- 4 candy pumpkins, cut in half (See Note 6)
Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, milk, and sour cream. Beat well.
Sift in cake mix; beat on low speed until incorporated. Sift in cake flour; beat on low speed until incorporated. Finish folding ingredients with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to ensure that all ingredients are well combined.
- Divide the batter into thirds, roughly 16 ounces each. Color one orange, one green, and one purple to desired color with gel food coloring. (See Note 7)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Thoroughly grease a 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan, or spray with nonstick baking spray.
Spoon a layer of orange, green, purple, orange, green, and purple batter into bottom of bundt pan. Carefully swirl with butter knife. Tap pan several times on counter to evenly distribute.
- Repeat the first layer, but beginning where the purple and green meet on the bottom layer. Swirl with a toothpick. Tap to evenly distribute. Repeat again for the third layer.
Bake at 350° F for 50 to 55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven; let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert cake on wire rack; cool completely.
Beat cream cheese, cream, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth.
Spoon cream cheese frosting around top of cake, allowing frosting to drip down the sides. Sprinkle top with Halloween sprinkles. Top with half candy pumpkins.
Yield: 12 servings.
- I used whole milk, but you could also use 2% milk.
- I used full fat sour cream, but you could also use reduced fat sour cream.
- I used white cake mix because that's what I had. You could also use yellow cake mix. A word of caution here. In the past, cake mixes used to contain 18.25 ounces. Now, they contain 15.25 ounces!
- I used cake flour because it provides a better crumb. However, you could also use all-purpose flour.
- The six colors of Halloween are black, orange, red, white, purple, and green. You could use any three of these colors for this cake. I thought a lot about the color combinations that I wanted to use, and decided upon orange, purple, and green. I used 10 to 12 drops of each of the gel food colorings to achieve my desired color.
- I used reduced fat cream cheese, but you could also use full fat cream cheese.
- For the candy pumpkins, I used Mellowcreme Pumpkins. The reason that I cut them in half was that they would lie better on the top of the cake.