Jack O’ Lantern Cake for Halloween

This is an easy cake to create for any fall party.

This is an easy cake to create for any fall or Halloween party. 

I saw a photo of a cake like this many years ago and have had fun making it with my kids ever since. 

The best feature of this cake is how stress-free it is to make!

This is a very simple and creative cake to make with children.  If you have several kids like I do, you can give them each some squares of their own to decorate.  We have also made cupcakes with the candy corn faces so they each get several cupcakes to design.

You can be as basic or detailed as you like with the candy corn faces on this cake.  Each year, my cake is a little different.  Not only does it look great and taste delicious, it is quick enough to make on short notice.  You can decorate it yourself or set your kids loose to make their own creations!

This is a fun cake to make for a ny fall party.

What I like best about the faces and design patterns is that there is no right or wrong with the decorating.  Any face looks cute on this cake.  Any type of design you can think of works of the other spaces. 


Boxed Cake Mix, chocolate or your favorite flavor, sheet cake pan, 13”x9” or larger

Store bought Vanilla Icing, orange food coloring

Black decorating icing with thin decorating tips

Candy Corns

Optional: orange or yellow decorating icing for more detail, Wilton disposable decorating bags, #2 decorating tip

Easy Halloween cake to make with kids!

Easy Halloween cake to make with kids!

Adding the Details

For the black detailing, you can use the store bought decorating icing or mix your own.  I usually use the Wilton recipe using Crisco and Confectioners Sugar to make my own.  If I am pressed for time, the Wilton or Cake Mate decorating icing works just as well.  Either way, I always use my own decorating bags and tips, not the tube.  Using the bags gives you more control and the small tips make nice fine lines.

For Halloween - a fun and easy kid cake!


1- After baking the cake, let it cool and put it on your serving platter to decorate.

2- For the frosting, I rarely make my own anymore since the store brands are so convenient.  I buy prefer Betty Crocker or Duncan Heinz but any brand will do.  Add food coloring to make it orange.  You can stay with pastel orange or go to a deeper orange.  The frosting will get thinner as you add more color.  If the frosting seems too thin or runny, you can add some confectioners sugar to make it a little stiffer.

3- After frosting the cake, use a knife to lightly score the surface to make your boxes.  My 13×9 pan makes a cake that fits 35 boxes for a 7 by 5 design.

4- To start decorating, I first add all the candy corn eyes, varying their position a bit and skipping boxes so the design doesn’t get too busy looking.  I then add the black details to make the faces.  Since I like them all to be a little different, I do one feature at a time. I make all the eyes and eyebrows first.  Then I go back and add a different mouth for each face.  Then I add noses, hair and ears if needed.  Its fun when each face has its own personality.

5- Next I fill in the alternating boxes with black piped decorating icing in varied designs including zig-zags, swirls, spirals and other shapes.  I add a few spooky words in the last few spaces.

6- I also like to decorate the edges of the cake with a different pattern.

7- When you are finished, remember to take a photo.  This will help you next year when you are trying to think of new spooky and imaginative faces!

Fun Halloween cake to make with kids!


Toothpicks help erase little mistakes on the faces.  If I don’t like the way a part came out, I sometimes take off the mouth or nose with a toothpick and make a new one.

If you do have a fail, it is easy to scrape of the face and make another!

Scrape a whole section off if you don’t like the way it looks and try again.

The orange frosting will get thinner as you add more color to make it darker.  If the frosting seems too thin or runny, you can add some confectioners sugar to make it a little stiffer.

Fun Halloween cake to make for a party!

Have fun with your kids making this fun cake!!

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  1. Wow what an awesome cake and great idea. My daughters birthday is Oct 27th and we always have a Halloween themed party with her friends. This cake is an excellent activity and I bet it tastes good too. I’m sure the step by step directions and photos will be very helpful.

  2. Just wanted to say thanks for the awesome idea. A group of other moms and I get together one Friday night per month and try out new baking recipes. This time it was my turn to host and some of us made a mini version of your cake and some of us did cupcakes! The step by step was great and everyone got to bring home their own creation. It was definetly a success!

    1. I’m glad you had fun making the Halloween cake. It has always been a hit at our house. I love your Friday night baking party idea! I may have to plan a baking night with friends too! Thanks for sharing.

    1. It is such a fun cake to make and is always a hit at a party! Usually it all disappears in one day. If we are lucky enough to have any left over, I have a small piece with my coffee! Don’t tell my kids!

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