Happy Virtual Halloween Birthday Cupcake to Kim Leffler in Spokane, WA!

My niece...Kim...is one of those Halloween babies...well, she's not a baby anymore...the BIG day was October 31, 1960...yikes, she's getting up there...but I thought that these Williams-Sonoma Halloween Pumpkin Patch Petite Cakes would just be the perfect virtual celebration for Kim! She lives in Spokane, Washington, and is a real sweetie. Don't tell her I told you this, but I'm the one who potty trained her. CQ loves ya, Kim!

Layla, however, only loves cupcakes! She waited a long time yesterday to get her treat for staring at these babies, so I just has to give her something special. One of her favorite treats is doggie ice cream. I know...I know...bad mommy...but she really loves Frosty Paws. They have two flavors: original and peanut butter. And, you can even order a Frosty Paws Party Kit for your dog's birthday party! Layla hasn't has one of these yet...but her birthday isn't until January....hmmmm

If you want to make the pumpkin patch petite cakes, you're going to need Williams-Sonoma's "Pumpkin Patch Pan."

Here's the recipe:

For the cakes--
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 1/4 tsp. salt
5 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 3/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
14 Tbs. (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 2/3 cups pumpkin puree [I used a can of pumpkin]

For the frosting--
8 oz. cream cheese
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Food coloring as desired

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously grease and flour the wells of a pumpkin patch pan; tap out excess flour.

To make the cakes, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the brown and granulated sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the pumpkin puree and beat until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer.

Divide half of the batter between the wells of the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center of a cake half comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake halves cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes.

Gently tap the pan on a work surface to loosen the cakes. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let the cakes cool completely before decorating. Wash and thoroughly dry the pan, grease and flour the wells and repeat with the remaining batter.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and beat until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in food coloring as desired.

To assemble the cakes, using a bread knife, cut off any portion of each cake that rose above the rim of the pan. Place a cake half, flat side up, on a cake stand or plate and spread the frosting on top. Place its matching cake half, flat side down, on top. Repeat with the remaining cakes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then decorate as desired.

For unassembled cake halves, decorate the exterior of each half as desired.

Makes 24 cake halves or 12 assembled cakes.

from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

Here's hoping you have a scary Halloween...don't you wish it was your birthday, too?




  1. Anonymous2:47 PM

    Happy Birthday, Kim!

    CQ, potty training's a pain in the ass, so you deserve some credit. Hey, maybe I ought to enlist the help of my boy's favorite auntie. . .

    (Spokane's a good place. I was born there. So was every member of my family.)

  2. Happy Birthday to Kim. Don't know her, but I am right next to Spokane in Coeur d'Alene! Maybe even passed her once in my many trips over there. Anyways, this is my first time leaving a comment. I have visited your site many times and said what the heck and type something. I even remember seeing you sending your brother? some cupcakes from a bet. Was that the Zags game?? GO ZAGS! Love your site (Layla is a cutie!) and all the other links. Keep up the great work. Christine

  3. Anonymous12:26 PM

    These are absolutely beautiful, so I may even forgive the potty training comment if I were Kim. Where do I fill out my taste tester/Layla watcher application?

  4. Happy Birthday to Kim! I live northwest of her near Bellingham, myself. I bet they are freezing over there on the eastside...it is getting COLD here...BRRR!!!

    I've heard of Frosty Paws but I have never seen it. That's cool they make treats for pups!

  5. Anonymous2:57 PM

    Happy Day! Here's a quick ghost story. In my neighborhood in Boston, there are a lot of old houses and therefore a lot of haunted houses. In one friend's house, there is a woman who climbs the staircase in a Victorian dress every once in a while. I've never seen her.

  6. Anonymous3:30 PM

    these look so yummy, wish it was my birthday! ;)
    it looks just as the pumpkin from Cinderella - really pretty!

  7. Those are darling! :)

  8. Anonymous3:37 AM

    Wow! Your blog is amazing! And so are these cute cupcakes- they're making my mouth water.
    I'm adding a link on my blog "Sometimes I Cook" to your site if you don't mind and I'll be back again :)

  9. Genius! Simply adorable!

  10. Anonymous1:55 AM

    I'm just sitting here cracking up, I CANNOT believe you told everyone you potty trained me! *LOL* And, btw, I was born in '61!!! So I'm not as old as everyone thinks! But of course I'll forgive ya cuz you are just the best aunt ever! I wore my sweatshirt proudly on Halloween and wow, the cupcakes you made look amazing! Wish I were closer so I could have made Lay Lay share them with me!! Yum!
    Sending a pic real soon! Watch your email!
    Love ya! Kimbo