These colorful pumpkin cakesicles are the fall desserts of dreams. They’re quick to make and even quicker to devour. Perfect for your Halloween parties or autumn gatherings, these Halloween popsicle cake pops are made using chocolate box cake mix for a delicious, seasonal fall treat.
Halloween Pumpkin Cake Popsicles
Fall is all about the crisp, cool weather and falling leaves; those cozy sweaters and corduroy. But most of all, autumn brings pumpkins to mind. These festive pumpkin cake pops with candy coating are an easy, bite size dessert that both kids and adults will enjoy!
If you need easy ideas for your upcoming Halloween party, or simply a fun after school snack for the kids this autumn, these pumpkin cakesicles are both a cute and delicious treat. As they’re made using box cake mix, it means fewer ingredients you need to buy. So, it’s also an affordable option when you want to create home baked goods without breaking the bank.
What Are Cakesicles?
Cakesicles are basically a pumped up version of cake pops. They’re made pretty much the same way. However, the shape is much larger. Instead of small, round cake balls that can be eaten in a single bite, these dessert cakes are more the size of Hostess Ho Ho’s. They are made using a small popsicle mold, rather than a spherical one.
If you’re looking for a whimsical dessert that’s not only fun, but filling, this solution is ideal. Just like their other cake counterparts, these Halloween dessert cakes can be decorated in a variety of ways. While I decorated my miniature, single serving cakes to look like pumpkins, you can also decorate these with chocolate drizzle and sprinkles for a festive alternative. Or use other colors of candy to make them look like mummy cakesicles or even a ghoul or goblin.
Spelled as cakesicles and not cakesickles, this upgraded dessert recipe is sure to delight trick-or-treaters, party goers and everyone in between.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Cake Pops
This fall dessert is made using box cake mix for the actual cake pops. It is then decorated using colored orange and green candy melts to give these treats the appearance of pumpkins. In addition to the cake mix and candy melts, these are the ingredients you will need to make these Halloween jack-o-lantern cake popsicles.
- Box Cake Mix: This recipe for Halloween pumpkin cakesicles uses box cake mix. I used a box of Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake Mix to make mini chocolate cakes on a stick.
- Eggs: In order to make the cake as directed on the back of the box, you will need eggs to the ingredients. Eggs add structure, texture and flavor when used in baking. They will also help to create a moist cake that’s ideal for these Halloween treats.
- Vegetable Oil: I recommend that you use a neutral vegetable oil to recreate this autumn dessert. A neutral oil is one that has little or no flavor. You can use regular vegetable oil. Or substitute it with canola, sunflower, peanut or grapeseed oil. However, it is necessary for a moist cake. It also helps to bind the mix so it holds its form and you don’t end up with a crumbling cake.
- Water: Water is also used to create the cake batter and is called for in the directions on the back of the cake mix box.
- Wilton Candy Melts: Green and orange candy melts are used to decorate these popsicle cake pops. It can either be dunked or poured over the baked cakes once they’ve been baked and frozen to make them look like Halloween pumpkins. As you’re using pre-colored candy melts, you won’t need to add food coloring.
- Frosting (optional): Sometimes the baked cake doesn’t bind as it should or it dry after baking. If this is the case, you can add frosting to the cake mixture before placing it into the popsicle mold.
- Chocolate (optional): If desired, you can use melted dark chocolate or white chocolate to add additional details to these holiday desserts such as a jack-o-lantern face or decorative leaves. You can also add ribs, or indented ridges, down the length of the pumpkins. Or simply add a drizzle of melted chocolate.
Tools and Equipment
In order to bake and decorate these Halloween treats, you’ll need some basic kitchen tools and equipment. Here’s what you’ll need to get started.
- Stand Mixer with Paddle Hook: If you’ve had your eye on purchasing a KitchenAid stand mixer, this is the perfect project for it! You’ll use a mixer to bind the baked cake to create these pumpkin shaped cakesicles. However, if you don’t own one and it’s outside of your budget, put it on your holiday wishlist! In the meantime, you can also use a handheld mixer instead.
- Toothpicks: These make handle tools when decorating your Halloween cakes. They’re used to add small design elements to the melted candy. If you don’t wish to purchase toothpicks, you can also use the prong of a fork instead.
- Parchment Paper: As you’re working with melted candy, parchment paper comes in handy. It’s used to prevent the melted candy or chocolate coating from sticking to your working surface.
- Ice Cream Scoop: You will need a small ice cream scoop to fill the molds used to make these Halloween cake pops. Alternately, you can use a large spoon if necessary.
- Cakesicle Mold: You will need several silicone cakesicle molds for this recipe. As it yields about 24 cake popsicles, you can either make this dessert in batches or all at once depending on the number of molds available to you. This mold creates popsicle shaped cakes rather than cake balls.
- Popsicle Sticks: No popsicle is complete without the stick! I used standard, wood popsicle sticks for these delicious treats as they are both inexpensive and convenient. They’ll also hold the weight better than paper lollipop sticks due to the size.
- Bowls: You’ll need a large bowl to blend the cake mixture prior to baking and in addition to the stand mixer. You’ll also need two smaller bowls for each of the colors of the candy melts. I recommend that you use heat-safe, glass bowls for the best results.
- Microwave: You’ll use a microwave to melt the Wilton candy that’s used for decoration.
- Baking Sheet: A baking sheet is necessary to bake these treats. It’s also the easiest way to transfer your baked cake to and from the freezer after you remove them from the oven.
- Cake Pan: To make these Halloween pumpkin cakesicles, you will first need to bake the cake as called for in the directions on the back of the box of mix. Therefore, you need a cake pan or baking pan.
- Large Spoon or Spatula: You will need a large utensil, such as a serving spoon or spatula to remove the baked cake from the pan so it can be transferred to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.
How to Make Pumpkin Cakesicles
Here is how to make this fun, pumpkin snack cake recipe for Halloween.
Bake the Box Cake Mix
1. Begin by preparing box cake mix per the instructions on the back of the box. I recommend that you use the standard ½ cup of vegetable oil rather than the 1/3 cup called for in the directions. This will ensure the cake is moist and will help to bind the ingredients together as a cakesicle.
TIP: Adjust the directions for preparation as needed if swapping out the brand or flavor.
2. Combine and blend the cake mix with the water, eggs and oil as indicated on the box. Then bake at the appropriate temperature for the length of time indicated base on the baking pan you’ve chosen, generally between 25-30 minutes. Make sure that you preheat the oven first to the temperature indicated.
Mix Baked Cake Mixture to Create Cakesicle Dough
3. After the cakes bakes, immediately scoop it out of the pan using a spatula or large serving spoon. Take care when doing so to prevent accidental burns from both the hot cake as well as the pan used for baking. Spoon the cake in its entirety into the stand mixer bowl before the cake cools.
TIP: By mixing the baked cake while it’s still hot and moist, it will help it stay bind together into a tight, dough-like ball.
4. Mix the baked cake on low speed until it has binded into a ball in the center of the bowl. The cake popsicle mixture should be the consistency of cookie dough.
TIP: If it is not binding like it should into a ball, you can add in 1-2 tablespoons of frosting to assist with the process.
5. Once the pumpkin cakesicle dough is ready, place the popsicle molds onto a cutting board. Then, with clean hands, use an ice cream scoop to remove a large heap of the mixture.
Fill the Cakesicle Molds
6. Place the scoop of snack cake dough into the center of one cavity of the popsicle mold. Then, press the dough into the mold so that is even with both the top and the sides of the mold.
TIP: If there’s too much of the cake mixture in the mold, simply use a knife to level off the top.
Insert Popsicle Sticks Into Cake
7. Repeat this process until you have filled all available molds with the filling.
8. Next, insert the popsicle sticks into the cakesicle mold and through the snack cake filling.
TIP: The dough may rise slightly in the mold once a stick is inserted. Should this happen, gently press it back down.
9. Use the cutting board to transfer the filled molds to the freezer. Then freeze the Halloween cakesicles in the molds for one hour.
TIP: Freezing the cake popsicles will prevent them from falling apart in the melted candy. Therefore, it’s not recommended that you remove the frozen cake pops from freezer until you are ready to decorate them.
Decorate the Cakesicles to Look Like Pumpkins
10. Once the holiday snack cakes are about to come out of the freezer, add 2 cups of orange candy melts to a small glass bowl. Follow directions on the package to melt.
TIP: For best results, don’t add any liquids to the candy. If it’s not smooth enough after melting, you may add a teaspoon of coconut oil at a time. Then stir until you reach the desired consistency.
11. After the candy has melted, allow cool slightly, approximately 3-5 minutes.
12. Next, take one or two undecorated cakesicles out of the freezer at a time. Begin decorating each one either by dunking or spooning the orange chocolate over the dessert cake.
13. Gently shake the pop to even out the candy coating and remove any excess. Then immediately draw the lines for pumpkin ribs into the candy using a toothpick.
14. Set the orange pumpkin cakesicle onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet or tray. Then allow the candy shell to harden for 5-10 minutes.
15. Repeat the process with the remaining Halloween cake pops.
16. Now add ½ cup of green candy melts to a small glass bowl. Follow directions on the package to melt, allowing to cool slightly before use.
17. Once the orange candy has hardened, use a toothpick to draw a green pumpkin stem onto each of the treats. Then allow to harden.
Package and Store the Pumpkin Cake Pops
18. Store the decorated pumpkin cakesicles in the fridge in a Ziploc bag or in a covered container until ready to serve. You may also place each one inside a treat bag for Halloween party favors.
- 1 - 15.25 oz. box Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake Mix
- 3 Large eggs
- ½ Cup neutral vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
- 2 Cups orange Wilton Candy Melts
- 1/2 Cup green Wilton Candy Melts
- Prepare the box cake mix per the instructions on the back of the box using ½ cup of vegetable oil rather than the 1/3 cup called for in the directions.
- Combine and blend the cake mix with the water, eggs and oil as indicated on the box. Then bake in a preheated oven at the appropriate temperature for the length of time indicated base on the baking pan you've chosen, generally 25 to 30 minutes.
- After the cakes bakes, immediately scoop it out of the pan using a spatula or large serving spoon. Spoon the cake in its entirety into the stand mixer bowl before the cake cools.
- Mix the baked cake on low speed until it has binded into a ball in the center of the bowl. The cake popsicle mixture should be the consistency of cookie dough.
- Once the cakesicle dough is ready, place the popsicle molds onto a cutting board. Then use an ice cream scoop to remove a large heap of the mixture.
- Place the scoop of snack cake dough into the center of one cavity of the popsicle mold. Then, press the dough into the mold so that is even with both the top and the sides of the mold.
- Repeat this process until you have filled all available molds with the filling.
- Next, insert the popsicle sticks into the cakesicle mold and through the snack cake filling.
- Use the cutting board to transfer the filled molds to the freezer. Then freeze the Halloween cakesicles in the molds for one hour.
- Once the holiday snack cakes are about to come out of the freezer, add 2 cups of orange candy melts to a small glass bowl. Follow directions on the package to melt.
- After the candy has melted, allow cool slightly, approximately 3-5 minutes.
- Next, take one or two cakesicles out of the freezer at a time. Begin decorating each one either by dunking or spooning the orange chocolate over the dessert cake.
- Gently shake the pop to even out the candy coating and remove any excess. Then immediately draw the lines for pumpkin ribs into the candy using a toothpick.
- Set the orange pumpkin cakesicle on parchment paper. Then allow the candy shell to harden for 5-10 minutes.
- Repeat the process with the remaining cake pops.
- Now add ½ cup of green candy melts to a small glass bowl. Follow directions on the package to melt, allowing to cool slightly before use.
- Once the orange candy has hardened, use a toothpick to draw a green pumpkin stem onto each of the treats. Then allow to harden.
- Store the decorated holiday cakesicles in the fridge in a Ziploc bag or in a covered container until ready to serve. You may also place each one inside a treat bag for Halloween party favors.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 20mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
How Do You Keep Cakesicles Fresh?
Like cupcakes and cake pops, these pumpkin-shaped Halloween cakesicles will last up to one week when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. If you prefer to freeze, rather than refrigerate, these snack cakes, then they will stay fresh when vacuum sealed and frozen for up to three months.
Can You Make Pumpkin Snack Cake Popsicles in Advance?
You can make this autumn inspired dessert ahead of time, if desired. You have several options in this instance.
- You can either bake the chocolate cake portion of this recipe a day ahead. Then cover and store at room temperature until decorating them the next day.
- Bake the popsicle cakes then refrigerate them up to two days prior to adding the candy coating.
- Or freeze the baked cake pops up to six weeks prior, thawing in the refrigerator prior to use.
Expert Tips and Tricks for Melting Candy Wafers
Chocolate is an oil based food. Therefore, you can not use food coloring to color it. As soon as you add a liquid or even a gel food coloring, your batch will turn into a gritty mess. To get around this, I simply buy colored candy wafers to use colors in my design. Just as I used orange colored wafers to make Halloween chocolate bark, I also used it to make my holiday cake pops.
Melting candy wafers to make pumpkin cakesicles is much easier than melting chocolate as they are formulated to melt easily and smoothly. However, here are some tips on how to melt candy depending on what tools are available to you.
You can melt Wilton candy wafers in a chocolate melter, like this Wilton chocolate melting pot, in the microwave, or in a double boiler. I have the chocolate melter and love it. I also have an insert with a divider for two sections, and it’s so convenient when making a recipe that requires more than one color.
My second favorite way to melt candy is with a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can fill a pan half full with water. Then set a glass bowl in the pan so the water covers about half of the bowl. Make sure the glass bowl isn’t touching the pan because you want the warm water to melt the chocolate and not use direct heat.
While melting chocolate in the microwave method can burn the chocolate, this isn’t the case with wafers designed for this function. If you do want to use the microwave, heat the wafers in 20 to 30 second intervals. At each interval, remove the bowl and stir. Then repeat until the contents have melted.
Pumpkin Cakesicle Box Cake Mix Substitutions
Just because you aren’t baking these pumpkin cakesicles from scratch, doesn’t mean they have to taste boring! If you’re all about creating rich, mouthwatering desserts, then be sure to try these expert tips and substitutions to take your box cake mix to the next level!
- Chocolate cake isn’t for everyone. If you don’t enjoy this cake flavor, you can swap out the chocolate cake mix with different flavors. These would be great with pumpkin spice cake mix as it’s a fall recipe. However, you can also make vanilla sponge cake or strawberry flavored cake pops for the holiday.
- If you’d like a richer flavor when making these Halloween pumpkin cakesicles, you can substitute the water called for in the recipe with whole milk.
- Duncan Hines cake mix creates a light, fluffy cake. While Pillsbury makes a more dense dessert. You can swap out the brand of box mix to achieve the attributes you’re looking for in both texture and flavor.
- If you’re partial to the flavor of red velvet cake, use buttermilk in place of the water. This will result in a similar taste and give your pumpkin cake pops a bit of a tasty twang.
- To add more fat to the recipe and boost the flavor, use softened — not melted — browned butter in place of the vegetable oil.
- Don’t give into boring, plain chocolate if your heart is set on having it all! Add a box of instant pudding mix to take this Halloween party dessert to the next level. Choose a flavor that compliments the box mix you’re using. For example, if you’re baking a chocolate cake, try adding a box of York Peppermint pudding mix to the cake batter.
Halloween Party Treats and Snacks
If you enjoyed this Halloween pumpkin cakesicle recipe, or are seeking other fresh ideas for your upcoming Halloween party, then be sure to check out these other holiday ideas.
- Halloween Chocolate Bark: These easy Halloween treats are perfect for all your party tricksters. Try this recipe for making Halloween chocolate bark for your to delight your guests. Plus learn how to choose the best chocolate for chocolate candy bark, as well as tips on melting and tempering chocolate.
- Gourmet Caramel Apples: This easy gourmet caramel apple recipe is the perfect way to enjoy apples when they’re in season. Serve these candy apples as a tasty snack or party treat when entertaining this fall.