Last Updated on October 25, 2019
This Halloween Pumpkin Fortress Cake is stuffed with cream cheese and has red food coloring. With decorations, it’s meant to be a “scary” treat for the season. Wafting with pumpkin spice, the cake has an espresso glaze to remind you of good coffee house cake. Surprisingly, it’s a pretty simple cake to make.
Some of you may remember the Gingerbread Fortress Cake from Christmas. That cake inspired me to make this one. I got some hints from the King Arthur Flour Pumpkin Bundt cake and made a few moderations to come up with this. I really like cream cheese frosting with pumpkin bread, but you can’t really frost a fortress, so putting the cream cheese inside was the idea.
Notes About This Cake
Please understand that pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie mix are NOT the same things. The pumpkin pie mix that comes in a can contains other things that this cake does not need. You will find that pumpkin puree is good for a lot of uses, including the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies. You can find it usually in the baking section of your supermarket.
Cakes usually call for vanilla extract. But since there is coffee in this case, I thought that almond extract would be a better idea. Please only use pure almond extract and not some kind of flavoring. If you have nut allergies, by all means, please use a good pure vanilla extract instead.
If you don’t have a fortress Bundt pan, you can use a regular Bundt pan.
I decorated mine with black licorice, candy corn, red hot cinnamon candies, and little candy ghosts. I used a little frosting for glue. Maybe next year, I’ll make spun sugar spider webs, but that’s a project for another day.
I make and enjoy this wonderful Haunted Halloween Pumpkin Fortress cake soon. Have a wonderful Halloween!
Let’s Make Cake!
For the Filling:
- 1 package cream cheese, brick-style (8-ounce) softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
Moist Ingredients for the Cake:
- 1 can pumpkin puree, (15 ounces)
- 4 large egg, at room temperature
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon red gel color
- 1 teaspoon Espresso Powder
Dry ingredients for the Cake:
- 2 cups flour, all-purpose
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Glaze:
- ⅓ cup strong brewed coffee
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons Southern Comfort, optional
Make the filling:
- Combine the sugar and cream cheese in a stand mixer and mix it until it is nice and smooth. Add the extract and egg and mix slowly until thoroughly combined. Pour into a small bowl and set aside. Clean out your mixing bowl and paddle.
Make the Cake:
- Mix the moist ingredients together in the bowl of your stand mixer. Combine them until they are all nicely mixed together and look something like this:
- Sift the dry ingredients into a separate bowl and add them right to the wet ingredients. Stir gently until the ingredients are fully combined.
- Thoroughly spray your pan with Bakers' Joy being sure to get ALL the nooks and crannies.
- Put about half of the pumpkin batter into the greased pan. Level it out with an offset spatula.
- Carefully pour in the cream cheese mixture and spread it out as well.
- Finally, carefully put the rest of the pumpkin batter on top and smooth it out so no cream cheese filling is showing.
- Bake it for one hour. While that is happening, you can make the glaze.
Make the Glaze:
- Combine all the ingredients in a small pot and cook until it comes to a boil. Take it off the heat. Set it aside until the cake is ready.
Assemble the Cake:
- Remove the cake from the oven and insert a long skewer, toothpick, or paring knife into the tallest part of the Bundt cake to test if it's done. When the tester comes out clean, place the Bundt pan on a cooling rack to rest for 15 minutes.
- Line a cake rack with parchment paper and foil. Put the rack on a half sheet pan to catch drips. Remove the cake from the pan and put it on top of the foil parchment paper. You want to do this so you can easily transport the cake to a nice cake plate, but first, you're going to be painting it with the glaze and you want to make sure the glaze drips onto a tray, not your cake plate.
- Paint the cake with the glaze until all the glaze is used up. Let it sit for a bit then carefully move it to a cake plate and decorate it as desired.
- Happy Halloween!