This is a recipe for a CROWD, since you'll get 3 large loaf pans. You use 3 different cake mixes for it ... and there will be a PUMPKIN SHAPE hidden inside (or whatever cookie cutter shape you want) when you cut the slices! **
EQUIPMENT needed: 1 pumpkin cookie cutter with longer sides (so it cuts through the cake) * 1 jelly-roll pan * 3 large 10" loaf pans (I also used 2 mini loaf pans, since I only had 1 10" and 2 9" pans) * parchment paper * non-stick baking spray (with flour) *** NOTE: If possible use a smaller pumpkin cookie cutter, or you won't have enough pumpkin cake to cut shapes for all the pans. Mine was too big, so had to use a smaller OWL shape on some of the scraps, and then just cut up the leftover scraps and put those into one of the pans instead.
PUMPKIN SURPRISE MARBLE CAKE
3 cake mixes = 1 fudge * 1 yellow or butter * 1 pumpkin (If you can't find pumpkin cake mix, you can substitute spice cake.)
9 eggs (3 for each cake mix) ................................................red & yellow food coloring
1/2 cup pumpkin puree..................................................water
1/2 cup Pumpkin liquid coffee creamer (can substitute caramel if you can't find pumpkin)
instant pudding mixes, if necessary (if your cake mixes don't have pudding in the mix)
1 cup sour cream.............................................................1 cup vegetable oil
(1) If the pumpkin cake doesn't have pudding in the mix, you can add a small package of pumpkin, vanilla or even butterscotch instant pudding.
(2) If you can't find fudge cake (or want a more intense chocolate flavor), you can add 1 TB dark chocolate syrup plus 1 TB dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder when you make that cake mix. You can also substitute strong brewed coffee for the water used.
(3) If your cake mixes don't have pudding in the cake mix, add 1 small fudge/chocolate pudding mix to the chocolate cake .. and 1 small vanilla pudding mix to the yellow or butter cake.
You want your cakes to have a denser, pound cake consistency, so some of the water called for on the packages is replaced with sour cream (and the oil is totally replaced with pumpkin in the pumpkin cake).
PUMPKIN CAKE : Spray a jelly-roll pan with non-stick baking spray. Line it with parchment paper and spray that lightly too. Preheat oven to 350.
Put the cake mix, 3 eggs, liquid Pumpkin coffee creamer, pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup water plus 1/2 tsp. EACH red and yellow food coloring into a large mixer bowl. Mix until it's very well blended, and spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 17-20 minutes (if it's not completely baked, that's fine ~ it will bake inside the cake later); then take out and cool on a rack. When it's thoroughly cooled, cut as many pumpkin shapes from the cake as you can get. (I used the leftover scraps and just cut random pieces to use in one of the loaf pans).
SPRAY the loaf pans thoroughly with non-stick baking spray. Line up your pumpkin shapes (or whatever cookie cutter you're using) in a row, packed as close together as possible. If you don't have enough shapes for the 3rd pan, just cut up the scraps and lightly pile them in there. Set the pans aside while you make the other cakes.
NOTE: I think I might try 2 packages of PUMPKIN BREAD mix next time, and spread it out in 2 jelly-roll pans. Then I'll have enough cut-outs for all 3 large loaves.
CHOCOLATE CAKE: Put the cake mix, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup water (or brewed coffee), 1/2 cup vegetable oil ~ plus chocolate syrup and unsweetened cocoa powder, if you're adding that ~ and the pudding mix, if you need to add that ~ in your mixer bowl and beat until well blended. Pour it into each of the loaf pans (spooning some of the chocolate over the pumpkin shapes in the pan), dividing equally between all 3 pans.
YELLOW CAKE: Wash out the pan and the beaters. Put the yellow cake mix, 3 eggs, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup vegetable oil into the mixer pan and beat until well blended. Pour this over the chocolate cake mix, equally into all of the pans. Using a small spoon, make sure that all of the pumpkin shapes are covered with cake batter. I also gently pushed the end shapes away from the side of the pan so I could drip some of the cake batter there too. Adjust the yellow cake batter around the pumpkin shapes, so that it's evenly distributed on both sides of the line of shapes. ** As you smooth and adjust the yellow batter, you'll also be getting some of the chocolate batter in there, which is fine because it will give it a marbled look when it's baked.
Put the loaf pans onto a rimmed baking sheet, to catch over-flow during baking. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pans, on a rack.
EASY FROSTING(S) *
1 can chocolate or fudge frosting ................................1/2 can vanilla or white frosting
milk, brewed coffee (for chocolate) or Italian Sweet Cream liquid coffee creamer
chocolate syrup and unsweetened cocoa powder (I like dark) ~ for chocolate frosting
2 drops EACH red AND yellow food coloring (for white frosting)
Scrape out each can of frosting into a small bowl. For chocolate: add about 1 heaping TB unsweetened cocoa powder and a squirt of chocolate syrup. Stir quickly with a spoon (or small whisk), adding strong brewed coffee (or milk or coffee creamer) until it's a thick, smooth consistency ** For vanilla : add the food coloring to the canned frosting; and quickly stir with a spoon (or small whisk), adding the milk or coffee creamer about 1 TB at a time, until it's a thick, smooth consistency (if you got it too thin, you can always add in a little powdered sugar to thicken it back up).
TO FROST THE CAKES: *
Tip them out of the pans and set back onto racks or paper, right-side-up. Heavily frost/glaze the tops with the chocolate frosting, allowing it to drip over the sides (make sure to fill in any holes or cracks on the top of the cakes, and let it drip over any boo-boos on the edges). With a spoon, drizzle the now-orange frosting across the tops of the cakes. If you want, sprinkle some seasonal sprinkles on top. (NOTE: If you're using sprinkles, sprinkle them after you've frosted each cake. If you wait until you do all 3 cakes, it may be too hard on the 1st one to hold the sprinkles)
TIP: Make cake balls from extra cake: ** If you still have extra scraps from the pumpkin cake cut-outs, just crumble them up really well into a large bowl. Add some of the canned frosting (just a little at a time) and mix it well until it sticks together. Make balls with your hands. You can roll them in powdered sugar, sugar mixed with cinnamon or unsweetened cocoa powder. Or, you can dip them into melted chocolate and let them sit until the chocolate sets.