How to Make a Fondant Pumpkin: An Easy, Adorable Halloween Cupcake Decoration

Entirely edible, these fondant pumpkins are a great accent to any cake, large or small. Place a single pumpkin on a cupcake covered in green icing—this looks especially great when the icing is piped on using a Wilton grass tip #233. Or make fondant pumpkins in varying sizes and create a whole pumpkin patch on top of a cake. Mix and match with fondant ghosts to create an exceptionally cute Halloween look. The fondant pumpkins are especially delicious when made with homemade fondant.

Step One:

Color the fondant with orange paste food coloring. Don’t use liquid food coloring; it will make the fondant too sticky.

Pull off a small chunk of orange fondant. It should be approximately the size the finished pumpkin will be. Roll the fondant in between the palms, applying light pressure, until a smooth, round ball is formed. See image one, below.

Step Two:

Use a sharp paring knife to score lines very carefully. Imagine a pole going through the center of the ball, and use the sharp edge of the knife to indent a line between the center point at the top of the ball and the center point at the bottom of the ball. When finished, the ball will look something like a beach ball. (This technique is also good for making beach balls.) See image two, below.

Step Three:

Use a clean dedicated paintbrush to dab a small bit of vodka or lemon extract on the top of the fondant pumpkin, where all the lines meet. Take a clove and push the ball end of the clove into the fondant pumpkin to create the stem. Let the vodka or extract dry. The liquid acts to dissolve just a small bit of the sugar in the fondant and cement the clove stem to the rest of the pumpkin. Water can also be used, but the high alcohol content in vodka and clear extracts means a shorter drying time. (See image three, below.)

Additional Notes:

For a more realistic and interesting look, make all the fondant pumpkins in varying sizes and shapes. Some tall and thin, some squat. The pumpkins look better, especially when clustered together on a cake, with some variation. As a bonus, it’s easier to make everything slightly differently!

Green royal icing or buttercream can be used to pipe on small vines and leaves.

Fondant decorations can be made weeks ahead of time. Some food coloring isn’t stable in sunlight, so store fondant decorations in a box in a dark place. Pack any fondant decorations carefully, using balled-up saran wrap to cushion the figurines.

These pumpkin figurines can also be made out of gumpaste.


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