Tuesday, October 19

Halloween fun. . . a recipe and a giveaway

Halloween is fast approaching! I have to say that Halloween is one of those holidays that's not nearly so much fun with older kids as it is with little kids. I miss the days of my boys' eagerly deciding how they wanted to dress for Halloween and excitedly counting their candy haul. Our costumes were usually homemade (i.e. inexpensive) and ranged from soldiers to pirates to elves from Lord of the Rings.

The oldest pieces of my pumpkin collection are jack-o-lanterns that I pull out every year. We've moved ten times over the course of our marriage, but both of these pumpkins have made it unscathed.

This one is now 25 years old. My parents bought him for me when I was a brand-new wife. I've proudly lit him up on Halloween night since 1985!

This one is 24 years old. My boss gave him to me for my birthday back in 1986. My husband was a graduate student at the University of Virginia and I was working while he was in school. I worked for a very kind man who happened to share my birthday, and he bought me this jack-o-lantern on the day I turned 23. This little fellow is made from Virginia clay, and he's definitely a prized possession.

My love for pumpkins extends to eating baked goods made from pumpkin. When I was a little girl, my favorite sweet in the world was pumpkin pie. One of my earliest memories is of a sweet woman named "Miss Janie" who made pumpkin pies year-round. A trip to Miss Janie's house was always a treat for me. Now I make pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, but I make other pumpkin desserts, too. Here's the recipe for one of my favorites, Pumpkin Cake. Closely related to carrot cake (but a lot easier to make), this is one of my most-often requested recipes.

Pumpkin Cake


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups pureed pumpkin (I used a 15 oz. can solid pack pumpkin)

4 eggs

1 cup canola oil

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a tube or bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix together thoroughly. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake approximately one hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan ten minutes, then remove from pan and cool on rack until completely cool.


1 lb. powdered sugar

1 stick butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

8 oz. cream cheese

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and spread on a cooled cake.

Oh, glory. . . make this and prepare for compliments.

And oh, yes, the Halloween giveaway! Just for fun, I'm giving away these cute retro Halloween items.

I love the traditional but muted colors in these tea towels and the ceramic jack-o-lantern. The jack-o-lantern is designed to hold a tea light; he has a hole in his stem to allow smoke to escape. Leave a comment if you'd like to win this little gift. I'll randomly pick a winner on Thursday and send a package right out so that the winner can enjoy these goodies before Halloween. You don't have be a subscriber or follower to enter, although I'd love for you to subscribe or follow me if you'd like to do so.

Happy Halloween!

Today the CSI Project is hosting a Halloween Extravaganza, where there is sure to be lots of Halloween inspiration.

And of course there are always lots of fun things to be learned at Hope Studios on Tuesday!


  1. What a cute little giveaway, I'd love to win. I'm already following even though it's not "required" :)

  2. Richella, I can't think of a thing NOT to love in today's post. :) I love that you have special pumpkins with stories behind them, and the cake sounds delish! Those towels are absolutely fabulous!!! I am completely in love. :) Have a great day!

  3. I love anything PUMPKIN! I have a great recipe for Pumpkin Bread that makes two loaves...One to eat and one to share! I usually put a cream cheese with it and give one of them away. If I win the giveaway I would put one of the towels with a loaf of bread and give it to a friend!

  4. I'd love to win this - I too love to decorate for Halloween and I love jack o lanterns - way more than scary things.
    I love your blog too - always inspiring!

  5. Halloween is a lot of fun for us, Kristen loves it and is at a perfect age ;-) I love the green color in those towels.

  6. Your recipe sounds wonderful...I love cream cheese frosting!! :-)

    Your giveaway is sweet and generous. I am a follower!


  7. Richella,
    It is so true that this holiday was more fun with wee ones. I liked making their costumes, too.

    My mother-in-law loved decorating for this holiday and her house was the most visited in the neighborhood. She served punch! Some years it was served out of a cauldron with dry ice. It was so much fun for the kids.

    What a wonderful memory maker you have with the two pumpkins that have been preserved throughout your marriage. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  8. I love all your pumpkins! What sweet stories behind them all! I can't wait to try this cake. It sounds DIVINE! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  9. such cute pumpkins! i've never seen any like them and they are great! and the cake? hmmm... just so happen to have a can (or 2)of pumpkin in the pantry!! i might not get any compliments on it though... cuz i might not share!! haha :)

  10. Fun!!~ I love the giveaway. I am a follower:) What special pumpkins you have...that is one thing I do not have is a special one.

  11. That cake sounds delicious. I'm saving it to my recipes to try out on my Bible study group. I'm always looking for new and great recipes - and my group has come to expect something wonderful :) I think your recipe sounds perfect.

  12. I will DEFINITELY be trying your recipe! I had a similar recipe that was made in a jelly roll pan. I can't imagine how I ever lost it, but I miss it. This recipe will work nicely, I think!!! Cute pumpkins!! Blessings!

  13. Such a cute giveaway. Would love to win. Thanks!


  14. Oh, I love that pumpkin. Cute, but small enough to easily pack away in my limited storage space.

  15. Yay! I clicked over just in time for a giveaway AND a recipe! First of all, all things pumpkin (to eat) are my favorite. Pumpkin muffins are a favorite around here. Your cake sounds divine. Definitely bookmarking this recipe.

    I love how so many of the pieces in your home are sentimental and nostalgic. Those are the best kind to have.

    Happy Fall!

  16. Mmmm, that cake sounds good!
    Thanks for the giveaway. I'd love to win those cute Halloween goodies!

  17. I would love to win your cute Halloween things!

    I've been collecting pumpkins for about as long as you have. I love the two that you showed us. I didn't realize that you lived in Charlottesville in the late 80's. Isn't C'ville a great town?

  18. What cute little jack-o-lanterns. Thanks for the chance to win those pretty tea towels too.

  19. Love your website! Thanks for your giveaways!

  20. That cake looks sooo good! I love sentimental decorations...I can't get rid of them very easily. I have a little Halloween hanging I bought when I found out I was having my first girl. My mom always wrote on the back where she got the decoration and the date and now I do, so it's a little walk down memory lane whenever I pull them out. :) I didn't know y'all were at to UVA??

  21. What a cute giveaway! I love your blog! I have made your prok tenderlion twice now and absolutely love the recipe! I can't wait to try the pumpkin cake! Have a great day!

  22. You know, when going through my 'fall stash' I realized that I don't have as many Halloween/Fall things as I thought I did. Fall is my favorite season so that kind of surprised me. Thanks for the opportunity to win some things to add to my stash.

  23. I read your blog almost every day and really enjoy it!! I can't wait to try the new recipe - I also love pumpkin!! And of course, I would love to win that cute little pumpkin!! :) Thanks.

  24. Really enjoyed your post today. I have a little pumpkin that looks just like yours,only mine has a black hat. My mother bought him for my oldest daughter's first Halloween in 1984! Thanks for the giveaway.I am a follower :)Dawn

  25. What a neat giveaway and a great recipe to boot. Thank you for sharing both with us.

  26. What a cute giveaway. Please enter me.


  27. Love your blog. Your house is beautiful.

  28. Such cute Halloween items! I haven't been out looking much this year so I haven't seen those anyplace. I think I'm going to make your pumpkin cake today for my husband...he's been working really hard lately and could use a treat...your cake sounds delish! Thank you for posting the recipe.

  29. I've been lurking on your site for a couple of weeks now - it's very inspiring! Thank you for your ministry!

  30. Your pumpkins are so sweet...and the giveaway is sweeter!

  31. This cake looks so good! I can't wait to try it :)

  32. I love the stories behind the pumpkins. Don't they mean a lot to you? The giveaway is cute too. Thanks. Have a great weekend.

  33. What a wonderful giveaway. I just found your blog and have the Pumpkin Cake in the oven. It smells great. I'd love to win, but since it's Thursday before Halloween it may be a tad late. Love your blog anyway.
    Thanks, Gayle

  34. Richella, thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I just made it for book club night and the girls just loved your cake. I am already pretending that I won't eat it for breakfast (but I will). Thanks again!



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