I have always loved carving pumpkins. As much as I love the candy and the treats, sitting down with a big pumpkin is still one of my favorite parts of Halloween. For years, I stuck to straightforward jack o’lantern faces until one faithful year when I decided to try to up my game by incorporating a foodie twist onto my pumpkins. Now, I’m not an extraordinary pumpkin carver like the people you see on Halloween wars, but that just goes to show you that anyone can infuse a little extra creativity into their carvings!
The I Vant A Cupcake features a Halloween creature that really wants a bite out of that cupcake. You get the sense that he knows there is a sweet filling inside waiting to be sucked out! I sculpted the cupcake, rather than carving the outline completely through the pumpkin, to give it a little more dimension. You can get the same effect by working with a small spoon, as well as a knife.
My Skeleton Reaching for a Cupcake is very straightforward, even though it does require quite a few cuts to put all of the bones into the skeleton hand that is reaching for that delicious cupcake. This is a great example of how to carve out a cupcake frosting and wrapper with no sculpting involved. Feel free to take some anatomical liberties with the skeleton arm to get the idea across. It’s all in fun at Halloween – it’s not surgery, so don’t worry if you miss a bone or two!
The Cupcake Black Widow Spider Pumpkin features another Halloween creature with a sweet tooth. She has a cupcake design partially carved into her back where you would normally see a red hourglass. You can carve the pumpkin out completely, as I did with the skeleton arm above, but you get a more subtle effect by shallowly carving the cupcake into just the surface of the pumpkin. Carve the cupcake first and put the spider around it for the best results.
If you prefer pie to cupcakes, try your hand at my Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin. This pumpkin design is very simple, since it doesn’t involve a traditional jack o’ lantern face, and the finished slice of pie shines through beautifully. It’ll put you in the mood for a slice of pie when you light it up, so be sure to have some on hand!
The final foodie pumpkin on this list is the Pumpkin-Craving Pumpkin. This pumpkin is a bit of a monster who has developed a taste for sweeter, smaller pumpkins. He is definitely scary (if you’re a pumpkin!) and I featured his story in the animated film below. If you try carving this guy, don’t forget to scale the mouth to the size of your smaller pumpkin so that it fits in neatly!
- Thinner pumpkin walls are easier to cut through, so it can be helpful to scrape the inside walls well with a large metal spoon when you are cleaning out the interior of your pumpkin.
- If you are doing some pumpkin sculpting, a thicker pumpkin wall will give you more room for error as you carve. You can always go back and carefully thin the wall later to let more light shine through your creation.
- Sketch out your design lightly in pen, or use a toothpick to “trace” along an outline with little pinpricks. It makes it much easier to follow your pattern, even if you end up tweaking the design later.
- Forget those plastic pumpkin knives. Use a large serrated knife for large cuts and small, sharp knives with thin blades (such as paring knives) for more delicate work.
- Don’t worry if your pumpkin isn’t perfect! Pumpkin carving should be fun – and no one will notice a slight imperfection when the light is shining through on Halloween night!