Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cakelets

Recently, Luna has been very into “hosting tea parties” with her “friends” (her dolls and plush animals) and this gray and rainy day was no different. I glanced over at her play table to find her laying out toy tea and tea cakes for her mermaids and ballerina dolls (#proudmom moment). So I asked if she’d like to help Mommy make little cakes. I think you know the answer 😄



When making cakes with Luna, I love using bundt and cakelet pans — it’s an easy way to make a simple recipe look and feel special. And since it’s the middle of October, it was the perfect opportunity to pull out my favorite Nordic Ware Pumpkin Patch Pan


While I love making cakes from scratch, when baking with a toddler it pays to simplify things. As such, I’ve learned to always have cake or brownie mix on hand (I also keep some cans of pumpkin in the pantry year-round, as the puree is a good alternative to eggs/oil/butter/water). Additionally, using cake mix allows us to go from “let’s bake!” to having a finished product quickly and easily (I’ve learned the hard way that saying “cake” in front of Luna and then having to wait an hour or more until she can eat said cake is never a good idea…). 


Anyway, when I asked Luna what flavor cake she wanted — chocolate, vanilla or pumpkin — to my delight, the winner was pumpkin! Here’s the recipe we made up as we went along:


  • One box white cake mix
  • One 15 oz. can organic pumpkin
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • A splash of vanilla (as Ina Garten says, it’s important to use “good vanilla”; my favorite is Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract) 
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips (because why not?) 


I let Luna mix the ingredients and finished combining them in the stand mixer. I then sprayed the pan with Pam Baking Spray — a key step when using a detailed pan — and baked the cakelets at 350 F for about 20 minutes. 

I think they came out really well — they slid out of the pan easily, have a nice texture and a good cake to chocolate chip ratio. Luna seems to agree, as she helped herself to a second cake almost immediately after devouring her first. And after the scent of freshly baked pumpkin chocolate chip cake lured my husband from his office, he also gave them his seal of approval, calling the texture “spongey, in a good way.” I think this isn’t the last time we’ll make pumpkin chocolate chip cakelets this season!