Kara Takes the Kake

Pump(kin) Up Your Fall Dessert Lineup!

With fresh, light pink decor and delicious desserts including cupcakes, cookie dough, cake pops and S’moreo bars, Kara Kakes has more than enough choices to satisfy any sweet tooth.

“We constantly change things up here,” says Kara Schnaidt, owner and founder of the award-winning bakery.

Kara made her passion for baking a reality when she was just a senior in high school. She started her own baking business in her mom’s kitchen, then studied at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. In 2015, she opened Kara Kakes in Franklin Lakes.

In addition to staple flavors like vanilla, chocolate, red velvet and Funfetti, seasonal options include Everything Fall and pumpkin cannoli cupcakes along with the alcohol-infused Drunken Pumpkin cupcake—a perfect addition to any adult gathering. Kara Kakes offers custom-made cupcakes, cakes, chocolate-covered strawberries, cookie bars and platters for all occasions. 

Kara's tips for decorating your own fall-themed cupcakes at home include making make mini pies to place on top of cupcakes or pumpkin cookies.

“You get two desserts in one!” Kara says.

Cream cheese frosting is a perfect pairing with pumpkin cake, but she recommends switching to buttercream if you wish to color the frosting as it holds color better.

Cupcakes are the perfect dessert for birthday parties, holiday get-togethers or catching up with friends and family. Kara Kakes opens at 10 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Franklin Lakes Towne Square – East
799 Franklin Ave., Franklin Lakes
201.485.8889, Kara-Kakes.com

Pumpkin Cupcakes


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 cup canola or vegetable oil

4 large eggs

1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside. Whisk together oil, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, pumpkin and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Drop batter in a lined muffin tin. Bake for 30–36 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set pan on a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting


8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

3 cups confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt


Use a mixer to beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth. Add confectioners sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then on high for 2 minutes. Spread on the cooled cake. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

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