This year I decided to go with a less scary apporach on my haunted decorations. And after spending a week in Orlando and a visit to Disney World, I got inspired:
Pumpkins are great because they can serve as jack-o-lanterns or you can place another bowl inside them and use them as a candy, chip, drink container, etc...
When you carve out your pumpkins, save the seeds! Rinse them in cold water to separate the orange gooey stings and pat them dry. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes till dry. Mix these for trail mix or toppings.
Another tip: when you carve your pumpkins dig into the pumpkin meat a little so you thin out the walls of the pumpkin. This will help it rot less quickly and make the pumpkin easier to carve since it's thinner. Make sure you save the pumpkin meat and roast it at 350 degrees until the water runs out and it's soft. Then process the meat and you have your very own pumpkin puree ready for pumpkin pie. No Libby's necessary!
And as for halloween cake ideas.. here is one that I just worked on: a Not-So-Scary Nightmare Before Christmas Cake. Frankly, I wasn't a fan of the movie, but the cartoon characters and the whole concept are pretty great so they make an excellent cake decor.
I rushed this cake out in 1 hour. I could have done more with more time.. but that's what you get in 1 hour: A moist vanilla cake (recipe found in previous posts) with chocolate buttercream and caramel frosting.