Fall Treat: Fast and Easy Pumpkin Cake

By Frank E. Vaerewyck, “The Firehouse Foodie”

Autumn is giving way to winter. Pumpkin lattes are being sold in every coffee shop in town. Fall decor is everywhere.

Fire departments around America are hosting Fall Festivals that will include bake sales, carnivals, and others forms of fun to raise money for equipment or buildings. These festivals are a great community relations outlet that helps the members of the department connect with the residents they serve. Many departments, volunteer and career, open their station, pull out the trucks, and give tours. It’s a great way to recruit new members, enhance the public’s knowledge of fire safety, and show off the equipment we take such pride in.

Pumpkins, fallen leaves, cinnamon sticks, and the anything brown seem to be telltale signs that fall is here and winter is on its way. The smell of fresh baked goods, the chill in the air, turtlenecks, and snuggles are the best part of the season. Enjoying this time of year with family and friends, trading recipes, laughs, and good times, makes it that much better, and “That’s Bringing the Firehouse Home!”

Fast and Easy Pumpkin Cake


1 15.25-oz. box yellow cake mix

1 15-oz. can 100% pure pumpkin

choice of whipped cream



  1. Combine cake mix and 100% pure pumpkin in a large bowl; stir with a spoon until all the cake mix is dissolved in the pumpkin.
  2. Pour into a 9 x 13 cake pan and level.
  3. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, checking after the 20-minute mark with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.
  4. Let cool.
  5. Top with whipped cream.




Frank Vaerewyck has had a passion for the fire service that has spanned 20 years. He has been a volunteer and career firefighter and is currently a firefighter/EMT with the Manassas (VA) Volunteer Fire Company. He has passed on his passion for the fire service through instruction and mentorship. That same passion he has for the fire service is shared with his love of food. In 2006, Vaerewyck won an Iron Chef-style competition sponsored by a radio station in Richmond, Virginia. That is where he also furthered his education by attending a Culinary Arts Program. As the Firehouse Foodie, he has been compiling recipes to be included in a cookbook that will give others the opportunity to see their hometown heroes not just as firefighters, but as the firehouse chefs they truly are.

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