How to carve a pumpkin

  • By BBC Good Food team

Are you having a Halloween party, or just want to set the mood for trick-or-treaters? Follow our four easy steps to carving your own jack-o'-lantern pumpkin.

Pumpkin with carved smiley face

How to carve the perfect pumpkin...

1. Choose a large pumpkin and use a sharp serrated knife to cut off the crown.

Cutting the top off a pumpkin

2. Using a large serving spoon, scoop out the seeds and fibres and discard. Then remove some of the flesh.

Scooping out pumpkin flesh with spoon

3. With a marker pen, draw a simple outline of a face on the pumpkin. Use a small serrated knife to cut out the eyes, nose and mouth. Always cut away from you in case the knife slips.

Drawing a face on pumpkin to carve

4. Pop a tea light inside the pumpkin, light it and replace the crown.

Pumpkin with carved smiley face

More pumpkin carving advice: 

For more tips on how to carve the perfect pumpkin, watch our cookery team in action: 

Read our Top 10 pumpkin carving tips for more advice on making your Jack o'lantern stand out from the crowd.

What to make with pumpkin flesh...

Halloween pumpkin cake
Pumpkin hummus
Pumpkin curry with chickpeas
Pumpkin & parsnip cassoulet
Easy pumpkin chutney
Pumpkin recipe collection
Healthy pumpkin & squash recipes 
Pumpkin glossary page

What pumpkin designs do you like to carve? Leave a comment below...

Comments, questions and tips

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2nd Nov, 2014
Try and make your pumpkins as imaginative as possible and then it will be a real eye-opener.