Tag Archives: pumpkin cake

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting and Caramel Filling

blog pump cake 2

Here is the ultimate pumpkin cake! It’s the cake that will make your holiday unforgettable! It’s a delicious, decadent , over the top dessert! Spicy pumpkin cake in four layers, caramel layered between the cake, then topped with a cream cheese buttercream frosting.  On top of the cake are shards of pepita ( pumpkin seed) brittle. The cake stays moist so you can make it a day in advance and keep covered in the refrigerator. It’s sublime!

From by the bay wishing you, pumpkin food memories!


blog pump cake 1

Butter for coating cake pans, at room temperature
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons canned unsweetened pumpkin purée
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Caramel Filling

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar or until thick enough to spread

Directions for the cake

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch sides. Line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper. Sprinkle the pans with flour, tap the pans to evenly distribute the flour, and then shake off the excess flour. Set aside.
To make the cake, in a large bowl, sift together the 2 cups flour, the granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and allspice. In a electric mixer using the paddle attachment combine the pumpkin, sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in orange zest. On low speed add the flour mixture to the flour mixture until just combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, spreading it evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a tester inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Transfer to wire racks and let cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Run a table knife around the edge of the pans to loosen the cakes. Invert the cakes onto the racks and peel off the parchment paper. Let cool completely before frosting the cakes.

Directions for the cream cheese buttercream frosting
To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed for about 3 minutes until smooth. Add the butter and beat for about 2 minutes until combined. Add the pumpkin purée and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat for about 3 minutes until fluffy.
Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate or platter. Using an offset spatula, spread half of the frosting over the top of the first cake layer. Spread the frosting right to the edge of the top without frosting the sides of the cake. Carefully place the second cake on top, lining up the edges. Spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake without frosting the sides. Swirl the frosting to decorate the top. Refrigerate the cake to set the frosting. Remove from the refrigerator 30 to 40 minutes before serving.

Directions for caramel filling

In a medium sauce pan add brown sugar and butter and cook for two minutes on medium heat, melting butter. Add mild and bring to a boil. Take off heat add vanilla, mix and cool. Once cool whisk confectioner’s sugar until good consistency to spread and smooth. Add more sugar until thickened if needed.

To assemble cake :

Cut each cooled layer of pumpkin cake in half with a serrated knife. Place first layer on cake stand and using an offset spatula spread on top of cake. Spread the frosting right to the edge of the top without frosting the sides of the cake. Carefully place the second cake on top, lining up the edges.Repeat with the remaining 3 layers.

Spread  cream cheese buttercream frosting over the top of the cake and sides. Swirl the frosting to decorate the top. Refrigerate the cake to set the frosting. Remove from the refrigerator 30 to 40 minutes before serving.Spread the top and then sides with the cream cheese buttercream frosting. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Let come to room temperature.

Optional : garnish with pepita/ pumpkin seed  brittle recipe follows below

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Pepita Brittle

Adapted from “Craft of Cooking” by Tom Colicchio and Smitten Kitchen Blog from 11/1/2008

Makes one 12 x 16 – inch pan

Canola -oil spray

2 cups sugar

1/4 pound unsalted butter

6 tablespoons corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 pound  or 1 1/2 cup shelled raw unroasted pepitas ( pumpkin seeds)

1 1/2 tablespoons Maldon sea salt 


Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with Canola oil. Take a large non-stick pot and add sugar, butter, corn syrup and 1 1/3 cups water. Place on high heat melting sugar until the caramel turns amber color, stir occasionally as this is cooking. This might take awhile, it will thicken as it boils before it finally turns amber. At this point add the baking soda and salt, then remove from heat and add the pepitas. Stirring well, then quickly pour onto the baking sheet and spread out evening with a spatula. An alternate method for a smoother brittle is slide the parchment paper out of the baking pan and onto a smooth counter top. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and use a rolling in, to smooth the brittle and roll it out thin. Once the brittle is rolled out you can remove the top sheet of parchment paper and  let the brittle cool and then break into pieces. If you can resist eating this , store in an air tight container.

Pumpkin Cider Bread

Here is another great treat made not only with pumpkin but also apple cider for the perfect autumn food pairing. This easy pumpkin bread taste perfect just as it is moist and spicy or kick the taste up another notch by slathering some cider cream cheese frosting on top. It’s wickedly good!

From by the bay wishing you cider and pumpkin food memories!


blog cider pumpkin cake

Pumpkin Cider Bread 

Makes 1 Loaf or 4 mini loaves

Adapted from Gourmet October 1991


  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raisins


In a saucepan boil the cider until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup, add raisins and let it cool. In a bowl whisk together well the pumpkin purée, the eggs, the oil, the brown sugar, and the reduced cider. Into the bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and cloves and stir the batter until it is just combined. Transfer the batter to a well-buttered 8 1/2-by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan and bake the bread in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan.

blog cider pumpkin cake with icing

Cider Cream Cheese Icing

For the icing
1/2 cup apple cider
6 ounces cream cheese, cut into bits and softened
1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

Make the icing:
In a saucepan boil the cider until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup and let it cool. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese, the confectioners’ sugar, the reduced cider, and a pinch of salt until the icing is smooth.