I know what you’re thinking- TWO RECIPES IN ONE WEEK!? IS THIS THE SAME KATE? The truth is, I wanted to squeeze in a final pumpkin recipe before we roll into November and I allow myself to go full-on apples, pecans, and caramel. If you bellies are ripe for one last pumpkin recipe, make room for this yummy and festive pumpkin layer cake!
One of my absolute favorite cakes of 2020 was the cinnamon sugar cake I shared last fall. We hosted a small, COVID-friendly family wedding in our backyard, and the bride and groom requested a spiced, cozy cake. The end result was perfection, and it’s been some time since I’ve ventured out to create another fall-inspired layered treat.
The Pumpkin Layer Cake
This pumpkin layer cake uses a cinnamon sugar buttercream similar to the one featured in the cinnamon sugar cake, but instead of simple vanilla layers, we have opted for fluffy pumpkin layers. As a whole, this cake is incredibly simple to put together and packs major bang for your buck. If you or someone in your family is a pumpkin lover, this is definitely one to try.
To make this pumpkin layer cake, we start with the cake layers. Unsalted butter and sugar come together in a stand mixer before eggs, extract, and pumpkin puree are added. The dry ingredients are simple- just a little flour, leavening, salt, and pumpkin pie spice- and are added alternatively with whole milk. The prepared batter gets divided between 3 prepared round pans before being baked in the oven.
Once the layers have cooled completely, we can prepare the buttercream. Unsalted butter is creamed and combined with powdered sugar, extract, and loads of cinnamon. After being smoothed out with a little milk, we can assemble the cake by spreading a little of the spiced buttercream between each of the leveled layers. Use any remaining buttercream to garnish or decorate the cake as desired. I opted to sprinkle on a few Valrhona Pearls, but that is entirely optional.
If you’re looking for a fall-flavored cake to try this weekend, I hope you’ll consider this pumpkin layer cake! Happy Friday and Happy Baking!
If you like this pumpkin layer cake you should try:
Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting
Brown Butter Balsamic Caramel Cake
Creme Brûlée Cake
Pumpkin Layer Cake
This pumpkin layer cake features fluffy pumpkin layers and a cinnamon sugar buttercream that is perfect for fall desserts!
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 180
- Yield: 9 Servings
- Category: Dessert
For the cake:
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
For the filling:
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons water
For the buttercream:
- 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 7 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2–3 tablespoons whole milk
To bake the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 3- 8” round pans with baking spray and cut out rounds of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream the butter on medium speed for 2 minutes until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the sugar, creaming for an additional 2 minutes until smooth. Add the eggs, mixing on low speed after each addition until combined evenly. Add the vanilla and pumpkin, stirring on low to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture. Stir on low to combine. Add half of the milk, stirring on low to combine. Repeat this process with the remaining dry and wet ingredients. Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold in any unincorporated bits. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
To prepare the filling:
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, whisking together until smooth.
To prepare your buttercream and cake:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and slightly pale, about 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon and whip an additional minute. Add the milk and beat until smooth and fluffy, about an additional minute. Assemble your cake by first using a serrated knife to level the cakes. Spoon a small amount of the cinnamon sugar soak on to two of the layers to soak in. Spread a small amount of buttercream on a 8” cake board. Add your first cake layer with the cinnamon soak to the board and use an offset spatula to spread the buttercream on top. Continue layering your cakes and buttercream, finishing with the cake layer that didn’t have any soak on it, and use an offset spatula to smooth frosting on the outside as desired. Decorate with any remaining frosting.
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