Along with a hearty Fall meal, at my annual pumpkin carving party, I like to serve a pumpkin themed dessert.

In the past I've done ice cream sandwiches and pumpkin bars, but this year I've been all about cakes, so I'll be whipping up a relatively easy pumpkin cake.

The batter is seasoned with orange zest and the frosting is a decadent blend of caramel and cream cheese.

The resulting cake is festive and seasonal and can be made several days before the party. To take a look at the recipe I plan on using, keep reading.

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake With Caramel and Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake With Caramel and Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. Cake:
  2. 3 cups all purpose flour
  3. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  8. 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  10. 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  11. 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  12. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  13. 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  14. 4 large eggs
  15. 2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
  16. Frosting:
  17. 1 1-pound box powdered sugar, divided
  18. 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  19. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  20. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  21. 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  22. 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  23. Candied orange peel, optional for garnish


  1. For cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides, tapping out any excess flour.
  2. Whisk first 9 ingredients in large bowl.
  3. Using electric mixer, beat pumpkin, sugar, and oil in another large bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to incorporate between additions. Mix in orange peel.
  4. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  5. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 33 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Invert onto rack, then turn top side up and cool completely.
  6. For frosting: Sprinkle 1/2 cup powdered sugar over bottom of small nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until sugar melts (do not stir). Continue cooking until sugar turns deep amber, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Carefully stir in 1/2 cup cream, vanilla, and salt (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until any caramel bits dissolve. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon cream. Strain into small bowl. Cool caramel to room temperature.
  7. Sift remaining powdered sugar into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat in cooled caramel. Cover and chill frosting until firm enough to spread, about 2 hours.
  8. Using long serrated knife, trim rounded tops from cakes. Place 1 cake layer on cake plate, cut side up. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over.
  9. Place second cake layer, cut side down, atop frosting. Cover top and sides of cake with remaining frosting, creating smooth surface. If desired, sprinkle candied orange peel over top of cake. Cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 12.

Make ahead: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with cake dome or large bowl and chill. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours before serving.

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