Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel Frosting Recipe

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An ideal dessert for Thanksgiving would be a pumpkin layer cake that is light and fluffy, topped with a caramel icing that is decadently creamy.  


CARAMEL – 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar – 3/4 cup salted butter, cut in piece – 6 Tbsp milk or half and half WET INGREDIENTS – 1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin – 1 cup buttermilk – 1/2 cup vegetable oil – 2 large eggs – 1 cup granulated sugar – 3/4 cup brown sugar – 1/2 cup apple cider (you can also use water) – 1 Tbsp vanilla extract DRY INGREDIENTS – 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour – 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice – 2 tsp baking powder – 1 tsp baking soda – 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt NUTS – 1 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans* FOR THE FROSTING – 4 cups confectioner's sugar – 1/4 cup milk or half and half

Dust 2 9-inch cake pans with flour and spray with baking spray. Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. Make caramel first.

Step 1 


Melt ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. After melting, increase the heat and let the mixture boil. No need to stir now. 

Step 2

This takes 3–4 minutes. Cool the ingredients in a heatproof basin after boiling. Do not stir. Blend wet ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Do this by hand or in a stand mixer.

Step 3

Mix the dry ingredients and slowly add them to the wet until smooth. Don't overbeat. Incorporate nuts. Equally fill the two pans with batter. 

Step 4

Bake until the centers bounce back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without moist batter, 25–28 minutes.

Step 5

To cool, flip the cake layers after 15 minutes on a rack. Get parchment off carefully. Make frosting. Add cooled caramel to a stand mixer bowl with balloon whisk or electric beaters.   

Step 6

Beat the caramel, then add sugar one cup at a time. After the second cup of sugar, add milk or half-and-half and finish with sugar. Get thick, smooth, and creamy.

Step 7

Add milk if frosting is too thick. It may be too thin; add sugar. Frost cake after cooling. Keep your cake at room temperature or refrigerated.  

Step 8

Also See

Also See

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe