Guys. I made the BEST PUMPKIN CAKE. EVER. And all my dog park friends can confirm because I brought them two rounds of tester cake. Heheh.
To be fair, I absolutely love anything that contains cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, especially when it comes in cake form. And I especially love pumpkin desserts.
But like for real, this pumpkin cake is the best ever. It’s super moist from the addition of pumpkin puree, and perfectly flavored with pumpkin pie spice goodness.
And then there’s the cream cheese frosting. OH THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING. What a glorious thing, am I right?
Vanilla buttercream is fine and all, but especially when you’re dealing with a spice cake, I love using cream cheese frosting. Plus, the slight tang pairs perfectly with the sweeter salted caramel drizzle on top.
I kid you not I have made this cake 4 times because I loved it that much. It’s like… fall gets all these fun desserts like donuts, pies, and muffins, but where are all the fall cakes? Cakes need fall too, people. And fall needs cakes.
Hope you enjoy this miraculous cake. It’s alright, I guess. 🙂
For the cake
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the salted caramel
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 oz butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8 inch cake pans and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until well combined.
- Evenly pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes minutes, then allow to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the caramel, in a medium saucepan, heat the sugar on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Use a spatula to occasionally stir the sugar, getting to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the sugar is fully melted and turns a medium gold hue, remove from heat immediately and stir in butter. The mixture will violently bubble. Use your spatula to stir the butter and sugar until they melt together completely.
- Next, pour in the heavy cream. Use your spatula to stir until everything is combined. Place back on the stove for about 30 seconds, stirring the whole time. Remove from heat, stir in salt, and allow to cool at room temperature while you make your frosting.
- In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract, salt, and powdered sugar and whip to combine, about 2 minutes more.
- Place the first cake on a plate, then top with a large dollop of frosting. Layer the second and third layers, frosting in between each. Finish with frosting the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting.
- Place the slightly cooled salted caramel in a squeeze bottle or piping bag with a small tip (if it's feeling too solid, place in the microwave for 10 seconds). Starting from the center, squeeze out the caramel in a tight spiral, going all the way to the edge of the cake. When you're at the edge of the cake, make small zig-zag-like movements to allow the caramel to fall off the side of the cake.
- If you'd like, decorate the top of your cake with fresh figs, pomegranate, and blackberries 🙂