Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tale of Two Chocolate Pumpkin Cakes

I'm starting to think my friends have caught on.

They must have figured it out.

They know....

I love to bake! I knew it would leak out. I only put it in neon lights in front of my house.

They have been sending me subtle clues. Emailing me recipes, asking me if I could make "this" or have I heard of "that". My favorite is when they bring me bits and pieces of sweets they recently had a restaurant. "How do you think they made that?"

Seriously friends, just come out and say it. 
"Will you make this for me sometime in the near future?" Or more specifically, next Thursday.

There, was that so hard. You all know I love you just as much as I love caking.

I have two such cakes for you.

I was asked to make a chocolate pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting found on
Lady Behind the Curtain.

Looked like a yummy cake, but I was also asked to make a birthday cake for our dear Pastors wife. I wanted to do something similar but with my own flare. Soo...
I made another Chocolate Pumpkin recipe with Caramel Buttercream.

Let me tell you about them both.....
Let's start with the taste tester cupcakes.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcake with Cream cheese frosting, topped with ganache.

I liked the LBtC cake the best, the pumpkin made it super moist. 

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Caramel buttercream frosting.

I liked the Caramel Buttercream the best of the two frostings.

Let me tell you why....

Cake: Amanda's cake tasted like a pumpkin pie cake, it was good, but maybe too much pumpkin flavor. It was still moist and delicious. LBtC's cake didn't really taste pumpkiny, but it was super moist. I suppose you will have to decide what flavor you are looking for.

Frosting: The Caramel Buttercream was made with my homemade caramel and I just really love it. I am not a huge fan of cream cheese frosting... I know.. .I'm weird.
I will say, I put Ganache in the layers of the cake with the frosting, you can never have too much chocolate.

Here are the Recipes......

First up, Pumpkin Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from Lady Behind the Curtain

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (Dutch if you want a dark rich chocolate cake)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 8-inch ( I used 3 8-inch because I wanted a taller cake) with parchment paper and lightly spray with a non stick cooking spray.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
Stir the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl.
Beat the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately beat in the flour and buttermilk mixtures in thirds.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until a tester, inserted in the center, come out clean–about 35 minutes. Cool layers completely before frosting.

Frosting Recipe


6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2-1/4 teaspoons cocoa
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon orange food coloring


Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add 1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar, 2-1/4 teaspoons cocoa, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat on low until well combined. Transfer to a larger bowl. Clean the mixing bowl. Beat the heavy cream, 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and orange food coloring on medium high to soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until well combined. Spread 1 cup frosting between the two layers and use the remaining frosting to ice the top and sides of the cake. Chill 30 minutes and prepare chocolate glaze.

Ganache recipe at end of post


Chocolate Pumpkin cake with Caramel buttercream topped with Ganache

cake inspired by Amanda's Cookin

2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter softened
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped fine

Line your pans with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spice and cocoa. Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugars in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add pumpkin and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Gradually add flour mixture until combined.
Toss chocolate chips with a Tbls of flour and fold in to the mixture.
Pour into pans and bake 30-35 minutes. 
Cool for about 5 minutes and turn cakes out.

Caramel Buttercream
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening
6 cups powdered sugar
1/2-1 cup caramel sauce (depends on your taste, I used about 3/4 cup)
1 Tbs heavy whipping cream (you could use milk too)

In the bowl of mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening until fluffy.
Sift in 3 cups of the powdered sugar until combined
Add caramel sauce
Sift in the remaining 3 cups of powdered sugar
Beat until smooth add more caramel sauce if needed
Add the heavy cream and beat until smooth and fluffy adding more if needed

I usually beat on med-high speed for about 3-5 minutes to get it good and fluffy.

Ganache to use for both cakes

3 tablespoons corn syrup
6 ounces heavy cream
12 ounces dark chocolate, I use Ghirardelli choc. chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan combine the corn syrup and heavy cream.
Bring the contents of saucepan to a simmer and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth

Stir in vanilla

I do hope this was helpful in decidng which Pumpkin Chocolate Cake you want to make... or eat.

Baking from my heart to your kitchen,


  1. I'm not a big fan of cream cheese either. I AM a fan of caramel buttercream!!! Great cakes!

  2. Now I know why this looks so good! Your name is Dawn, great name ;)
    Dawn here from SpatulasOnParade and a host for Foodie Friends Friday, thanks for linking up with us. Remember today is voting day!

  3. These look so yummy!

    Happy Thanksgiving!