Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel {recipe}

Pumpkin Spice Cake Cream Cheese Frosting Caramel
We baked this little bit of layered heaven, Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel. We baked the cake in two 9-inch round pans, and just so we could squeeze MORE cream cheese frosting into the cake, we split the two in half into four layers. We could feel our inner overachievers reaching for maple or browned butter or candied citrus, or even additional spices for the cream cheese frosting, but we kept fairly simple so as not to compete with the spices in the cake. A flood of caramel is the “ta-da” that puts this cake over the top. Literally.

Pumpkin Spice Cake Cream Cheese Frosting Caramel
Make sure you also check out a few of the Holiday recipes we put together in our own TasteSpotting Kitchen recently.

We baked Gougeres, or what we like to call little puffs of buttery, cheesy deliciousness.

We also baked a Breakfast Tart with Caramelized Onions, Bacon (!), Sweet Potatoes and Sunny Side Up Eggs — who knew you could “bake” sunny side up eggs in the oven?

Possibly our favorite dish is the Butternut Squash Bacon Mac and Cheese, though the Rosemary Olive Oil Cake is pretty terrific, too (but in a totally different way).
Pumpkin Spice Cake Cream Cheese Frosting Caramel

Pumpkin Spice Cake Cream Cheese Frosting Caramel

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel {recipe}

This is the cake.


butter for pans and parchment liners
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 stick butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (about 1½ cups)
Simple Cream Cheese Frosting (quadruple this, the last recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting You’ll Ever Need)
Caramel Sauce (this recipe by Rose Levy Berenbaum)


BAKE the PUMPKIN CAKE: Preheat to 350°F.

Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with rounds of parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper, as well, then flour the parchment paper bottom and sides of the pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer), beat on medium speed granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in pumpkin and vanilla until just combined (low speed on the mixer).

Add the flour/spice mixture to the butter/sugar/eggs mixture, stirring until just combined.

Divide the batter between the buttered pans. Lightly tap the pans on the countertop and smooth out the tops of the batter.

Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pan, start to barely turn golden at the edges, and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool the baked cakes for 15 minutes in their pans. Flip the cakes onto wire cooling racks and peel off the parchment paper. Let cool completely (upside down, so the rounded tops can flatten out a little).

You can bake the layers a day in advance, let them cool, wrap them up tightly in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator.

Make the Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe here).

Make the caramel.

(Obviously, you don’t have to wait until the cakes are baked and cooled to make cream cheese frosting and caramel. Time them how you best see fit. My recommendation is to get the cakes in the oven. While the cakes are baking, make the Cream Cheese Frosting, wrap it, up and put it in the refrigerator. While the cakes are cooling, make the caramel.)

Carefully slice cooled cake layers across the “equator” into two halves each. Brush away any errant crumbs. Place one layer on a cake stand or plate — I’ve had better luck when I place layers with the flat, cut side down. Top the bottom later with enough frosting to make a ½-inch thick layer of frosting. Add a second layer. Top the second layer with a ½-inch thick layer of frosting. Add the third layer, frost, and finally add the fourth layer. Frost the tops and sides of the cake. Try to frost the top as flat and level as possible so the caramel doesn’t run off too easily.

Drizzle caramel sauce over the top of the cake. You can also leave the cake as is and drizzle caramel sauce on each piece of cake on individual plates.

This recipe and post brought to you today by our friends at Thermador, who provided us with a DOUBLE WALL OVEN valued at $6,600 to give to our recipe contest winner! Thanks, Thermador!

Pumpkin Spice Cake Cream Cheese Frosting Caramel

Caramel Sauce in bowl

by Sarah J. Gim on November 19, 2012 · 12 comments

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Spiceologist Pete November 19, 2012 at 3:45 am

Nothing like fresh pumpkin spice! Also, I got creative towards the end and drizzled *maple bourbon caramel over the top.. Thanks Sarah for the new fall favorite :)
Family loved it-


Susie November 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm

I’ve never made a layer cake above 2 stories high. I may give this a go as it looks delicious. Then I will enter the contest and I use my new oven to bake 3 or 4 story cakes and never have to buy a store bought cake again.


Lindsay November 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Pretty! Love the photos.


thyme (sarah) November 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I have to pop in and say these photos are just BEAUTIFUL!!


john j November 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm

why no print prompt!


e / dig in hobart November 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm

wow, what a tall cake! looks so moist and those spices smell wonderful :-)


Judy Armstrong November 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Thanks. Great Picture and I found the answer to my previous question……just by reading a bit more. I apologize and Thank You again for this great contest.


Ruta December 5, 2012 at 3:02 am

Oh wow the way the caramel drips is just amazing!! Thank you for the recipe!
Also, Sarah, there is this game going on, it would be great if you could participate :] http://missnak.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/salad-and-game.html and don’t worry, I understand you’re busy!


Deeba Rajpal (@vindee) December 17, 2012 at 1:51 am

That is one gorgeous looking cake! WOW!!


Busybee D January 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Making now batter is a little thick!


Busybee D January 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm

A sweet success! I had every spice in cabinet! What a great way to use! A perfect treat on a cold winter day! All four layers


Piadas August 9, 2013 at 11:52 am

Oh my goodness! That’s a sweet sin! lol


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: