Happy happy virtual pumpkin party! I am so, so grateful to have come across this amazing collection of foodies on the internet! I love knowing that I am part of a little supportive web via my phone or computer, and am constantly blown away by not only how amazing people are, but the raw talent that is out there!
The lovely Sara and Aimee were kind enough to organise a virtual pumpkin party this year! A bunch of bloggers all got together and we have all posted pumpkin recipes today. You can check out the full list on Sara and Aimee's sites, and follow along on Instagram with #virtualpumpkinparty! I am so excited to check out everyone's posts!
Confession time : Canned pumpkin freaks me out. I don't know why it does, it shouldn't, its no different to ANYTHING else in a can. Haha. Maybe I am just an egg. It doesn't exist in New Zealand. When I was growing up we had an american exchange student staying with us who told us all about canned pumpkin - we didn't believe her, so she sent us a can of it all the way from the states. I don't think we ever opened it. In NZ pumpkin is very much more of a savoury thing - we don't celebrate thanksgiving so pumpkin pie isn't very prolific, we don't have the same obsession with pumpkin spice that America has, and the most common way to have it is either in a soup, or roasted. So I have made my own puree here, but if you don't have a weird aversion to it like I do, (its not you, its most definitely me), canned will work beautifully.
With that being said, I have a new found love for sweet pumpkin recipes! I love how the pumpkin stands up against the brown sugar and spices that are added, and this cake is no different. It is a simple pumpkin cake, with a little spice, finished off with a thin coating of german buttercream. German buttercream, unlike its Swiss and Italian cousins, is custard based, so a little less 'buttery' tasting. It goes amazingly with the pumpkin in the cake.
The cake itself is quite moist, so will keep wrapped for a few days in the fridge, making it the perfect make ahead dessert for an autumn or thanksgiving party. You can also prepare the pastry cream/custard for the german buttercream ahead of time, so when it comes to assembling all you will need to do is whip up the buttercream and frost the cake.
I have added a recipe for home made pumpkin spice - these quantities make a small jar which is amazing to have on hand. Alternatively you can use a bought pumpkin spice mix.
This makes a fairly large cake - if you are catering for less people, a half recipe will fill three six inch pans nicely - but make the same amount of buttercream. Theres nothing worse than not having enough.
AND what is a party without presents! The lovely Amy from Aheirloom and I have teamed up to bring you an awesome giveaway, which is double the fun because there are going to be two winners! We are giving away two skinny maple cake stands, same as the one I have used here - one to each winner. Amy's work is nothing short of incredible, and her cake stands compliment any cake perfectly! All you have to do is make sure you are following both Amy and I on Instagram, then leave a comment here on the blog post telling us what you would put on a cake stand! The competition is open to US and Canadian residents, and is open until Midnight on the 31st of October. Be sure to leave your instagram name in the comments!
Made this recipe and love it?
If you made this recipe then I would LOVE for you to leave me a review below to let me know how you liked it! Also, please make sure to tag me on Instagram if you make it!
A note on salt and oven temperature
It is important to note the type of salt that is called for in a recipe. I use Diamond Crystal salt throughout my recipes - if you use a different sort of kosher salt or regular table salt you will need to adjust accordingly as some salt is 'saltier' than others. Morton's salt is twice as salty, so you will need half the quantity. Same goes for a regular table salt. I am working to get gram measurements throughout my recipes for salt but still getting there.
All oven temperatures are conventional unless otherwise stated. If you are baking on fan / convection, you will need to adjust the temperature. An oven thermometer is a great investment to ensure that your oven is the correct temperature.
Using the double / triple function in the recipe card
You will notice that there is a '1X' '2X' '3X' button in my recipe card. This can be used for doubling or tripling a recipe. However, please note that this only doubles the ingredient quantities in the ingredients list and NOT in the method. If there are quantities or pan sizes in the method of the recipe (for example weigh out 150g brown butter), you will need to scale this number manually. It will also not change the baking time in the recipe so you will need to adjust this yourself too. It is always a good idea to read through a recipe fully before doubling it just to check this. If you would like to scale this recipe or convert for another pan size, use my calculator!
Tools and equipment
For a list of my go-to tools and equipment, I have a post you can refer to here.
Why is this recipe in grams?
I post my recipes in grams as it is the most accurate way to bake. Cups are not only inaccurate but they vary in volume worldwide. There is no way for me to provide one cup measure that works for everyone. However, posting in weight fixes this issue. If you would like the recipe in cups you are welcome to convert it yourself via google, but please do not ask me to do it for you as I am not comfortable providing a recipe using a method that I have not tested. Baking with a scale is easy, accurate, and also makes cleanup super simple. Here is the scale that I use if you would like a recommendation! Here's to accurate baking!Print
Spiced pumpkin cake
- 5 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 4 tsp nutmeg
- 4 tsp ginger
- 2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp allspice
- 900g fresh pumpkin, peeled, seeded and diced into 1 inch chunks, OR 2 cups of canned pumpkin
- 3 ⅓ cups (550g) flour
- 3 tsp (15g) baking powder
- 1 tsp (5g) baking soda
- 2 Tbsp Pumpkin spice
- 2 cups (500ml) neutral oil
- 1 ¼ cups (280g) sugar
- 1 ¼ cups (250g) brown sugar
- 1 tsp (4g) salt
- 6 eggs
- 1 ½ cups (375ml) milk
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla bean paste, extract, or the scrapings of one vanilla bean
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp (255g) sugar
- 3 Tbsp (24g) corn starch
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 cups (675g, or 6 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature.
- pinch of salt
Flowers to decorate if desired. (ensure that they are edible, or tape the stems before placing onto the cake)
- Mix all ingredients together in a jar.
- Preheat the oven to 325f/170c. Grease and flour three 8 inch cake tins.
- If you are making your own pumpkin puree, add the diced pumpkin to a large pot, and cover with water. Bring to the boil, and boil for 10-15 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Drain, and either mash well with a fork or masher, or transfer to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Cool slightly before using. Measure out two cups - you may have a little left over.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin spice.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in another bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, oil, sugar and salt either with the mixer or a whisk/electric mixer. Beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition to ensure it is incorporated.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture a third at a time and mix until just incorporated. Ensure that there are no dry parts.
- Divide the mixture between the tins, and bake for 40-45 minutes, checking for doneness after 40 minutes, and giving it 5 more minutes at a time if necessary. Cool in the tins for 15 minutes then turn onto a wire cake rack to cool completely.
VANILLA GERMAN BUTTERCREAM
- In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, egg, egg yolk and salt. In a medium non-stick saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla to just shy of a simmer. Remove from the heat.
- Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan.
- Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow dish or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold. If you are in a hurry, you can speed up this process by placing the custard mixture into a bowl, and placing the bowl into an ice bath, stirring frequently.
- Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip the custard mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat for a few minutes until smooth and silky.
- Level your cake layers using a cake leveler or a bread knife. Place the first cake layer on a turntable or cake stand. Smooth a thick layer of buttercream over the layer using an offset spatula. Place the second layer on top, and again smooth a layer of buttercream. Place the final layer on top, ensuring that the edges are straight and aligned. Using an offset spatula, give the whole cake a coating of buttercream, then use a scraper to remove most of it from the outside of the cake to give a 'semi naked' effect. Smooth the top of the cake, then decorate with flowers. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove from the fridge an hour or so before serving to allow cake to come to temperature.
Cake Adapted from Tartine