Funny thing is, this recipe was born simply because of one can of pumpkin. Yep. I had a can of pumpkin in my pantry and really wanted to use it for something, but I didn’t want to make a pie, or more cookies, and even a quick bread or muffins. I wanted cake. So I searched for Pumpkin Cake and I found this recipe
. There are 183 reviews of this cake, many repeat comments included:
“best cake we’ve ever had”
“so incredibly moist”
“I’ve had so many requests for this recipe”
Etc, etc, etc. So how could I not build off of that? Something that many of the commenters said was that they replaced some of the oil with applesauce, so I did too. Many reviewers recommended topping this with a cream cheese frosting, but I wanted something different… Many months ago I discovered the tasty combination of chocolate and pumpkin when the Tuesdays with Dorie group made Pumpkin Muffins
and I added chocolate chips to mine. So I wanted to make my cake considerably different than everyone else’s. So I give you the cake that everyone in this house says is one of the best I’ve ever made! :)
NOTE: There are two types of pumpkin lovers: subtle and spicy. If you are of the subtle variety like me, this recipe is perfect the way it is. If you prefer to really taste the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc) you will probably want to add more.
Amanda’s 4 Layer Chocolate Dappled Pumpkin Cake
by Amanda Formaro (how fun is that??)
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce*
1 15-oz can pumpkin
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped fine
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped fine
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
5 tbsp powdered sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces (not softened)
Make the Cake:
Center rack in oven and preheat to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans. Line the bottoms of each cake pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cocoa. Set aside.
Fit mixer with paddle attachment. In large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil and applesauce on low speed to combine. Add vanilla and pumpkin. Increase speed to medium and beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture, mix until just combined. Turn off mixer and use a rubber spatula to scape sides and bottom of bowl, combine any dry ingredient traces.
Pour batter into the two prepared pans. I use a large Pyrex measuring cup to see how much batter I have, then I separate according to the measurement to get equal layers. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate evenly over the top of each layer. Use a metal spatula (or your fingers) to gently swirl the chocolate into the batter without sinking it.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until center of cake springs back to a gentle touch. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen sides of cake from the pan using a metal icing spatula. Invert cake and remove parchment paper, then cool completely, facing up on wire rack.
Make the Filling:
Fit mixer with paddle attachment. Beat together, on medium-low speed, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla just to combine. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until creamy. Remove 2/3 of the mixture and set aside. Add 3 tablespoons of cocoa to remaining mixture and beat until completely combined and creamy. Set aside.
Using the whisk attachment, beat heavy cream on medium high until it forms stiff peaks.
Fold 2/3 of the whipped cream into the white cream cheese mixture. Fold the remaining 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate cream cheese mixture.
Note: If you test the chocolate mixture for taste do not be tempted to add sugar as it may not taste very sweet. Your opinion will change once the cake is assembled!
Assembling the Cake:
Cut each cake layer in half horizontally, using a gentle sawing motion with a large serrated knife. You may refrigerate the layers before doing this to make it even easier to cut.
Line a cake plate with a piece of parchment paper. Place one of the layers, cut side up, onto the parchment paper. Spread half of the white cream cheese mixture onto the cake layer, spreading it out evenly and to about 1/4″ from the edge. Sprinkle 1/3 of the chopped semisweet chocolate over the cream cheese filling and gently press it down with your fingers. Add second cake layer, cut side up, on top of first layer. Spread the chocolate cream cheese mixture onto that layer and sprinkle with another third of the chopped semisweet chocolate, pressing down gently. Add third cake layer (save a top layer for the top of the cake), cut side up, and spread with the remaining white cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with remaining chopped semisweet chocolate and press gently. Position last cake layer on top.
Making the Glaze:
Position a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, bowl should not touch the water. Melt bittersweet chocolate in the bowl, stirring often, cook only until just melted. Remove from heat and add in powdered sugar and butter pieces. Whisk gently until smooth. Pour glaze onto the top of the cake. Using a metal icing spatula to spread the glaze to the sides, allowing it to drip down the sides. Use icing spatula to spread glaze evenly across the top and on the sides of the cake.
Allow glaze to set. Can be kept at room temperature, but if you will have it longer than a day, should be stored, preferably covered, in the refrigerator. Will last a few days, should be brought to room temperature before serving for best flavor.
* Oh yeah, one more note, I didn’t use jar applesauce as I didn’t have any. I did have two large yellow delicious apples that were past their prime though. So I peeled, cored, and cut those those into eighths, then added about 1/2″ apple juice to a saucepan and threw them in. I brought them to a boil over medium heat and cooked them (covered) until tender, then ran the mixture through the blender. Had plenty leftover to enjoy later. :) By the way, you don’t have to add sugar if you use a sweet variety of apples such as Delicious.
I’m excited, as this is the first recipe I’ve made on my own that I have actually remembered to write down!
Special thanks to Dorie Greenspan
as her book Baking From My Home to Yours
has taught me so much about baking and stepping out of my comfort zone. Thanks Dorie :) You’re not only a fabulous baker, you are a marvelous and kind person as well.
Please let me know if you try this, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I’ve entered this cake into the CSI Baking Challenge