I’m worse than those convenience stores that sell halloween costumes in August, or Christmas decor right after halloween. I complain about those stores all the time, and here I am already bringing pumpkin spice into the mix and it’s hotter than hot here in Los Angeles. As I type this I have the AC on full blast and it’s well into the evening. What is going on right now? I’m not about this kind of life. Summer isn’t even over yet and I’ve begun to force autumn down your throats. Sure it might not feel like fall right now and okay, maybe I am rushing things a little bit, but I have good reason to. Hopefully you’ll forgive me once you find out about what’s going on. The word GIVEAWAY will most certainly catch your attention. More so because I just capitalized it. It should catch your attention though because I myself love free things. More free things for everyone, is my motto.
I don’t host as many giveaways on here as I should, and I always tell myself, “Self, you should host more giveaways on the blog.” I then proceed to tell myself what a good idea I just had, and give myself a few pats on the back. But then I somehow forget about it, but that’s probably a good thing, because when I do remember to give stuff away, it makes it a lot more special. Don’t you agree? This giveaway happens to be special. Look mamma! I’m on the cover of a magazine! Well, not me but my work is, and that definitely still counts. That’s my big bundt (cake) right there on the cover. Isn’t it marvelous? Right there on the cover.
A few months back, way back when summer was just starting and it most certainly felt way too soon to think about, let alone talk about fall time desserts and pumpkin spice in general, I was busy brainstorming a few recipes for this magazine, “The Pumpkin Spice Handbook.” It’s the ultimate guide to the incredibly loved fall time spice blend. There’s over 100 recipes, that all use pumpkin spice in it, from savory to sweet. It’s all jam-packed into this amazing looking magazine. I myself have two recipes in it (humble brag) and I would love it if you snagged yourself a copy. Note: This Pumpkin Pie Cake isn’t one of the two recipes. This is one from the drawing board that didn’t make it in the issue. So you’ll definitely want to get the other two recipes I contributed. You won’t regret it. It’s on sale now and you can find it in Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and most major grocery stores nationwide (basically all the stores).
Lucky for you, yes you reading this post, right at this very moment, I’m giving away a few copies to three lucky winners! Big shout out to the gracious editor, Elise Portale, for making this giveaway possible. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me what your favorite fall dessert is (or savory dish for those without a sweet tooth). Three people will be picked at random on Saturday. My mom will pick the winners because she loves reading all of your comments anyway, so we might as well make her useful (kidding, mom). No, but really. Good luck! I’m sending you all positive vibes. I want you to win.
Let’s talk about this cake for a second. This cake is everything I love. It tastes just like pumpkin pie but in cake form. There’s definitely pie crust involved because it wouldn’t be pumpkin pie with crust. That’s the best part. Mix the dry ingredients first. In a large bowl, whisk (or sift, if you’re into that sort of thing) the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin spice.
**Note: Pumpkin spice already has cinnamon in it, but if you’re like me and love cinnamon, it’s never enough. So I add a bit more to the dry ingredients so that we can really taste it in the cake.**
Cream together the butter and brown sugar until lightly and fluffy, using an electric mixer (handheld or stand) because this is the 21st century after all and the last thing anyone should be doing right now is creaming together butter and sugar by hand. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to blend well after each addition. You might have to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl…just to make sure it’s all evenly incorporated.
Stir in the pumpkin and vanilla. It’ll look curdled after you mix in the pumpkin, but don’t worry that’s okay. Everything will be fine!
**Note: Canned pumpkin is totally okay for this recipe, but if you’re feeling adventurous and want to roast the pumpkin at home you definitely should. Just in case you don’t know how and need a little tutorial, here’s one from a few years back! Homemade Pumpkin Purée.**
Next, add the dry ingredients along with the buttermilk, alternating between the two. Make sure you start and end with the dry ingredients. So add a 1/3 of the dry, and mix, then add half of the buttermilk, mix, 1/3 of dry, mix, last of buttermilk, mix and last of dry. Mix once more. Once the last addition has been added, make sure to get to the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to get everything incorporated fully.
**Tip: Try not to over-mix the batter at this point. After each addition, stir until just incorporated. It’ll prevent the cake from becoming dense and dry!**
Pour the batter evenly into 3, 8-inch round cake pans. Give the pans a gentle rap on the counter to dislodge any air bubbles trapped in the batter and pan. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Meanwhile, let’s make a basic pie dough. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
**Note: This part of the recipe is strictly optional. The pie crust is only used for the decorations that’ll go on the finished cake to give it that great looking appearance. You don’t have to do this step if you don’t want to. Or you can just use store-bought pie dough if you don’t want to make it from scratch.**
Cut in the butter and shortening using your fingers, two knives, a pastry blender or a vegetable masher (it works).
**Tip: For super flaky pie crust, make sure the butter and shortening are super duper cold. Also make sure to work rather quickly so that the warmth from your hands doesn’t softened them up too much.**
Add the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, and mix by hand with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the dough comes together.
Shape into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight. (If chilling overnight, make sure you set it out on the counter at least 30 minutes before rolling to thaw a bit).
Once chilled, roll out on a lightly floured work to about 1/4-inch thick and then cut out into desired shapes. I used leaves and small circles. Brush the cutouts with egg wash (egg whisked with a splash of water) and sprinkle with turbinado sugar for an added layer of texture.
**Note: You can score the leaves with a pairing knife to make them look like grooves on a leaf if you wish. Do it before the egg wash.**
Bake for until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure to turn the pan halfway through baking, so that they brown evenly.
Once the cakes have cooled completely and the pie crust cookies have finished baking, you can make the frosting.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the orange zest and fresh orange juice and a tiny bit of pumpkin. Then mix until combined. Add the sugar, a cup at a time, and then beat on high until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes.
To assemble the cake, trim off the tops of each layer to flatten them out. Then place one layer on a cake stand or cake plate. Add a dollop of frosting and spread out evenly with an offset spatula.
Continue in the same manner with the remaining two layers. Then add a crumb coating of frosting to the cake so you can grab your bearings.
**Note: A crumb coating on a cake is when you frost it very thinly with frosting and it’s not super perfect and there’s crumbs all up on it and what not. This is to hold it all in place, right before we add the nice layer of frosting. Once crumb coated, place the cake in the fridge and allow it to set for about half an hour to an hour. This will make frosting 100% easier, I promise.**
Add the final layer of frosting and smooth it out as much as possible using your offset spatula, or plastic bench scraper if you’re really skilled. Add a nice decorative border on the tip if you’re feeling fancy.
Decorate the cake with the pie crust cookies and chopped pecans as you wish. Again, that’s optional, but I feel like it adds a nice element to the cake. It makes it look like autumn.
You can go ahead and decorate exactly like I did, and take all of the credit. I don’t mind at all. We’ll pretend like you had the idea. What are friends for? I won’t say anything. It’ll be our little secret.
If you’re not going to serve/eat it right away, you can store the cake in the fridge until ready to unveil it to your friends and family or guests. You’d probably want it to come to room temperature before you slice it though, just so it’s more enjoyable.
And that concludes my swan song…my cake song. Make this cake this weekend because you don’t want to be missing out. We’ll pretend like it’s fall (and not over 100 degrees at the moment) and reminisce about all the things we’re going to make/eat soon.
Remember to enter the giveaway just leave a comment below letting me know what your favorite autumn dessert (or dinner for those of you without a sweet tooth) and three lucky winners will be picked at random. My mom will pick Saturday morning, because she loves getting involved on the blog, so the winners will be notified Saturday afternoon. A couple of rules (because we should make this as fun as possible for everyone):
- DON’T enter more than once. It won’t up your chances. That’s basically cheating and if you think we won’t know, think again. We will know, trust me. (My mom knows everything, its scary).
- DON’T just give me one worded responses. I mean you could if you want to, but I want to hear some details. Like when did you have this dish? How old were you? Why do you like it so much? Does it have a special memory attached to it? My mom likes reading your stories.
- DO have fun because that’s what life is all about. We should have fun with these things so that we can have more giveaways in the future!
- Good luck! I’m rooting for you!
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Orange Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
- Pumpkin Spice Pie Crust Cookies (recipe follows)
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3, 8-inch round cake pans, set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin spice and cinnamon.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and pumpkin until well combined. It'll appear to be curdled, don't worry. That's okay. Add the dry ingredients along with the buttermilk, alternating between the two. Make sure to start and end with the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated after each addition.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Give them a few raps on the counter to dislodge any air bubbles. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool in pans for about 10 minutes. Invert and allow to cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
- To assemble the cake, cut the tops off of each layer with a serrated knife to even out. Place one layer on a cake stand or cake plate, and add a dollop of frosting. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Repeat with the remaining two layers. Coat the cake thinly with frosting and chill in fridge for at least half an hour. Remove from fridge and cover nicely with remaining frosting. Add a border to the top and decorate with pie crust cookies and chopped pecans. Cut and serve immediately or chill until ready to eat. Enjoy!
- Yield: 8 to 12 servings
- 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin purée (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 4 to 6 cups powdered sugar
- Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium-high until light and fluffy. Add the salt, pumpkin purée, vanilla extract, orange zest and orange juice and mix until well combined.
- Add the powdered sugar, one cup at at time, mixing until just combined. Once all the sugar has been added, raise the speed to high and beat for about 7 minutes until light and fluffy. If it's too soft, add more sugar. If it's too thick, add a splash more fresh orange juice or milk. Use right away on pumpkin pie cake. Enjoy!
- Yield: about 3 cups
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
- 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 4 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water
- 1 egg, whisked with a splash of water
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and pumpkin spice. Cut in the butter and shortening with your fingers, two knives, a pastry blender or a vegetable masher until it resembles coarse crumbs the size of peas.
- Add the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, and mix by hand with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until it comes together to form a rough dough. Shape into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the chilled dough into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Cut out into desired shapes and place on prepared cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool completely. Use on pumpkin pie cake. Enjoy!
- Yield: about 12 to 16 cookies