Pumpkin layer cake with mascarpone cream and sugared pecans – three layers of the most delicious pumpkin spice cake filled with creamy vanilla mascarpone frosting and spiced sugared pecans; perfect for any fall celebration!
I just love pumpkin season don’t you? I love eating pumpkin in all forms, from soup to cookies! Pumpkin cake is one of my absolute favourite cakes to make; soft, moist and lightly spiced it is just so incredibly moreish and is super easy to make too!
Here I’ve paired the pumpkin spice cake with a smooth, creamy vanilla mascarpone frosting which is not too sweet and works wonderfully with the spicy cake. I also made some spiced sugared pecans which I scattered between the layers and also used to decorate the cake. They taste amazing, it is really difficult not to eat the lot of them before they make it onto the cake; and the crunch of the nuts is a really lovely contrast against the soft cake.
This is an impressive looking cake that will feed a crowd and would be perfect for any Autumnal celebration – birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving etc. It is an easy cake to make but does take a little while; I recommend baking the cakes and making the sugared pecans the day before you want to serve the cake. The pecans can be kept in an airtight container and the cakes can be left in their tins and wrapped in clingfilm to keep them fresh.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Pumpkin Layer Cake:
- 1 15oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 ½ cups superfine sugar
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 2 cups pecans
- 1 medium egg white
- 1/2 Tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 18 oz full fat mascarpone
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1.To make the cakes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease three 7-8 inch round cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment.
2.Whisk together the pumpkin puree, sunflower oil, eggs and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Tip the dry ingredients into the wet and fold together until smooth.
3.Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and level. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins.
4.To make the sugared pecans, preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
5.Place the egg white, water and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk until it is frothy. Mix together the sugar, spices and salt in a separate bowl. Add the pecans to the egg white and stir thoroughly to coat then tip them into the sugar mixture and mix well.
6.Tip the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it out so that the pecans are in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes then carefully turn the pecans over and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes. Allow to cool on the tray then store in an airtight container.
7.To make the mascarpone frosting; beat together the mascarpone, powdered sugar and vanilla extract with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Add the cream and whisk at a high speed until until it forms stiff peaks but be careful not to over-whip it; stop mixing as soon as it is firm. Cover and place in the fridge until needed.
8.To assemble the cake; trim the tops of the cake layers to level if needed. Roughly chop about a quarter of the pecans (make sure you save the best looking ones for decorating).
9.Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread over a layer of the frosting; scatter over a handful of the chopped pecans then place the second cake layer on top and press down gently.
10.Repeat the frosting and pecans then place the final cake layer on top, upside down so that the top of the cake is perfectly flat.
11.Spread a thin layer of frosting all over the top and sides of the cake. Place the remaining frosting in a piping bag fitted with a large open star nozzle and pipe swirls of frosting on top of the cake.
12.Place a whole pecan on top of each swirl then use little dabs of any leftover frosting to stick a ring of pecans around the bottom edge of the cake. Best eaten the day it is made but will keep for a couple of days. Keep the cake refrigerated.