The dog rescue I volunteer with had a big fundraiser over the weekend and they were looking for some desserts to auction off. I’ve had this Pumpkin Butterscotch Cake bookmarked for ages and I was so glad to finally have a chance to try it. After tasting how delicious it was I’m kicking myself for not making it earlier!
A moist and wonderfully spiced pumpkin cake is filled with thick layers of homemade butterscotch with toasted pecans. The frosting on the outside of the cake is to die for, it’s a Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream that almost tastes like a brown sugar marshmallow. I could easily eat it by the spoonful.
In other exciting news- I got a new foster dog over the weekend! She’s a total sweetheart. She’s been keeping me on my toes a little bit as we establish the house rules but she’s catching on quickly. I’m optimistic that within the next few days she’ll decide that it’s more fun to play with her toys than to chew on my shoes. Fingers crossed!
- 2½ cups purpose flour
- 2½ tsp. baking soda
- 1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¾ tsp. ground cloves
- 1¼ tsp. salt
- 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
- 1¼ cup buttermilk
- 1¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1¼ cup sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- Dash of fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, cut into 5 chunks
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
- 5 egg whites
- 1⅔ cups brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
- Use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and pumpkin.
- With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix only until just combined.
- Divide evenly between the cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Heat the cream in a small pan over medium-low heat until it is warm, but not boiling.
- In a separate medium pan set over medium-low heat, whisk the sugar and lemon juice together. Allow the sugar to sit undisturbed until it begins to melt around the edges, then gently stir. Continue stirring occasionally until all of the sugar is melted and the liquid is a golden amber color. Remove the pan from the heat and very slowly whisk in the warm cream. If the sugar hardens up, just put it back on the stove at a low heat and stir until smooth. Add the butter one piece at a time and stir to incorporate then add the salt.
- Transfer to the fridge to cool for at least 45 minutes. Once chilled, beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is thick and smooth. Refrigerate until you're ready to fill the cake. Reserve the pecans until you assemble the cake.
- Combine the egg whites, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on medium-high speed until the egg whites have cooled down and stiff peaks have formed, about 8-10 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing until each piece is incorporated. Once all of the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium high and beat until smooth and fluffy. If the mixture separates or starts to curdle, just keep mixing until it comes together again.
- Level the cake layers if necessary. Place the first layer on your serving platter and spread with half of the butterscotch filling. Sprinkle with half of the toasted pecans. Top with another layer of cake and repeat this process with the other half of the butterscotch filling and pecans. Place the final layer on top, then spread a layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake. You'll have some extra frosting which could be piped on as a garnish. Top with additional sugar or pecans if desired.
Adapted from Annie’s Eats