Pumpkin Layer Cake

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Photo of Pumpkin Layer Cake

A sponge cake filled with chunks of pumpkin, and covered with a pumpkin-and-cream icing.


Sponge Cake

  • 6 eggs
  • 170g sugar
  • 112g cake flour
  • 56g all-purpose flour
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp ground ginger

Pumpkin Filling

  • 1 sugar pumpkin, (ca 3-4 lbs / 1.3-1.7kg)
  • 1½ cups apple juice
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 clove
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp kirschwasser
  • ½ - 1 cup apple juice

Pumpkin Cream Mixture

  • 500ml cream
  • 1 tsp kirschwasser
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • pinch of white pepper

Assembling the Cake

  • Kirschwasser for brushing the sponges
  • Small chocolates to decorate, e.g. chocolate-covered ginger.


Sponge Cake

  1. Sift together cake flour, all-purpose flour and ground ginger.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Combine eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl.
  4. Set bowl in water bath and warm the mixture to a bit more than hand-warm (ca. 43°C), whisk constantly.
  5. Remove bowl from water bath, beat at high speed until mixture is foamy and has reached its maximum volume
  6. Incorporate flour, mixing very carefully with your hand or a spatula. Make sure to not deflate the foam.
  7. Very carefully stir in melted butter, again try to avoid deflating the foam as much as possible.
  8. Pour into a greased 10 in / 25cm spring form. Bake immediately for ca. 15-20 minutes.
  9. Let cool, then remove from form.

Pumpkin Filling

  1. Cut pumpkin in half. Remove seeds and stringy interior. Place in a large pot, add a cup of water water, cover and bring to a boil. Cook ca. 20-30 minutes (10 minutes at high pressure in a pressure cooker) until the pumpkin starts to soften. Remove skin, cut into small (½ in / 1cm) cubes. Set aside. You will need 1.5lbs / 700g of the pumpkin cubes.
  2. Set heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Add butter and cook until lightly browned. Stir in sugar, cook until it starts to brown, too.
  3. Stir in pumpkin cubes. Add the clove, salt and spices and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add 1½ cups / 360ml apple juice and the kirschwasser and simmer uncovered until mixture starts to thicken.
  5. Let cool and refrigerate for a few hours. Adjust consistency by stirring in more apple juice (ca. ½ - 1 cup / 120-240ml) until the mixture is nice and moist and has no longer a "dry mouthfeel" when tasting.

Pumpkin Cream Icing

  1. Combine whipping cream, pumpkin puree, kirschwasser, sugar and spices in a mixing bowl.
  2. Beat to stiff peaks.

Assembling the Cake

  1. Cut the sponge cake into 3 layers. Trim sponges as necessary. Reserve nicest layer for the top.
  2. Place first sponge layer on a cake pedestal. Lightly brush with kirschwasser.
  3. Fill pumpkin cream in pastry bag. Pipe two concentric rings of cream on the sponge. One around the circumference, the other near the center. Fill the room in between with pumpkin filling.
  4. Place second sponge layer on top. Press on lightly. Repeat step 3.
  5. Place last sponge layer on top. Cover top and sides of the cake with the pumpkin cream and spread evenly with a spatula or bench knife.
  6. Decorate with e.g. chocolate-covered ginger.
  7. Refrigerate well before serving

Yields 1 10in / 25cm diameter cake

The sponge cake recipe is from , scaled down to 1 cake. The pumpkin filling and icing is my idea, now tested twice.