Chocolate and Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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If there were such a thing as a “mullet of cakes,” this recipe is a perfect contender for such an honor. The chocolate layer is all business with a rich, dark flavor and dense texture. While there is hot brewed coffee in the batter, the addition simply adds to the chocolate’s authority.

Now the pumpkin layer is a different story. The intense pumpkin flavor and pound cake density is closer to a dessert I would serve at a dinner party with my best pals on a Friday night than a boring Tuesday office party.

Like a quality hair cream to keep the party in the back in check and the business in front from getting too serious, the cream cheese frosting brings both layers together beautifully. Move over pumpkin pie… I have a new date for Thanksgiving!

Chocolate and Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
Author:
Recipe Type: Dessert
Serves: 6 - 8 people
Ingredients
Pumpkin Layer:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Chocolate Layer:
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup hot brewed coffee

Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of two 8” round pans with parchment paper. Grease the bottom and sides of the pans.

Pumpkin Layer:
  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small mixing bowl. Add the cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Stir until combined and set aside.
  2. Add the sugar, vegetable oil, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer until well combined. Add one egg at a time until each egg is fully incorporated.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet bowl with the mixer on low. Be careful not to over mix. Pour the finished batter into a greased round cake pan.

Chocolate Layer:
  1. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Add the sugar, milk and vegetable oil to a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract to the bowl. Continue to mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet bowl with the mixer on low. Be careful not to over mix. Carefully add the hot coffee to the batter. Pour the finished batter into a greased round cake pan.

Baking and Assembly:
  1. Bake both layers at 350 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center of each layer. It should come out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 5-10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the inside edge to loosen the sides. Carefully remove the cakes from their pans to completely cool before frosting the layers and sides.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. With the mixer on low, cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until well combined. Slowly add the powdered sugar until the frosting is light and fluffy. You may need to adjust the powdered sugar ratio depending on the thickness of the frosting. It should be light, airy and completely spreadable.

 

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