Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Chocolate Icing Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Chocolate Icing

Image: James Tse

This stunning layer cake will make an extraordinary ending to any Thanksgiving meal. Your guests will love the unique combination of spiced pumpkin cake and rich, buttery chocolate icing.

  • Prep time 45 minutes
  • Total time 3 hours


Spiced Pumpkin Cake:
Chocolate Icing:


Spiced Pumpkin Cake: Grease two 8-inch (1.2 L) round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat together sugar, pumpkin, oil, buttermilk and eggs until smooth. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, allspice, cloves and ginger; stir into pumpkin mixture until combined. Scrape into prepared cake pans, smoothing tops.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until cakes spring back when lightly touched and cake tester inserted in centres comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans for 15 minutes. Invert onto racks; let cool completely. Peel off parchment paper. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap; store at room temperature for up to 24 hours.)

Chocolate Icing: While cake is cooling, in large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in cream and vanilla. Beat in icing sugar and salt until smooth. Beat in bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, until fluffy and well combined, about 2 minutes.

Assembly: Place 1 cake layer on cake plate. Spread 3/4 cup of the icing over top. Place second cake layer on top. Using offset palette knife, spread thin layer of the remaining icing all over cake to seal in crumbs; refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Using palette knife, spread remaining icing all over cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Tip from The Test Kitchen: To make the scallop design, pipe dots of icing vertically up the side of the cake. Using a palette knife, smear each dot horizontally to form scallops. Repeat by piping dots at the end of each smear; repeat all over cake.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Nutritional facts per each of 16 servings: about

  • Fibre 2 g
  • Sodium 182 mg
  • Sugars 41 g
  • Protein 4 g
  • Calories 443.0
  • Total fat 25 g
  • Potassium 130 mg
  • Cholesterol 62 mg
  • Saturated fat 11 g
  • Total carbohydrate 54 g


  • Iron 13.0
  • Folate 12.0
  • Calcium 3.0
  • Vitamin A 31.0
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Baking & Desserts

Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Chocolate Icing