Pumpkin Cake With Caramel Buttercream Frosting
A moist, soft three-layered festive pumpkin cake, filled and frosted with layers of caramel sauce and salted caramel buttercream. With a gorgeous drip of salted caramel sauce on top and finally decorated with cute piped buttercream pumpkins.
1 hour 30 minutes
3 hours 15 minutes
For salted caramel sauce
- 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 5 tbsp (71 g) Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 200 g (approx. 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) Double cream/heavy cream, warm
- 1/4 tsp salt
For pumpkin cake
- 390 g (3 cups) Plain flour/all-purpose flour
- 9 g (2 1/4 tsp) Baking powder
- 3/4 tsp (3 g) Baking soda
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 3 tsp Pumpkin spice mix
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 Eggs Uk Medium-sized
- 375 g (1 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
- 360 g (1 1/2 cup) Pumpkin puree, strained
- 150 g (3/4 cup) Vegetable oil
- 180 g (3/4 cup) Buttermilk
For Caramel buttercream
- 450 g (2 cup) Unsalted butter, softened
- 450 g (3 1/2 cups) Icing sugar/powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup Salted caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
To assemble the cake
- 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
- Food gel colouring: orange & green, optional
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
- Start by heating the double cream in the microwave and set aside.
- Add the sugar into a light-coloured heavy-bottomed saucepan. Spread it evenly and let it melt over medium-low heat and wait for the sugar to melt (no stirring at this point, just swirl the pan).
- Once the sugar starts to melt and clump together, stir it continuously, using a wooden spoon or whisk until it has completely melted or it will burn. Sugar makes clumps as it melts so no need to worry as it will gradually melt. Gently break up clumps. If there is still any clump of sugar, keep stirring until all the clumps melt. Gently swirl until golden amber colour is achieved. Please be careful, caramel can go from deep amber-coloured to a burnt one in seconds, so keep an eye on it! Don’t let it get too dark as it will make the caramel bitter.
- Immediately remove the pan from the heat and add in softened butter while constantly whisking. Mix until it is thoroughly combined. Whisk carefully as the mixture will bubble up and can splutter. Add warm cream in two batches and stir until smooth. Add in salt.
- Put it back on low heat for 30-60 seconds. keep stirring until the caramel is smooth.
- Pass this mixture through a strainer to remove any lumps of sugar. In this way, you can get silky and smooth caramel. Let it cool.
- Preheat the fan oven to 155C/311F (for a conventional oven, 175C/347F). Line three 7-inch round cake pan with baking paper.
- Sift plain flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon and pumpkin spice mix into a large bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until well combined (about 2-3 minutes), scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add in the vegetable oil and vanilla extract, and beat them to combine. Add in the reduced pumpkin puree and beat again to combine.
- Add in dry ingredients and buttermilk. Alternate these 2 ingredients, starting with dry ingredients and ending with dry ingredients, and beat on low after each addition until it is combined (avoid over-mixing).
- Divide the batter equally into 3 lined cake pans, and tap the pans on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let it rest in the pans for 10-15 minutes. Then flip over onto a wire rack to cool completely before assembling. You can make cakes a day before and cover them in plastic wrap, pop them in the fridge since it's very easy to assemble the cakes if they are cool enough.
CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
- Cream the softened butter on medium speed (with a hand mixer or stand mixer) until smooth and light in colour (about 4-5 minutes).
- Add the icing sugar (sifted) in three batches, mix with a spatula then beat after each addition, gradually add room temperature salted caramel sauce, and beat until it is well combined, light and fluffy, scraping the bowl down several times so everything gets well mixed in. It’s ready to use.
ASSEMBLING THE CAKE
- Fill a piping bag with caramel buttercream frosting & cut off the end of the piping bag.
- Place the first cake on a cake stand or cake turn table and pipe some of the buttercream on top and spread it evenly using an offset spatula. Make an outside edge with this frosting and pour 1-2 tbsp salted caramel in the middle.
- Place the second cake on top, press it down gently to fix it and repeat the same. Place the third cake on top, fill the gaps with frosting and frost the cake all over with a thin crumb coat (the first thin layer of frosting is called a crumb coat), keep in the fridge for 30 minutes to set the coating.
- Frost the cake all over with a final coat of buttercream, and smooth the top with a pallet knife and the sides with a bench scraper. Make vertical lines (from bottom to top) on all sides of the cake using the back of a spoon (optional). Keep in the fridge for 1 hour to set properly.
- Take 2 tbsp of salted caramel, if it has cooled too much reheat it again for 5 seconds or if it is hot just wait for 5-10 minutes, fill a piping bag, snip off the end and apply this drip around the cake. Start from the back to check the exact consistency of caramel then apply around the cake. Pop in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
- In the meantime, take 2 tbsp of frosting in a small bowl & mix a small drop of green gel food colour to make green buttercream. Transfer to a piping bag. Transfer the leftover frosting to a small bowl and mix a dab of orange food gel colour to get the orange buttercream. Transfer into a piping bag fitted with an 8B open star tip.
- Use the orange frosting to pipe beautiful pumpkins on top of the cake. Then use the green frosting to make the top of the pumpkins.
- Make slices using a sharp knife and enjoy.