Pumpkin Spice Cake With Chocolate-Pecan Filling

Total Time:
4 hr
2 hr 40 min
1 hr 20 min

10 to 12 servings

  • For the cake:
  • Unsalted butter, for the pans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15 -ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
  • For the glaze:
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter two 9-inch-round cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment paper.

  • Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Combine the pumpkin, sugar, orange zest and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each one is incorporated. With the mixer running, add the vegetable oil in a steady stream. Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Divide the batter between the 2 prepared pans; lightly tap the pans on the counter to distribute the batter.

  • Transfer the pans to the oven and bake until the cakes begin pulling away from the pans and the centers spring back when lightly pressed, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes in the pans, then unmold onto the rack and let cool completely.

  • Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a large deep saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a simmer and cook, without stirring, until deep amber, about 8 minutes. Carefully whisk in the cream and cook, whisking, until smooth. Add the corn syrup and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook, whisking occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from the heat; whisk in the butter, chocolate, vanilla and salt until smooth. Let cool completely, then fold in the pecans. Cover and refrigerate until firm but spreadable, about 1 hour.

  • Assemble the cake: Cut each cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife to make 4 layers. Put 1 layer on a platter; spread one-third of the pecan filling on top. Layer the remaining cakes and filling on top, ending with cake. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

  • Make the glaze: Combine the chocolate, cocoa powder, butter and honey in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave 1 minute; uncover and whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then spread on the cake, letting the excess drip down the sides. Refrigerate until the glaze sets, about 10 minutes.

  • Photograph by Con Poulos

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    This recipe is featured in:

    Thanksgiving Desserts: Pies and Beyond