This pumpkin spice cake is the perfect dessert for fall, and makes an elegant addition to the Thanksgiving table. Three layers of pumpkin spice cake are filled with a creamy dulce de leche filling, then iced with caramel frosting. If you are feeling crafty, decorate this cake with marzipan pumpkins, chocolate pumpkins, or maple fondant acorns.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Yield: 3 layer cake, serving 10-12.
- 1 recipe pumpkin spice cake
- 1 recipe caramel frosting
- 8 ounces marzipan, homemade or purchased, for making decorations
- Dulce de Leche Filling:
- 1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff or creme (or substitute 1 1/2 cups italian (cooked) meringue)
- 3/4 cup dulce de leche
- 3/4 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour 3 8-inch cake pans, and line the bottom of each pan with a circle of wax paper.
- Prepare the pumpkin spice cake according to the directions, diving the batter evenly into the three pans.
- Place pans in the oven and bake until the top springs back lightly to touch and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cakes cool completely on a rack.
- Prepare dulce de leche filling: Place the marshmallow fluff, dulce de leche, powdered sugar, vanilla, vegetable shortening, and cinnamon in the bowl of a standing mixer. Beat mixture using the whisk attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Remove a cake layer from its pan and place it on a cake stand or plate, remembering to peel the wax paper liner off the bottom of the cake if necessary. Level the top of the cake with a serrated knife if needed. Spread half of the dulce de leche filling over the first layer.
- Top the filling with a second layer of cake, leveling the cake with a knife if needed, and spread the remaining filling over the cake. Place third cake layer on top, and level the cake layer if necessary. Chill cake while making the frosting.
- Prepare caramel frosting. Working quickly, while frosting is still warm, spread frosting on the tops and sides of the cake with a spatula (a long metal spatula works well). Dip the spatula in hot water occasionally to help spread the icing smoothly. (See this video about icing cakes for some helpful tips). If icing starts to set while you are still frosting the cake, gently rewarm the icing on the stove or in the microwave.
- Decorate cake as desired with the marzipan. You can tint the marzipan with food coloring and shape it into pumpkins, or roll it out and cut leaf shapes, for example. Other possible decorations: chocolate curls, maple fondant acorns, or candied pecans.