Fall is in full swing, which can only mean one thing: we need to enjoy all things pumpkin while we can! This season of pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, and gorgeous foliage will quickly fade away into snow days, chunky winter jackets, and making Netflix your one and only companion.
Bottom line: we need to cling to fall as hard as we can. It’s time to go all out, friends, and really live it up fall-style.
What better way to do that than with a beautiful pumpkin cake! Even better, a pumpkin cake that actually LOOKS like a pumpkin, but is filled with layers of moist pumpkin spice cake and creamy dark chocolate ganache. It doesn’t get better than that as far as fall desserts go, we’ll be honest.
Honestly, it’s going to be adorable and delicious either way.
Also, if you’re not about that boxed cake life, this homemade recipe is going to rock your world.
What do you think of this beautiful and elaborate pumpkin cake? Share your thoughts on this recipe in the comments section below.
Pumpkin Spice and Dark Chocolate Ganache Cake
- Start by baking your pumpkin spice cakes in round 10″ and 12″ pans. She puts 3 1/4 lb. of cake mix into each 10″ pans and 4 1/4 lb. of cake mix into each 12″ pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for or until a toothpick comes out clean. 10″ round cakes should take approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, and 12″ round cakes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Move to a wire rack and allow to cool completely in their pans. Once fully cool, cover tightly in plastic wrap and move to fridge in their pans.
- Preparing the ganache a day before decorating allows it to firm up and become a spreadable texture. Once complete, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Prepare your Italian meringue buttercream, again covering bowl in plastic wrap for overnight storage in fridge.
- The next day, remove your cakes from their pans and level them with a ruler and serrated knife. Reserve the humps, and level them as best you can with a serrated knife as well.
- Cover each cake in simple syrup and allow it to soak through before continuing.
- Begin to stack your pumpkin spice cakes, spreading a layer of ganache between each layer using a small icing spatula. Starting from the bottom, and stacking all the way to the top your cakes should be in this order: 10” round cake, 12” round cake, 12” round cake” 10” round cake.
- Take your four cake humps and arrange them into one more 10” circular layer. Add this final layer to the top of your pumpkin spice cake stack with another layer of ganache.
- Chill your cake for 20 minutes to let the ganache set. This will help the structural integrity while carving.
- To carve your cake into a pumpkin shape, mark out the top into into 8 equal pie slices. Then carve your pumpkin ⅛ of the cake at a time, going little by little. Take your time, and feel free to use a picture of a pumpkin as a model.
- Carve a little hole in the top of the pumpkin, where the stem will eventually go.
- Crumb coat your entire pumpkin with a small offset spatula, and move to the fridge for a 20 minute chill.
- Then remove from fridge to ice the pumpkin with another layer of buttercream. Return to fridge for a final chill of approximately 20 minutes.
- Knead your white fondant with Chefmaster Orange until full incorporated. Measure your pumpkin now that it’s carved. Roll your fondant out so that it’s ¼ inch thick and large enough to cover the entire pumpkin.
- Quickly pick up and fondant and put it over the cake, working quickly to avoid tears. Tuck the fondant under the cake as you go and smooth out any lumps with your fingers.
- Use your sculpting tools to create ridges down the pumpkin, being very careful to not make them perfect, but also not too crooked.
- Take your gum paste, and dye it with a little bit of both Wilton Moss Green and Lemon Yellow. Roll it into a thick tube. Use the same sculpting tools as you used to make the grooves, and dig them into the gum paste much deeper than you did the pumpkin. Cut the top diagonally so it appears rough.
- Press a lollipop stick through the stem so that it could stand upright. Once upright, use Wilton Moss Green diluted with a bit of alcohol to paint the stem. Use a paper towel to wipe away the excess. Make sure to use your carving tool to create some natural-looking scratches.
- Use a bit of Ivory Color Dust to dry dust colour on the top of the stem. Then use Goldenrod Color Dust to dry dust the entire stem.
- Dilute your Wilton Ivory Icing Color with a bit of clear food grade alcohol. Paint this all over your pumpkin to warm up the orange, and give it a more natural look. Allow to dry.
- Add your stem by pressing it into the top valley in the cake.
- Finish by brushing a mixture of ground ginger and ground cloves to give the pumpkin a rustic, straight-from-the-patch look.