DIY by Shiloh Wolfork | Photography by Caroline Bumgarner

This pumpkin chocolate layer cake is a devilishly delicious dessert for this year’s Halloween party.  Wow your party guests with rich vanilla buttercream, glossy chocolate glaze and spooky decorations.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yields: One 4-layer cake

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Layers:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted, softened butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup of pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Chocolate Layers:

  • ¾ cup of granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup of cake flour
  • ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted, softened butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Buttercream Filling:

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons of whipping cream

Ingredients for the Chocolate Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of water

Making the Pumpkin Layers:

Tip! Make sure that the pan is fully covered in a light layer of flour in addition to the non-stick spray to prevent the cake layers from sticking or breaking. Parchment paper is an alternative option.

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mist two 8-inch diameter cake pans with non-stick spray and lightly dust with flour.
  3. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl and mix until combined.
  4. Add the softened butter to the bowl and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand. Stir in the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula along the way.
  5. Add the pumpkin, Greek yogurt and vanilla extract, then mix on low-medium speed for 90 seconds to incorporate air into the mixture.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool for two-three hours or overnight.

Making the Chocolate Layers:

Tip! Make sure that the butter is softened, either at room temperature or five seconds in the microwave.  If not, the batter will begin to resemble cookie dough.

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mist two 8-inch diameter cake pans with non-stick spray and lightly dust with flour.
  3. Place the sugar, flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix until fully combined.
  4. Cut the softened butter into smaller pieces and gradually add it to the dry ingredients.
  5. Mix on low speed for 30-60 seconds until the mixture resembles damp sand.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula along the way.
  7. After the eggs are fully incorporated, add the Greek yogurt and vanilla extract, beating on medium speed for 60-90 seconds to add air to the mixture.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Cool for two-three hours or overnight.

Making the Buttercream Filling:

Tip! Add more whipped cream if the filling is unable to spread easily.

  1. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, mix together the sugar and butter on low speed, increasing to medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla and cream and beat for one minute more until a spreadable consistency is reached.
  3. Spread the filling on each layer of cake and stack them creating a cake, icing, cake, icing pattern. .

Making the Chocolate Glaze:

Tip! Do not spread the glaze, let it drip freely down the cake.  The more the glaze is spread, the messier the cake begins to look.

Tip! Add a little of the powdered sugar at a time or else the mixture will become too thick. Not all of the powdered sugar has to be used.

  1. Put the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 15 seconds at a time, stirring between intervals, until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth with a glossy finish.
  2. Sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl.
  3. Stir the sifted powdered sugar into the melted butter and chocolate.
  4. Beat the mixture with a hand mixture, adding small amounts of boiling water until thin enough to drip when poured.  If it becomes too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  5. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and as the cake stands, the glaze will thicken.

Potential Garnishes:

  • Candy corn, mello-creme pumpkins, plastic spiders and rubber eyeballs
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