A Happy Birthday Post: Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Cream Cheese Filling

Today is my baby brother Jack’s 22nd birthday. I guess I can’t really call him my baby brother anymore. He is living on his own and almost finished with his aviation mechanics degree and is also in the process of getting his small pilot’s license. Still, I find it hard to not imagine him as a little blonde-haired boy who I used to be able to pick and throw over my shoulders. Hmm… nostalgia. :)

Jack is an outdoorsman through and through and I imagine it had to be a little tricky growing up with two older sisters. He’s always been a pretty good sport about it, though; and while I don’t know much about the intricacies of fishing and hunting, I do know that Jack loves pumpkin. At the wee age of five, he single-handedly scarfed down an entire pumpkin pie. Not surprisingly it really wasn’t tough to decide what kind of cake I would make Jack this year.

I used my favorite pumpkin cake recipe and then filled the layers with a cream cheese frosting and topped it all off with a vanilla buttercream frosting. The frosting choice changed at the last minute after an extremely frustrating attempt at making cream cheese swiss meringue buttercream. I’ve made swiss meringue a couple of times before and I’ve never had a problem, but the stars did not align on this attempt. I tried and I tried to revive this temperamental icing, but time was not on my side and I had to throw in the towel after nearly two hours. The end result was still a great cake of which Jack gave his 22 year old seal of approval. I sent the leftovers home with him and I think he and his roommate will be enjoying it all week.

Happy birthday, Jack! I love you. :)

The birthday boy and his cake (apparently it’s “no shave November” and that’s why Jack is sporting a crustache)



Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Printable Version

Yield: 16 slices

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 can (15oz) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

For the Frosting

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 5-6 Tbsp half and half

For the Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 Tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2- 9″ cake pans with parchment paper and spray oil. Combine eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin. In another bowl combine flour, soda, salt, powder, and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture. Do not overmix. Pour evenly into the cake pans. Bake for 30 mins. Remove from the oven and let cool. Invert and carefully cut each round in half. Place on parchment paper to prevent the cake from sticking to a surface.

For the filling, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk. Spread a layer of the filling on top of one of the halves of cake. Top with half and repeat until the full cake is assembled.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter, shortening and extracts. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time and mixing well after each addition. With the mixer on low, add the half and half one tablespoon at a time until the frosting is combined. Spread a thin layer over the entire cake. This is your crumb layer. Let the cake chill slightly in the fridge (about 10 minutes). Remove from the fridge and spread another layer on top until the icing is evenly dispersed. Decorate as desired. Enjoy!

Source: Cake- adapted from Taste of Home, Frosting- I can’t remember! :(