I was planning on bringing you another savory pumpkin dessert this week, but I just didn’t like the recipe I made last week for a Pumpkin Black Bean Burger. While the burger wasn’t bad, it was just overpowered with cumin, which isn’t a bad thing, but I just felt that it shouldn’t be the only thing you taste especially after topping the burger with other things. All is well though as I am bringing you a cake that has a lot going on, but it adds up to one thing… Deliciousness! It’s a Pumpkin S’mores Layer Cake.
I made a few adjustments to the original recipe that I got from an issue of Food Network Magazine about two years ago. I came across it in my dessert binder while looking for another recipe. The original recipe called for the cake to be a four-layer cake. Baking two 9-inch cakes and then cutting them in half. I opted to bake the cake in three 9-inch pans to make it a three-layer cake and since I am not keen on meringue frosting, I whipped up the Marshmallow Whipped Cream Frosting I used for the S’mores Cupcakes I posted back in August.
So, you have a three-layer pumpkin cake that had graham crackers crumbs added to the batter separated by a chocolate filling that is made with chocolate and marshmallows and it’s all topped with a light and not overly sweet marshmallow whipped cream frosting… YUM!
Pumpkin S’mores Layer Cake
For the Cake:
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 whole graham crackers
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup buttermilk*
For the Filling:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
12 large marshmallows or 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup cold heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 7oz. jars marshmallow cream
*Make your own by combining 1/2 cup whole milk with three teaspoons of white vinegar and let it sit for 10-15 minutes until it thickens and appears to curdle
Begin by making the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray three 9-inch round baking pans with baking spray.
In a food processor pulse the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Add in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and pulse to combine.
In a large bowl beat the butter and both sugars with handheld mixer until medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low and add in the pumpkin puree. The batter will appear curdled. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and finally the remaining flour mixture. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and tap the bottom of the pans on the counter to release any air bubbles.
Bake the cakes in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack and then invert the cakes on the racks to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling make the filling. In microwave safe bowl combine the chocolate, marshmallows, cocoa powder and 1/3 cup of the heavy cream and microwave in 30 second intervals. Stirring between each interval. Continue microwaving until everything is melted. Continue stirring the mixture until smooth and then stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature.
While the chocolate mixture is cooling, whisk the remaining 2/3 cup heavy cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Whisk a third of this cream into the cooled chocolate mixture and then gently fold in the rest with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
To make the frosting, add the heavy cream and vanilla extract to a large bowl and beat with a handheld mixer until soft peaks form. Add in the marshmallow cream and continue beating until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble the cake, place one of the cake layers on a cake board or cake stand. Transfer some of the frosting to a piping bag and pipe around the perimeter of the cake and then spread half of the chocolate filling in the center. Repeat with another cake layer and then top with the final cake layer and then frost the cake with remaining frosting.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Recipe modified from Food Network