Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake

If at first you don’t succeed you must try again. That’s what’s been happening with some of the cakes I have been posting as of late. I have been trying to come up with recipes myself as opposed to relying on Google to give me a nice list of whatever idea pops into my head. On my first try it’s sometimes a complete fail, a great flavor but horrible texture or a so-so flavor and the right texture. And let’s be honest, if you can’t get the flavor and texture to be just right the cake is just not good to eat. That’s what happened with the first pumpkin cake I made for today’s Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake. I used an entire can of pumpkin puree for the cake and the end result was a cake that had an odd indentation around it, but tasted good. I had a feeling that it was the result of too much liquid (i.e. wet ingredients) in the cake and my suspicions were correct. I ended up tweaking the recipe a bit and ended up with a cake that had smooth edges and a much more cake-like consistency.

So, what makes this a tiramisu cake? Well, if you are thinking ladyfingers you won’t be finding any on this cake. It’s more about the flavor. The filling is basically the same filling that is used in your typical tiramisu… A custard that is mixed with mascarpone cheese and homemade whipped cream. To get that coffee flavor, each cake layer is brushed with a coffee and Kahlua mixture. And to top it off, the cake is covered in a Mascarpone Kahlua Frosting (YUM!). I had some leftover frosting after finishing the cake and I may have enjoyed a spoonful or two of it. It’s not sweet at all and the Kahlua gives it a very light coffee flavor. And finally, the cake is dusted with unsweetened cocoa powder to get that finishing look of Tiramisu.

The end result, a pumpkin cake that is perfectly complemented by the traditional flavors of Tiramisu.

If you are looking for a more traditional Tiramisu with the flavors of pumpkin instead, check out the recipe below from a few years ago.

Pumpkin Tiramisu

Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake

For the Pumpkin Cake:

1 15.25oz box of yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

For the Tiramisu Filling:

3 egg yolks

1/3 cup + 1 tbsp sugar

1/3 cup whole milk

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the coffee soak:

1/4 cup coffee

2 tablespoon Kahlua

For the Mascarpone Kahlua Frosting:

1 1lb. mascarpone cheese

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups Confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons Kahlua

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Unsweetened cocoa powder, to dust on top of the cake

Directions:

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray 2 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray.

In a large bowl whisk together the cake mix and pumpkin pie spice. Add in the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, eggs and milk. Beat with a hand mixer on low speed for 30 seconds and then increase the speed to medium and beat until just combined.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 24-28 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling:

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until blended. Whisk in the milk and stir constantly until it boils. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a container and cool to room temperature. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and then cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Beat the heavy cream and vanilla together until stiff peaks form.

Beat the mascarpone cheese and chilled egg yolk mixture together until blended. Fold the whipped cream mixture in until no streaks remain. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the frosting:

Add the mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, Confectioners’ sugar, Kahlua and vanilla extract to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Start the mixer on low and beat for 30 seconds to 1 minute to allow the ingredients to come together. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer to medium high and continue to beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. At first there may seem like there is too much heavy cream but as you continue to beat it, the heavy cream will be incorporated, and the frosting will become light and fluffy.

To assemble:

If necessary, level the cake layers. In a small bowl whisk together the Kahlua and coffee and brush it on the top of both cake layers.

Place the bottom cake layer on a cake board or serving platter. Transfer about a cup of frosting to a piping bag and pipe a dam around this bottom layer and then fill with the tiramisu filling. Place the second cake layer on top and then crumb coat the cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then finish frosting the cake with the remaining frosting. You should have enough frosting to pipe decorative dollops on top of the cake. Finish the cake by dusting the top with cocoa powder using a fine mesh sieve.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.

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