Pumpkin Carrot Cake

Pumpkin Carrot Cake

Everyone goes a little pie crazy once the holiday season hits (and rightfully so, pies are pretty spectacular). Whether I’m hosting people or going to someone’s home, I can pretty much guarantee there will be pie – so this time of year cake is often a welcome addition to the dessert table. Especially this cake! This pumpkin carrot cake hybrid is layered with cream cheese frosting and then smothered with pumpkin ganache. The height and combo of colors looks great but this beauty tastes even better than it looks!

There are 4 components to the cake – the toasted pepitas, the pumpkin ganache , the cream cheese frosting and the cake. Start by making the cake, it has to bake and cool so it will take the longest. The Ganache needs about an hour to set up in the fridge so it should be made second. Each component can be made ahead of time and the assembled cake will keep in the fridge for 5 days.  Keep in mind this cake should be frozen to set up properly so plan to make it a day ahead of serving.

To assemble the cake start with a layer of cake. Top with half the frosting sprinkle with pepitas. Add the next layer of cake. Gently press down and add the remaining frosting and another sprinkle of pepitas. the frosting should reach the edges of the cake. If the frosting is edging out clean it up using a spatula. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, this cake is meant to look rustic and you can neaten it before serving. Place the last layer of cake and a generous helping of the ganache. Garnish with the remaining pepitas and some sprinkle for color! Place the cake in the freezer overnight (at least 8 hours) so that each layer is fully set. Once the cake is frozen you can even out the frosting and neaten any edges. Defrost the cake in the refrigerator if you don’t plan on serving it right away. or leave it out if you plan on serving in the next 2 hours.

Recipe Adapted from Milk Bar’s Pumpkin Layer Cake

Pumpkin Cake:

Pre- heat the oven to 350

  1. In a mixer cream the butter and sugars. Once they are light and fluffy add the oil, vanilla, egg and sour cream. Mix on medium heat for another 2-3 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  3. On low speed fold the dry ingredients into the butter, sugar mixture. Mix until just combined and then gently fold in the pumpkin puree and the shredded carrot.
  4. Pour the batter into prepared cake pans and bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes.

Pumpkin Ganache:

  1. In a microwave safe bowl mix the white chocolate and butter. Microwave for 15 seconds at a time stirring in between until melted.
  2. Pour the cold heavy cream into the melted white chocolate.
  3. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to firm up.

Toasted Pepitas:

Spread the pepitas out on a  lined baking sheet and toast in a 325 degree oven for 5-10 minutes. I usually make about 3/4 cup which is plenty for this cake and for a handful to snack on while assembling.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Using a hand blender or stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar and mix to combine.