Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Walnuts

5 from 1 vote

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This Pumpkin Cake Recipe is layered between delicious chocolate and caramel frosting. Topped with walnuts, this cake is hard to resist!

This Pumpkin Cake recipe is a long skinny cake with layers of alternating caramel and chocolate frostings. I baked this cake in a sheet pan, let it cool and cut it into four equal pieces. Then I made some frostings and stacked this cake up! I topped it all off with some more chopped walnuts and some toffee bits for good measure. There are a lot of flavors and textures running throughout this dessert, but it all just works together.

Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Cake Ingredients

Let me start out saying that this Pumpkin Cake is to die for. After the first bite, I started to laugh because it was THAT good. Here is everything you’ll need to make the cake:

  • Butter and Sugar – these two are creamed together to start the cake batter. For sweetness, moisture, and flavor.
  • Vanilla and Pumpkin Puree – two essential flavoring components for this cake. Vanilla and of course pumpkin puree.
  • Eggs – these are used for structure and texture.
  • Cinnamon and Nutmeg – two more flavorings that make a world of difference when it comes to pumpkin flavored anything!
  • Salt – to balance and enhance flavors.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – both are used to help the cake rise! Because there are so many wet ingredients (pumpkin) this cake needs a little extra help to rise.
  • All-Purpose Flour – this fills out the rest of the cake.
  • Sour Cream – for moisture and a slight tang flavor.
  • Walnuts – chopped and toasted, I loved a good crunch inside and out of this cake.

Frosting Ingredients

I love the crunch of the walnuts in the cake along with the smooth creamy frostings and the moist pumpkin cake. The cinnamon pumpkin flavor works really well with the caramel frosting and the caramel frosting just tastes delicious with the chocolate frosting! (By the way, this caramel frosting is so delicious on its own! I probably took a 5-minute break just to lick out the bowl! No joke. It’s seriously good stuff! My little one preferred the chocolate–that was good too!)

Here is everything you need for both frostings:

  • Butter – make sure that your butter is thoroughly softened for the best results.
  • Vanilla – to flavor both frostings.
  • Powdered Sugar – this gives the frosting structure and adds a lot of the sweetness.
  • Caramel Syrup – this is used for the caramel frosting for flavor and moisture. Use a good quality caramel sauce.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder and Milk – these are used for the chocolate frosting. Since we are adding a powder, it’s balanced out with some milk for the right frosting consistency.

How to Make Pumpkin Cake

For all of the details to make this pumpkin cake, see the recipe card below. Be sure to follow the directions closely for the best results.

  1. Preheat oven. Spray a cookie sheet (with high sides-sheet pan) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Whip in vanilla, eggs, and pumpkin. Scrape sides and briefly mix again. Measure out all dry ingredients and add them in all at once. Mix on low speed until all ingredients are moist. Scrape down the sides and mix again. Stir in sour cream. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chopped walnuts by hand.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until cake is cooked thoroughly. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

For the Frostings

  1. Whip butter, vanilla, and caramel syrup together until well blended. Whip powdered sugar into mixture until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and whip again until light in color. Remove from bowl and divide into two equal portions. Set aside.
  2. Whip butter, vanilla, and cocoa together until well blended. Stir in powdered sugar. This mixture may look very dry, so with the mixer on, trickle in the milk. Scrape bowl and whip again until light in color. Remove from bowl and divide into two equal portions.

Assembling Pumpkin Cake

  1. Cut cooled cake into 4 equal strips width wise. Carefully remove 1 strip of cake and place onto a serving platter. Top with half of the chocolate frosting, being sure to have thicker frosting around the edges and thinner frosting in the middle.
  2. Repeat this process alternating the chocolate and caramel frostings, finishing with caramel. Top cake with chopped walnuts and toffee bits. Serve.

Tips and Tricks

Here are a couple of notes that will make your life a whole lot easier when making this showstopping pumpkin cake!

  • Cool Your Cake. Make sure to cool your cake completely before trying to assemble. Your frosting WILL ooze everywhere if it’s still warm because there is butter in it that will melt.
  • A Note on Butter. Speaking of butter, make sure you use REAL butter for this. Not margarine, not vegetable oil spread. It really makes a big difference, especially in the frosting.
  • Be Gentle. When you are cutting your cake and removing them from the pan, be as gently as possible and try to lift the cake out as level as you can. This will prevent breakage. My second and third layers broke a little bit but they got completely covered by the frosting so, at the end of the day, it isn’t that big of a deal.
  • Plan Ahead. Divide both kinds of frostings before you start assembling the cake! This way, you’ll have enough for each layer. And, I kept the frosting a little thinner through the middle and thicker around the edges for a prettier presentation.

More Pumpkin Recipes to Drool Over!

Be sure to check out all of my pumpkin recipes while you’re at it!

So, that’s about it! Please oh please make this pumpkin cake! It was amazing and everyone I fed it to loved it! One of my friends even used the word ‘heavenly’. So, get baking! All of your loved ones will be glad you did!

Printable recipe card is below 🙂

5 from 1 vote

Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Walnuts

This Pumpkin Cake Recipe is layered between delicious chocolate and caramel frosting. Topped with walnuts, this cake is hard to resist!
servings 12 servings
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins

Ingredients

for the cake-

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup California walnuts chopped & toasted

for the caramel frosting-

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup caramel syrup I used the Hersheys brand, meant for ice cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

for the chocolate frosting-

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk

for the top-

  • 3 tablespoons toffee bits
  • 1/3 cup California walnuts chopped & toasted

Instructions

for the cake-

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet (with high sides-sheet pan) with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In stand mixer or large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light in color, 1 minute. Whip in vanilla, eggs and pumpkin until blended. Scrape sides and briefly mix again. Measure out all dry ingredients and add them in all at once. Mix on a low speed until all ingredients are moist. Scrape down the sides and mix again. Stir in sour cream. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chopped walnuts by hand. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake 15-18 minutes or until cake is cooked thoroughly. (Make sure to check it at 15!) Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

for the caramel frosting-

  • Whip butter, vanilla, and caramel syrup together until well blended. Whip powdered sugar into mixture until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and whip again until light in color, 1-2 minutes. Remove from bowl and divide into two equal portions. Set aside.

for the chocolate frosting-

  • Using the same bowl, whip butter, vanilla, and cocoa together until well blended. Stir in powdered sugar. This mixture may look very dry, so with the mixer on, trickle in the milk. Scrape bowl and whip again until light in color, 1-2 minutes. Remove from bowl and divide into two equal portions.

for assembly-

  • Cut cooled cake into 4 equal strips width wise. Carefully remove 1 strip of cake and place onto serving platter. Top with half of chocolate frosting, being sure to have thicker frosting around the edges and thinner frosting in the middle. Repeat this process alternating the chocolate and caramel frostings, finishing with caramel. Top cake with chopped walnuts and toffee bits. Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 501mg | Potassium: 213mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 4035IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1.8mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkin cake

 

Polaroid photo of granola bars

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Recipe Rating




11 Responses
  1. Natalie @ Perrys' Plate

    5 stars
    Whoa. I totally believe that this cake is to die for. And no worries… I always use real butter. (I haven’t bought margarine, or shortening for that matter, in years.) Gorgeous photo as well!

  2. Marilyn Brennan

    5 stars
    This was too difficult to resist so I didn’t. Indeed it is the perfect concoction; right amount of nuts, and everything. Melt in your mouth experience. It’s not just a dessert; it is an experience…the best kind!

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  4. sarah

    5 stars
    we made this two weeks ago and let me telly ou it was fantastic. i always worry about baking a cake myself but this was just perfect! it was such a hit! not a bite was left on the serving platter!

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