Here’s a great addition to your Thanksgiving table this year!! This cake is so tasty and delicious! You have pumpkin, pecans, cinnamon, spices, AND caramel! This hits all the notes: crunchy, gooey, creamy and cakey. Let me say we really enjoyed this cake. I love pumpkin pie, but this was a lot of fun to put together! The leftovers the next day were also very tasty. 🙂
I think the filling is soooo silky, delicious and smooth. It would be great on its own as a dessert or a dip for graham crackers.
First, let’s talk about cake mixes. Some time around 2010, the cake mix companies decided to lower the amount of cake mix from 18.25 ounces to 15.25 ounces. This throws off all of our old cake mix recipes lke this one. Many people and reviews have made this successfully with one cake box and I have written it as such.
Because my cakes didn’t rise quite as high, I made 2-9″ cakes from a 15.25 ounce box and then another 3rd cake from half a box or 7.75 ounces. I think this would be gorgeous with an 8″ cake pan as well. I have read that this change occurred because they didn’t want to raise the price of the cake mix box and instead lowered the amount of cake mix inside by a third.
Second, let me tell you how I decorated this cake. It was a simple offset spatula that evened out the filling and top. Then, to pipe the whipped topping on top, I added the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1M tip. I think a ziplock bag would work just fine. The 1M tips are perfect for cakes and cupcakes! You do not need a coupler or anything special to use the 1M tip either which you can find at Michael’s or any hobby store.
Pumpkin Pecan Caramel Layer Cake
- 1 box yellow or spice cake mix
- 1 15 ounce can of pumpkin, divided
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp. pumpkin spice, divided
- 8 oz. package of cream cheese or neufchatel cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 8 ounce tub of Cool Whip, TruWhip or 3 cups whipped cream
- 1/4 cup caramel topping (ice cream topping)
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep 3 - 9" or 8" round cake pans with oil and flour, and add circles of parchment on the bottom.
- In a great big bowl, add the spice or yellow cake mix, 4 eggs, 1 cup of pumpkin, 1 tsp. pumpkin spice (if using yellow cake mix), milk, oil and eggs. Mix until combined very well. My cake rose higher when I mixed by hand with a fork. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove cakes from pans and allow to cool. Store at room temperature covered in saran wrap until ready to put together.
- With an electric mixer, beat the room temperature cream cheese. Add powdered sugar, rest of the pumpkin (about 3/4 cup), and 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice. Beat together until combined completely. Add teh cool whip/whipped cream. Fold in gently!
- On a microwave safe plate or small skillet, toast the pecans over medium low heat until fragrant. Be careful - they can burn quickly! Set aside 8-10 full size pecans and chop the rest.
- Put one cake layer bottom side down on your plate. Cover with one third of the pumpkin whipped cream mixture. Spread evenly. Add one third of the chopped pecans evenly and sprinkle on top. Even out the middle cake layer if needed. Add the second cake layer on top. Spread the second third of cool whip mix. Sprinkle second third of chopped pecans. Add final cake layer upside down so that the flat side is facing up. Spread remaining cool whip mix. Sprinkle pecans and decorate with reserved whole pecan halves. For extra mounds of cool whip like in the photo, fill a pastry bag with cool whip and pipe using a 1M tip.
- Store in an air tight container or in plastic wrap. It should be refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Drizzle caramel topping right before serving.