Friday, September 27, 2013

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

This is one of the most amazing cakes I’ve ever made. Do you see how beautiful and FALL it is?! It’s so perfect for the season.
I’m not going to lie, this is NOT a low fat, low calorie dessert:) But hey, it’s my philosophy that if you’re going to eat dessert, you need to eat it right. And this is just oh so right.
Pumpkin cake, crunchy streusel and whipped cream cheese frosting layered to perfection.
So next time you’re looking for a fall dessert to make, make this one. It’s so perfect in so many ways. Oh and this also isn’t a cake you’re going to whip up in 30 minutes. It’s a little time intensive, but it’s worth it, so do it:)

Crunch Topping
3 cups pecans, finely chopped
3 cups vanilla wafers (about 75 cookies)
3 cups brown sugar
3 sticks butter

Pumpkin Cake
1¼ cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks softened butter
1 16 oz can pumpkin
2 1/4 cups flour
½ cup sour cream
1 T vanilla
1 T pumpkin pie spice
2¼ t baking powder
¾ t baking soda
½ t salt
4 Eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 blocks (16 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 stick softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 T powdered sugar

Crunch Topping
  1. Melt butter
  2. In a food processor, pulse cookies to a fine crumb. Remove from processor and put into a medium bowl.
  3. Then pulse pecans to very small pieces. Add pecans to the bowl with the cookie crumbs.
  4. Add in brown sugar and mix well.
  5. Add in melted butter and mix until completely blended.
  6. Place one very full cup of the mixture into 3 heavily greased 8 or 9 inch round cake pans, pressing into bottom and spreading it evenly into the cake pans. There will be plenty leftover which will be baked to use on the sides of the cake.
  7. Set pans aside and begin cake.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pumpkin Cake
  1. In your mixer beat sugar and butter for about 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy, scrapping down the bowl frequently .
  2. Add in pumpkin and all the rest of the ingredients, except the eggs. Mix just until blended. Do not over blend.
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides after each addition.
  4. Divide batter equally into your 3 prepared cake pans on top of the nut/cookie mixture, smooth it out and make it as even as possible in the pan.
  5. Place remaining crunch mixture in a 4th cake pan or pie dish and allow to bake for the same amount of time as the cakes.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you use 2 racks to bake on in the oven, at the halfway mark rotate the pans. Even if you have them all on the same rack, it’s best to switch them out halfway through.
  7. Allow pans to cool about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire racks and allow to completely cool. DO NOT LET THE CAKES COOL IN THE PANS. This is important because the crunch mixture will stick to the pans and you’ll be scraping it out. Now don’t worry if it sticks. Just piece it back together as best you can because remember that it really doesn’t matter because you’ll be covering it all up with frosting anyway. That’s the beauty of layered cakes:)
  8. Break up the extra crunch mix to very small bits to use to decorate the cake with.
  9. While your cakes are baking prepare a cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Whip the butter until very fluffy and white. Add the cream cheese and whip until very fluffy.
  2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar while mixer is on low setting
  3. Add in vanilla and mix well and whip for several minutes until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, whip the whipping cream with the 2 T powdered sugar until stiff peaks are formed.
  5. Gently fold the whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  1. After your cake is completely cooled, I mean COMPLETELY cooled. You don’t want it to be warm at all otherwise it will melt the frosting. I recommend refrigerating the layers a while, especially if you had to piece the crumb mixture back on top of the cake. Then begin frosting the layers and putting the cake together.
  2. Frost one layer of cake.  Top the frosted layer with a second layer and frost the top. Repeat with the third layer.
  3. When you have assembled all the layers with some frosting between them, start to spread the remaining frosting on the sides and top.
  4. When finished frosting the cake, coat sides and top with your extra crunch mixture. Just take handfuls of the crunch mixture and carefully smash it into the sides of the frosted cake.
  5. *Store cake in refrigerator.
*Adapted from


  1. Please please please can we make this when you come for conference?

  2. Wow mouthwatering and very tasty looking recipe. I will definitely try this at home. Have you tried Pakistani Cooking Recipes I love all Pakistani Recipes and mostly the appetizers by zarnak sidhwa recipes