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Pumpkin layer cake with butterscotch-bourbon frosting

Recipe by:Chef Teresa Urkofsky
American River College, Sacramento


  • Pumpkin layer cake
    5 cups sugar
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    3 cups bread flour
    1 tbsp. kosher salt
    1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. grated nutmeg
    2 lb. fresh pumpkin puree
    (roasted and well drained)
    or canned pumpkin
    1 cup canola, vegetable or
    other neutral-flavored oil
    1 cup buttermilk
    1/4 cup molasses
    7 eggs
  • Butterscotch-bourbon frosting
    2 tbsp. salted butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 cup salted butter, softened
    8 oz. soft cream cheese
    1 cup powdered sugar
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 to 3 tbsp. bourbon


For cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottoms only of 3 (8-inch round) cake pans with parchment paper. Do not grease or spray pans. Sift all of the dry ingredients together and set aside. Blend all of the wet ingredients together thoroughly. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir gently, only until incorporated. Divide batter among the 3 pans. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until cake springs back when touched gently in the center. Allow layers to rest for about 10 minutes. Run a knife between the cake and the pan. Turn out layers to cool on a cake rack.

For frosting: Combine 2 tbsp. butter and brown sugar over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is very smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature. In a mixer, combine 1 cup butter and cream cheese. Beat until smooth, scraping bowl frequently. Beat in brown sugar mixture until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix. Scrape bowl and beat mixture until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract. Add bourbon to taste.

To assemble: Place 1 layer on a cake plate. Put about 1/3 of the frosting in the middle of the layer. Carefully spread frosting almost to the edge of the layer, without going over the side. Repeat with remaining layers and frosting.

Makes 1 (3-layer, 8-inch) cake

Photo: © 2017 Matt Salvo

Califonia Bountiful