This Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer Cake has two layers of moist pumpkin cake and a layer of spiced cheesecake! All the flavor and textures in the cake are so wonderful together – it’s such a great holiday dessert!
PUMPKIN CAKE LAYERS
- 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp (45ml) vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 large egg white, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
- 2 tsp (8g) baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1 3/4 cup (406g) pumpkin puree
- 24 oz (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup (207g) sugar
- 3 tbsp (24g) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (230g) sour cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 16 oz (452g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup (224g) butter, room temperature
- 12 cups (1380g) powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C). Line the entire inside of a 9 inch cake pan with aluminum foil. Press it into the pan to get it as flat as you can. You’ll use the aluminum foil to lift the cheesecake out of the pan when it’s baked and cooled.
2. In a large mixer bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar and flour together until combined. Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract and and spices and mix on low speed until well combined.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
5. Pour the cheesecake batter into the lined cake pan.
6. Place the cake pan inside another larger pan. I use a larger cake pan, but you can use a roasting pan or any other larger baking pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 1 hour.
7. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 30 minutes. Do not open the door or you’ll release the heat.
8. Crack oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 30 minutes. This cooling process helps the cheesecake cool slowly to prevent cracks.
9. Remove cheesecake from oven and chill until firm, 5-6 hours.
TO MAKE THE CAKE LAYERS:
10. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line the bottom of two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides.
11. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
12. Add the vanilla extract and vegetable oil and mix until combined.
13. Add eggs and egg white in two batches, mixing until incorporated after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is combined.
14. Add the dry ingredients to a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine.
15. Add half of the flour mixture to the batter and mix until combined. Add the pumpkin puree to the batter and mix until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure everything is well combined. The batter will be thick.
16. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
17. Bake for 23-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs.
18. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes, then remove from pans to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING AND BUILD THE CAKE:
19. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixer bowl and mix until smooth.
20. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
21. Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon and mix until smooth.
22. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
23. To build the cake, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the two pumpkin cakes.
24. Place the first layer of cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round. Spread about 1 cup of frosting evenly on top of the cake layer.
25. Use the aluminum foil to lift the cheesecake out of the cake pan, remove the foil and place the cheesecake on top of the cake.
26. Spread another cup of frosting evenly on top of the cheesecake, then add the second layer of cake on top.
27. Frost the outside of the cake.
28. To create a pattern on the sides of the cake, lightly press an offset spatula into the bottom of the side of the cake. Gradually move the tip of the spatula around the cake as you spin the cake on a turntable. After one row is complete, move the spatula just above the row and create the next one.
29. Pipe some swirls of frosting onto the top edge of the cake, then add a few sprinkles, if desired. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Cake is best for 3-4 days when frosted and in an airtight container.
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