Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake

This Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake is my favorite pumpkin desserts! With layers of moist pumpkin cake, tiramisu filling and a mascarpone frosting, it is to die for!

Want to make a classic Tiramisu? Try my homemade Tiramisu recipe!

A slice of pumpkin layer cake with tiramisu filling

Moist Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake

Yay for pumpkin! I am so excited to be sharing my first pumpkin recipe of the season with you. There are few things I get more excited about than a good pumpkin dessert. This cake does not disappoint. Both layered cakes and tiramisu are desserts that are fit for a special occasion or great meal, so when combined in this cake, I almost died. So good!

Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake on a cake stand with Yay! signs on top

To start, the pumpkin cake layers. This cake is so moist and wonderfully fluffy. The pumpkin adds so much moisture. It’s fairly straight forward to make, just be sure to fully cream the butter and sugar. It adds air to the batter that’s important in making the cakes nice and fluffy.

The cake layers also have some cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to give it a little spice and to accentuate the pumpkin flavor. I’m a fan. 🙂

Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake with a slice removed

The filling is a traditional tiramisu filling and it is so darn good. Let me tell you – I wasn’t a big fan of tiramisu until I’d had it homemade. Store-bought and restaurant versions just never did it for me. This filling is so good I could eat it with a spoon. And while it may seem intimidating, it’s really not hard.

Overhead view of Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake on a cake stand

How to Make This Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake

To start, you’ll combine egg yolks and sugar in a double boiler. I actually use my mixer bowl and put it over a pot of simmering water, but use whichever you have handy. The steam from the water slowly cooks the eggs without giving you scrambled eggs, so make sure not to heat the water too much or it’ll cook the eggs too quickly. You’ll want to cook the egg mixture for about 7-10 minutes. The best way to tell if it’s done is to use a food thermometer. It’s done at 155°F (68°C).

Once the egg mixture is done, you’ll whip the egg yolks until they thicken and pale in color a bit. Next is adding the mascarpone cheese (love that stuff!) and whipped cream. It seriously is the most heavenly combination of ingredients. Serious willpower is needed to not just eat it all.

Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake slice on a plate

The frosting is a mascarpone frosting. Like I said, I love mascarpone. It’s lightly sweet and does such a great job of balancing everything. Mascarpone can be fairly soft at room temperature and will water down and not be salvageable if over mixed, so do be careful with it. Mix the frosting at low speed and when adding it to the cake, it’s best to have it somewhat cool so that it isn’t too soft.

Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake on a cake stand

The final (but super important) addition is the kahlua and espresso mixture. The best! If you don’t have an aversion to alcohol, I definitely recommend keeping in the kahlua. You could replace it with additional water and espresso, but it seriously just gives that extra bit of awesome to every bite. Worth every drop!

When everything is layered together, you’ll use some of the mascarpone frosting to pipe a dam around the outside of the cake layers. Because the filling is relatively soft, you’ll want the mascarpone frosting to help hold it in place. You can see what it all looks like in the video below.

Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake slice on a plate
Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake with mascarpone frosting on a cake stand

To finish off the cake, I piped some swirls around the top, added a sprinkle of cocoa and then pressed cookie sticks onto the sides. You could totally change this up and leave off the cookie sticks, but I thought it was a fun change to some of my other layer cakes.

You guys this cake is amazing! One of my favorites! It was a huge hit with everyone who tried it and I’m telling you – there were lots of diets broken the day I shared this cake in the office. 🙂 The sign of a good one!

Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake slice on a plate with a bite removed


Read transcript

You might also like:

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake slice on a plate
Recipe

Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake is to die for! Layers of moist pumpkin cake, Kahlua and espresso, then a tiramisu filling and a mascarpone frosting.


Scale

Ingredients

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 (5g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1 3/4 cup (406g) pumpkin puree

TIRAMISU FILLING

  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (155g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz/170g) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream, cold

ESPRESSO MIXTURE

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) hot water
  • 2 tbsp (10g) instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Kahlua

MASCARPONE FROSTING

  • 3 cups (678g/24 oz) mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups (403g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp kahlua

Cream filled wafer cookie sticks*


Instructions

TO MAKE THE CAKE LAYERS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line the bottom of three 8-inch (20cm) cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and vegetable oil and mix until combined.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine.
  6. 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.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs.
  9. 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 TIRAMISU FILLING:

  1. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a mixing bowl set over a pot with simmering water in it. I use my mixer bowl. Do not let the water boil, or it will be too hot. To ensure that the steam cooking the eggs doesn’t get too hot, occasionally lift the bowl to release the steam.
  2. Cook for about 7-10 minutes whisking constantly with heat on low, until mixture is light in color and sugar is dissolved. The temperature of the mixture should reach about 155°F (68°C). If mixture starts to get too thick and a darker yellow, it’s overcooked.
  3. When done, whip egg yolks with a mixer until they thicken and lighten a bit to a pale yellow.
  4. Add the mascarpone cheese to a medium sized bowl, then add about 1/3 of the yolks to the mascarpone cheese and carefully fold them together. Add the remaining egg yolks and gently fold into the cheese mixture until combined, being careful not to deflate the yolks or over mix the mascarpone cheese. When mascarpone cheese is over mixed, it can start to separate.
  5. Add the heavy whipping cream for the filling to another mixer bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  6. Carefully fold the whipped cream into mascarpone mixture by first folding about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Carefully fold the remaining whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Set mixture in the fridge until ready to use.

TO MAKE THE FROSTING:

  1. Combine the mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar and kahlua and mix on low speed until combined and smooth. Do not over mix the mascarpone cheese. When mascarpone cheese is over mixed, it can start to separate. Set frosting in the fridge until ready to use.

TO BUILD THE CAKE:

  1. Remove the domes from the tops of the cakes with a large serrated knife.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the espresso mixture.
  3. Place the first cake layer on a serving place or cardboard cake circle.
  4. Drizzle 4-5 tablespoons of espresso mixture over the cake layer.
  5. Pipe a dam around with outside of the cake with the mascarpone frosting.
  6. Fill in the center of the dam with about 1/3 of the tiramisu filling, then spread into an even layer.
  7. Top the filling with the second layer of cake, then repeat steps 4-6.
  8. Top the cake with the final layer of cake, then drizzle another 4-5 tablespoons on top of the cake layer.
  9. Add a crumb coat to the sides of the cake with the mascarpone frosting, then full frost the outside of the cake, leaving the top bare.
  10. Pipe a border around the top edge of the cake with the remaining frosting.
  11. Fill in the border with the remaining 1/3 of the tiramisu filling.
  12. Sprinkle a little cocoa onto the top of the cake, if desired, then press the cookie sticks onto the sides. The cake should be refrigerated until ready to be served. Cake is best for 3-4 days.

*I used 1 1/2 containers of cookie sticks for the whole cake.


Keywords: tiramisu cake, pumpkin layer cake, pumpkin cake, mascarpone frosting, pumpkin dessert, fall baking, pumpkin cake

Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake - pumpkin cake, kahlua and espresso, tiramisu filling and mascarpone frosting!

This post contains affiliate links.

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Share a Comment

Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you and seeing what you made!

Recipe rating

24 Comments
  1. Stacie P

    As always, this recipe sounds amazing! I want to make it for Thanksgiving. I’m afraid though of preparing just before the day needed; in case I have issues with the filling and frosting. Any chance the filling and frosting can be made ahead and frozen? That way, if it doesn’t work out, I have time to make a different frosting.

    1. Lindsay

      I would be hesitant to make those ahead and freeze them. The filling has whipped cream in it, which can be frozen but may lose some of its volume and consistency when stirred after thawing it. The frosting has mascarpone cheese in it, which can get too soft if over stirred. I just don’t know how it would do after being frozen. I do hope you try this cake though. It is still one of my favorites!

  2. Ines Cardillo

    I made this cake. A couple of problems arose. The filling was quite runny. I didn’t over beat the mascarpone. The whipped cream was folded in. Even with the frosting wall on each layer, the layers would slip around. I had to put dowels to help prevent. Then the frosting would not thicken, even after refrigeration. It was more like a very thick glaze. I had to add more powdered sugar to get it to pipe. This made the frosting way to sweet. Can you help me? I did follow the instructions exactly. Also, I do a lot of baking. It was a challenge. I’m thinking of trying a different frosting.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so sorry you had trouble. If the frosting wouldn’t thicken with refrigeration, it sounds like the mascarpone cheese was giving you the issue – that’s exactly what happens is it won’t thicken. If you think it wasn’t over-mixed, it’s possible it got too warm. You want it to be cool enough to mix and work with but you don’t want it to get too warm. It can be a little fussy.

  3. Andrea Powell

    Hi Lindsay,

    I made this cake today and I’m sure it will be absolutely delicious but mine didn’t look like yours AT ALL. Of course, you’re an expert and I’m not, but I have a couple of questions: first, my marscapone frosting was completely soft. How did you get yours so stiff? Was I supposed to drain the marscapone before using it? Or is there a certain brand of marscapone that is firmer than others? I ended up having to add cream cheese just to stiffen it up a bit because I didn’t want to add more sugar; it was already sweet enough. Second my layers weren’t nearly as high as yours. Do you have any idea why yours would have risen so much more than mine? Could it be my baking soda or baking powder wasn’t fresh enough? I’m stumped!

    Anyway, I love your blog and always look forward to your new creations!

    Thanks,

    Andrea

    1. Lindsay

      Hi Andrea! Mascarpone can be a bit tricky. A couple possibilities. One is that it’s very susceptible to over-mixing. When it’s over mixed (too much mixing or at high speed), it seems to break it down and it’s gets very thin and can be hard to firm it up again in the fridge. The other thing, is you want to use it when it’s soft enough to mix, but not let it get too warm. That can also break it down. I hope that helps! As far as the cake layers not seeming as high – the most likely culprit is not fully creaming the butter and sugar. You really want to be sure it’s mixed for at least 2-3 minutes, if not 3-4. You’ll actually see the color and texture of the mixture change.

      I hope that helps! So glad you enjoy the blog! 🙂

      1. Andrea

        I finally figured out why my layers were not as high! I used 9″ pans. Didn’t even occur to me to use 8″and I completely glossed over that part of your directions! Doh!

  4. Jennie Gemignani

    I’ve been watching the videos in a trance. You have done such a great job showing how to make them look beautiful, and this one just looks fantastic!

    Thanks for sharing your talents! We’ll be having the first cheesecake we’ve made from the cookbook tomorrow.

    CANNOT WAIT!

  5. Almary

    Hi Lindsay! it looks awesome! I really need to try this for my birthday this weekend!
    I have a couple of questions: how do you make the pumpkin puree? I guess you can boil it and then blend it without any water?
    And the other is about the softened mascarpone, how do you softened it? do you warm it?
    Thanks! =)

    1. Lindsay

      I buy canned pumpkin – much easier. 🙂 For the mascarpone, I just let it sit out on the counter for 30 minutes or so.

  6. Miranda

    I love the outside of the cake and how it is lined with the cookie sticks! And the combination of pumpkin and tiramisu is incredible!

  7. Brittany

    Oh my goodness! This cake looks amazing!! I’m so excited to start making all things pumpkin!! Yum!!

    I love when you add videos! They are so helpful! Quick question, do you have a designated spot on your website to view all the videos you have uploaded? Thanks a bunch!!

    1. Lindsay

      Thanks Brittany! I’m glad you’ve liked the videos. 🙂 I don’t have a spot for all the videos, but that’s a great idea!

  8. Sarah @ The Gold Lining Girl

    This is so epic and amazing, but your desserts ALWAYS are! I love the combo here of pumpkin and tiramisu. So original, yet, of course they belong together and this should’ve happened even sooner!!! Lol. This cake is a stunner!

  9. Heather @Boston Girl Bakes

    Oh man you always impress me with your flavor combinations…and beautiful decorating of course :)!! Love the cookie sticks on the side!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12