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How To: Make a Chocolate Pumpkin Layer Cake

Learn to make a dramatic, delicious fall cake. This Chocolate Pumpkin Layer Cake from the blog iambaker, is a real showstopper. For the recipe go to:http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/chocolate-pumpkin-cake/

Fall means pumpkins, and I can't imagine a more dramatic or delicious dessert than this Chocolate Pumpkin Layer Cake. The recipe comes from the blog iambaker, and it's a real showstopper. This cake has three components: moist cake layers, milk chocolate ganache, and fluffy pumpkin whipped cream. We'll start with the cake. In a small bowl, mix canned pumpkin and buttermilk. Set that aside, and in another bowl; combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Now, in a large bowl, let's beat butter, brown and white sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Now we'll add the dry ingredients and the pumpkin mixture alternately, beating on low speed. You can see, this is very similar to traditional chocolate cake batters, but the pumpkin makes it extra moist and adds another layer of flavor. Spread the batter in greased 8x8 inch pans and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool 10 minutes and then turn them out onto wire racks. While those cakes cool, let's make our milk chocolate ganache. Start by warming whipping cream over medium-high heat. When the cream just starts to boil, remove it from the heat and add milk chocolate pieces. Just let the chips soften up in the milk. After about 5 minutes, stir the ganache until it's smooth. Then let it cool for an hour or two so it thickens up. Spoon the chocolate ganache over the cake layers and let it drip down the sides. Now while those cake layers sit at room temperature for an hour or so, we're going to make the pumpkin whipped cream. Start by stirring some cinnamon and allspice into canned pumpkin. In a chilled mixing bowl, beat whipping cream and powdered sugar together. When soft peaks form fold in the pumpkin. Then you can add the rest of the powdered sugar. Load the bag with pumpkin whipped cream, and chill it thoroughly in the fridge. This will give you a nice stiff mixture for piping. Because whipped cream isn't as stable as buttercream frosting, you should wait to assemble this cake until close to serving time. Start by placing one cake layer on a plate or a cake stand. Since these cake layers are pretty heavy, you might want to put a little extra support inside the cake. A few drinking straws will do. Now let's spread our chilled pumpkin whipped cream on top. Carefully set your other cake layer on top. Don't press down too hard. Now use your piping bag to make nine big swirls on top of the cake. And there you go! Chocolate Pumpkin Cake; a rich autumn dessert that is guaranteed to be a showstopper.