Fall is literally right around the corner and I could not be more thrilled!
Everything about fall is wonderful, including the weather, the food, the colors, I’m obsessed!
In honor of those wonderful vibes, I made this cake! A spicy, pumpkin flavor with creamy buttercream and an array of fall flowers on top.
I’m not allowed to pick to favorite recipes, but if I could, this might be one of the top recipes!
If you’re nervous about cake decorating, stacked cakes, cakes in general, this is a great place to start! You’ll notice that I call this a semi-naked cake, which is slightly technical but there are two different versions of naked cakes.
A fully naked cake just has icing in between the layers while a semi-naked cake has a light layer of frosting on the edges! Both are great starting points for people just starting out with layered cakes! I like a semi-naked cake because it feels slightly more structurally secure, but that’s just my preference!
These are great cakes to start out with because the edges don’t need to be perfect, it’s okay if there are some crumbs in the frosting! You want these cakes to look rustic! That’s the whole point!
The most important part of layered cakes is making sure each level is even. You can do this by trimming off the domed top of the cake with a serrated knife. But also by how you add the frosting. If you maybe didn’t cut the top of the cake completely even, add a little bit more frosting to that side!
If you are firmly set against cakes, don’t worry! This recipe makes great cupcakes too!
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 and a 1/4 cup of brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup of oil
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
zest of one orange
2 sticks of butter
3 cups of powdered sugar
3 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Whisk together.
In a separate bowl, whisk together both sugars, eggs, oil, pumpkin puree, and the orange zest.
Slowly, add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Evenly divide the batter between three 6-inch cake pans or two 8-inch cake pans.
Bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean!
While the cakes cool, time to make the frosting.
Add butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high until light and fluffy.
With the mixer on low, begin to add in the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
After all the sugar has been mixed in, add heavy cream and vanilla to the bowl.
To assemble the cakes, I cut off the very top edge of the cake to create a flat surface. I did this by taking a serrated knife and gently going around the side turning the cake as I went. Take your time with this step! There’s no need to rush!
Then place a little dollop of frosting on the cake plate and place the first layer on top. Press down gently to make sure the cake is flat and even on the cake plate.
I like to put my frosting in a piping bag to pipe on the cake; I think it’s just cleaner and easier to do! Pipe a generous layer of frosting on top of the cake. Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top of the cake and then slightly over the sides.
Place the second layer of cake on top of the frosting, and press down gently to make sure the cake is even and flat. Repeat the same process as the first layer.
To put the final layer on, flip it over so the crumb side is facing the frosting, and the flat bottom side is facing up. Press gently to make sure it’s even. Pipe remaining frosting on the top and along the sides of the cake. Use your offset spatula to smooth out the frosting on the top. I like to use a bench scraper along the sides to smooth them out.
Because this is a semi-naked cake you don’t have to worry about the frosting being even, or even covering all of the cake. I try to make sure that the bottom edge connected to the cake plate is fully covered and that each opening in between the layers is fully covered. Other than that, you can use as little or as much frosting as you’d like!
Then to arrange the flowers, I just place them in a random assortment, there’s no exact science here!
Voila! Your cake is ready to serve!
I know it seems like a lot of steps but it’s easier than you think! The best part of making a semi-naked cake like this is that it doesn’t have to be perfect!