I totally bought an electric throw blanket last weekend. I am SO dreading the cold weather that I actually took my 30-something year old tushie to Target and bought an electric blanket. It’s like I woke up and was like, “How can I be MORE like my mother today?”
I dread the winter. I love the holidays, but I dread the cold, the wind, the leaf-less trees and dormant grass. I hate always being cold. I don’t like high heating bills and the forced vacation from my garden and the warm sun.
So yes, I bought a heating blanket. If someone could just go ahead and invent a wireless, heated Snuggie, I’d be your BFF.
Anyway, we should talk about this cake.
This sure isn’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever made, but it sure was deeelicious. It actually started out pretty, but my hot fudge was cold (like me) so it wasn’t cooperating when I was drizzling. I actually ALMOST didn’t blog this because of the
hot cold fudge mishap, but y’all don’t care if my fudge is funky, do you?
That’s why I ♥ you guys.
I’ve said it a million times here though, I’ve had some beautiful cakes and cupcakes that taste like cardboard – so I’d rather my desserts be “obviously homemade” and taste that way – because if I wanted grocery-store cupcakes I’d just go buy them. 😉
Speaking of grocery-store cupcakes, I actually stepped away from my comfort zone and used shortening in the buttercream for this recipe. I think ultimately the taste would have been better if I would’ve stuck with my usual unsalted butter, but it was worth a try and wasn’t all bad. The frosting was definitely stiffer and crusted more quickly than a true buttercream, but honestly I’ll probably avoid shortening going forward.
I would definitely recommend breaking this recipe up into steps- perhaps by making the cheesecake the night before to save you lots of time. The cake is a simple one-bowl recipe and the frosting was quick, too – but all of the steps together take quite a bit of time. This is mostly thanks to the cooling and chilling time, but you can eliminate the bulk of that by getting your cheesecake out of the way the day before.
Another tip – when decorating these tall layer cakes, it’s very helpful to have an adjustable decorating turntable. It really helps you decorate the tall sides of the cake and will definitely make your life much easier.
I used my Easy Hot Fudge Sauce and it was great – I just didn’t heat it up enough before trying to drizzle it all over the cake. You can always use store-bought, but same rule applies – just make sure it’s nice and warm and squeezable.
So, I wasn’t entirely sure that I would love the chocolate and pumpkin combo – it’s doesn’t seem all that natural to me, but I have to admit it worked. The cheesecake is smooth and creamy, and the chocolate is intense and a nice complement to the pumpkin flavor. I’m not saying that you won’t appreciate a big glass of cold milk to wash it all down, but it really wasn’t as rich as I was expecting.
As for slicing and serving the cake, I’d suggest using a long, non-serrated knife, and wiping it clean with a wet towel between each slice. Since the consistency of the layers is different, slicing can be tricky. Slice and wipe. Every time.
Actually, that rule applies for every layer cake. They’ll always look prettier if you use a clean knife for each new cut.
Hope you love it as much as we did. Happy fall, and stay warm, ya’ll.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 4 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup butter
- ¾ cup shortening
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup plus ⅛ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Hot fudge sauce, if desired for garnish
- 4 ounces chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with parchment and cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
- Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil. Whisk until just combined.
- Add vanilla and boiling water, whisk until combined.
- Evenly distribute batter between two cake pans, and bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare a 9 inch springform pan by greasing the sides and bottom. Place on a large baking sheet and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour and pumpkin pie spice on low speed until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed, but do not over beat.
- Pour the filling into the pan, and tap on countertop a few times to release air.
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn oven off, and leave in oven with door closed for an additional 15 minutes. Crack the door and allow to cool in open oven for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge of the pan. Chill in refrigerator until completely cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and shortening until smooth and creamy.
- Add 4 cups of powdered sugar and beat until moistened.
- Add pumpkin and pumpkin spice and beat until smooth.
- Add remaining powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Warm cream in microwave until steaming hot but not boiling.
- Add chocolate chips, and allow to sit for 2 minutes.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Place one layer of chocolate cake on to cake stand.
- Spread chocolate ganache over the top of the cake.
- Place cheesecake on next. Spread with ganache, and final layer of chocolate cake.
- Frost with pumpkin frosting, and garnish with chocolate jimmies and hot fudge sauce, if desired.
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