Friday, September 24, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Butterscotch Whipped Cream and Dark Chocolate Ganache

Sheesh that's a long title. But at least you already know where I'm going with this, right? And you know it's gonna be good. Mission accomplished.

I've been waiting for a couple weeks to make this but I knew I needed a good excuse to make a cake. After all, with a family size of three, an entire cake would be slightly ridiculous.

But then I remembered that it's been a couple months since I last brought a 3:00 pick me up dessert of deliciosity to my husband's office. So that solved my "who the heck is going to help us eat an entire cake" dilemma.

And it just so happened that the day I made it, Wednesday, was the same day that the firm's newest lawyer started working there. I like when stuff like that works out.

Okay, grab some help from Duncan Hines and pour their spice cake mix into a large bowl. Add in eggs, milk and oil. Stir quickly to combine.

Then fold in some fresh pumpkin puree. Or you could use canned pumpkin if your corner of the world has it in stock.

Then, evenly divide the batter among three pans that have been rubbed down with a bit of Crisco. 

I liked using these foil cake pans for a couple reasons:

#1 - The edges are scalloped which made the cake look prettier.

#2 - I didn't have to wash any pans! Score!

Bake the cake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until the cake top springs back when lightly touched.  

For whatever reason, Blogger seems to think this photo should be vertical. I tried three times to get it uploaded the right way. We'll call it an "artistic" shot. :)

Once your cakes have cooled, make a ganache with cream and dark chocolate chips. Melt chocolate over low heat, stirring often.

Meanwhile, make your microwave feel loved and melt butterscotch chips. Do this slowly, in 30 second increments so you don't scorch  it. Allow to cool slightly while you make some whipped cream.

When your cream has been beaten to the "stiff peak" stage, beat in powdered sugar and vanilla.

Ah, yummy. Feel free to do a "quality control" taste test at this point.

Then quickly fold in the melted butterscotch chips.

If you really want to up the flavor, add in some butterscotch extract.

Oh goodness.

Now, since I was taking this to the firm office and since I don't have a cake carrier, I decided to assemble it on site.

And the lunch room lighting isn't all that flattering.

Layer the cakes with the butterscotch whipped cream in between. Then pour the dark chocolate ganache over the whole thing.

If you happen to make this and feel like taking a cute photo, send it to me in an e-mail ( and I'll add it to this post and give you photo credit. I'm sure somebody out there is better than I am at making cakes look cute. :)

Anyhow, the cake produced many a moan and groan in the office. As I was leaving, one of the secretaries asked me what all the exclamations coming from the back of the office were all about. My husband, who normally won't touch a cake with a ten foot pole, asked me last night, "So...when are you making that pumpkin cake again?"

I think that means it was a success!

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Butterscotch Whipped Cream and Dark Chocolate Ganache (printable recipe)
Serves at least 10

1 Duncan Hines Spice Cake mix
3/4 c. milk
3 eggs
1/3 c. oil
1 1/2 c. pumpkin

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients besides the pumpkin. Stir quickly to combine. Gently fold in the pumpkin. Divide batter into three greased cake pans. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until the top springs back lightly when touched.

Butterscotch Whipped Cream:
1 bag butterscotch chips

1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. butterscotch extract (optional)

Melt butterscotch chips in a microwave-safe bowl, 30 seconds at a time to prevent scorching. Stir between 30 second intervals.

In a mixing bowl, whip cream until it reaches the "stiff peak" stage. Then beat in powdered sugar and extracts until just combined. Gently fold in the melted butterscotch chips.

Dark Chocolate Ganache:
1/4 pint of heavy cream
1 bag of dark chocolate chips
pinch of kosher salt

In a saucepan, melt chocolate and cream together over low heat; stirring often. Once the chocolate has melted, add in a pinch of kosher salt.

Assembling the Cake:
Once the cake layers have cooled, slice off the top of each layer to make it have a flat top. Feel free to snack on these extra pieces. Then, place a cake layer on the bottom of a plate and spread the butterscotch whipped cream on top. Repeat with the other two layers. Pour the ganache over the top of the whole cake. Chill or serve immediately.


  1. That looks good enough to eat. I'm not even sure what a ganache is but it looks amazing!

  2. Be still my heart. I'm thinking I need to whip this up IMMEDIATELY!

  3. This sounds delicious, unfortunately I don't believe we have such cake mix here in th UK. Will have to see if I can find a copy cat recipe for the cake mix, then follow the rest of this recipe.

  4. "$5 Dinners" referred me to this recipe--it looks wonderful and I want to make it for company this coming Saturday night. Is the cake pan size 8" or 9"? Thanks!

  5. @di40something - You know, I can't remember which size I used. You could use either and it should still come out fantastic. The only difference is that your layers might be thicker or thinner than mine. Just keep an eye on it while it's baking and you should be just fine.

    Hope you and your company enjoys it!


I love feedback from y'all and try my best to respond to as many questions as possible.