Pumpkin Walnut Layer Cake

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How to eat cake: A cream-cake and anything of similar nature would be eaten with knife and fork, never bitten. All dessert utensils are placed at the top of your place setting and should not be used for anything else. Using your fork, gently cut the cake being very careful not to clatter your fork upon your plate, but use it without any noise. 😜

~ Actual excerpt from the original White House Cookbook from 1894.

This beautiful walnut sponge cake is filled with two delicious fillings and is drizzled with a delightful pumpkin glaze. It is guaranteed to impress all your Thanksgiving guest, even your mother-in-law, and will have them leaving the table with their tastebuds dancing in delight.

Make the Walnut Sponge Cake: Line three 8-inch cake tins with parchment paper that has been brushed with butter. Set aside. In a metal mixer bowl, beat 6 large egg whites that have been set out and reached room temperature on high until they become foamy and start to expand. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, one teaspoon at a time. Continue beating until glossy and holds stiff peaks.

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Using a blender, or food processor, grind 2 cups walnuts until finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl. Beat in 2¼ cups sifted powder sugar and 6 whole eggs on medium just until light and foamy. Slowly add 1/2 cup flour. Gently stir 1/4 of the batter into the meringue. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a microwave. Let cool. Stir into the remaining batter, then fold into the meringue.

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Divide the batter between the three prepared pans and bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the surfaces spring back from a light touch.

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On a clean surface covered with new parchment carefully invert the cakes onto the surface. Gently peel the old parchment but do not remove but let it lay loosely over the cake to prevent from drying out.

Make the Pumpkin Buttercream: In a medium bowl, cream 1 cup softened butter with 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add 4 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice. Beat on low until mixed then increase the speed to medium-high scraping the sides of the bowl. Add 2 – 3 tablespoons milk one tablespoon at a time until the frosting is soft and creamy.

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Make the Vanilla Filling: Combine 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, 1½ cups sifted powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until blended. Fold in 12 ounces of cool whip.

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Assemble the Cake: Place one layer of the cake on a serving tray. Carefully spread 3/4 of the pumpkin buttercream over the surface of one cake. Lay another layer of cake on top of buttercream. Spread the vanilla filling over the top of the second layer. Place the last layer of cake over the vanilla filling, and then spread it with a thin layer of remaining pumpkin buttercream. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Make the pumpkin glaze: Mix 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 – 2 tablespoons milk, and 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and drizzle over the cake.

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Okay, admittedly if this cake was a person, it would be a diva! That is why I only bring this one out for those special occasions. Don’t be daunted by the steps. It goes quickly and like most divas, it’s worth the time. Let me know what you think!– Ella💙

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Walnut Sponge Cake
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Refrigerating Time
1 hr
Total Time
35 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dessert, glaze, layer cake, pumpkin, pumpkin buttercream, vanilla filling
Author: Ella @ thewackyspoon.com
Ingredients
Walnut Sponge Cake
  • 6 large egg whites room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups walnuts grounded
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
Pumpkin Buttercream
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoons pumpkin spice
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons milk
Vanilla Filling
  • 1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 ounces Cool Whip
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pumpkin Glaze
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Instructions
Make the Walnut Sponge Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line three 9-inch square cake pans with parchment paper and brush with butter. Set aside.
  2. In a metal mixer bowl, beat the egg whites on high until they become foamy and start to expand. Add the sugar, one teaspoon at a time. Continue beating the meringue until glossy and holds stiff peaks.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the ground almonds, confectioners' sugar, and whole eggs on medium just until light and foamy. Slowly add the flour.
  4. Gently stir 1/4 of the batter into the meringue. Remove from mixer and fold in the remaining batter and melted, cooled butter.
  5. Divide the batter between the three prepared pans and bake the cakes for 5 minutes, until the surfaces spring back from a light touch.
  6. Cover the top of the cake with a fresh piece of parchment. Carefully invert then onto a clean board. Carefully peel the old parchment from the cake but do not remove. Let it lay loosely over the cake to prevent the cake from drying out.
Make the Pumpkin Buttercream
  1. Cream the butter and vanilla in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the confectioner’s sugar and pumpkin spice. Beat on low until mixed. Increase speed to medium-high speed scraping sides.
  3. Add milk a little bit at a time until the frosting is soft and creamy.
Make the Vanilla Filling
  1. Combine the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla in a mixer bowl. Mix until smooth. Fold in the cool whip.

Assemble the Cake
  1. Place one layer of the cake on a serving tray. Carefully spread 3/4 of the pumpkin buttercream over the surface of one cake.

  2. Lay another layer of cake on top of buttercream. Spread the vanilla filling over the top of the second layer.

  3. Place the last layer of cake over the vanilla filling, and then spread it with a thin layer remaining pumpkin buttercream.

  4. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Make the pumpkin glaze
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Carefully drizzle over the assembled cake.

A wooden cake stand dressing up any table. I really love a wooden stand in the fall. Just suits the mood.

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8 thoughts on “Pumpkin Walnut Layer Cake

    • Ella

      Thank you, Rosemarie! Yes, you must try it! It is so delicious! I too am having it on Thanksgiving and I love to think someone else is out there going through these steps with me. 😉

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