My Pumpkin Crunch Cake is the original version that you see all over the internet. And believe me when I tell you it will be the best cake you’ve ever tasted! In fact, your family and friends will verify that statement when you serve it to them.
When I was asked to come up with a dish that was Holiday tradition in my homes, it was a no-brainer for me. One very special dessert came to mind, a dessert that usually makes one or two appearances a year, depending upon the parties I host. But you can be guaranteed that sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas you’ll see this extra special cake. It’s also a cake I made for our engagement party the very first year Lisa and I were together.
Since I usually end up eating 75% of the cake by myself, it’s a good thing I don’t make it more often…sigh. Last year I did start distributing wedges of cake to the neighbors, which got me a marriage proposal in the process….luckily her husband took it in stride as did Lisa! So when you make this cake for your family and friends be prepared, and also have extra copies of the recipe on hand, because you’re going to need them! This cake is just that good!
Holiday’s can be a very special time, we have been blessed as food bloggers, not only do we have enough to eat, but we have enough to make dishes to blog about……not everyone is that fortunate, and although it should be in our thoughts the entire year, this time of year it needs to be at the top of our list.
Once your incredibly delicious Pumpkin Crunch Cake is finished, it should be allowed to chill for a few hours before cutting, it will help firm up this cake (When you do cut it make sure to use a serrated knife). So try to be patient.
- 3 Cups walnuts finely chopped, 450 g
- 3 Cups vanilla wafers 360 g, about 75 cookies
- 3 Cups brown sugar 540 g
- 8 oz butter 184 g
- 1 1/4 g cup sugar 250
- 6 oz softened butter 168 g
- 1 16 oz can solid pack pumpkin 425 g, not pumpkin pie mix
- 2 1/2 g Cups flour 300
- 1/2 Cup Greek yogurt 96 g
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla 15 ml
- 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice 15 g
- 2 1/4 Teaspoons baking powder 12 g
- 3/4 Teaspoon baking soda 4 g
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt 2.5
- 4 Large Eggs
- 16 oz cream cheese 454 g
- 8 oz mascarpone * 227 g, or cream cheese
- 8 oz softened butter 227 g
- 2 cups confectioners sugar 150 g
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla 15 ml
In a food processor, pulse cookies to a fine crumb
Then Pulse walnuts to a fine chop
Add in Brown Sugar and mix well.
Add in Melted Butter and blend together.
Divide mixture into 4 Coated Cake Pans - standard 9-inch rounds (One very full cup per pan), pressing into bottom and spreading it evenly into the cake pans. Reserve about 2 cups of the mixture which will be baked to use on the sides of the cake.
Set pans aside and begin cake.
Pre heat Oven to 350 degrees.
In your mixer beat sugar and butter for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl frequently .
Add In Pumpkin and all the rest of the ingredients, except the eggs. Mix just until blended.
Add in the Eggs, one at a time just until blended.
Divide batter equally into your 4 prepared cake pans, smooth it out and make it as even as possible in the pan.
Place remaining crunch mixture in another cake pan or pie dish and allow to bake for the same amount of time as the cakes.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you use 2 racks to bake on in the oven, at the halfway mark rotate the pans .
Allow pans to cool about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire racks and allow to completely cool.
break up the extra crunch mix to very small bits to use to decorate the cake with.
while your cakes are baking prepare a Cream Cheese Frosting.
Whip the cream cheese, mascarpone, and butter till very smooth and creamy
Slowly add in the confectioners sugar while mixer is on low setting
Add in Vanilla and mix well. Set aside till needed.
After your cake is completely cooled ( you can even refrigerate for a few hours) begin frosting the layers and putting the cake together.
When you have assembled all the layers with some frosting between them, start to spread the remaining frosting on the sides and top.
When finished frosting, coat sides and top with your extra crunch mixture*
*You can substitute cream cheese for the Mascarpone, I don't always have it on hand. You may want to increase the butter a bit cutting that amount from the cream cheese. If you have a favorite cream cheese frosting recipe, use that!
*feel free to eliminate the extra frosting on the sides of the cake and the additional crunch topping on the sides, the original cake was served simply with only whipped cream between the layers.
**I always use standard size 9 inch round cake pans. You can use other size pans but your cooking times will need to be adjusted
****If your cake sticks to the bottom of the pan, place it on a burner of your stove for about 15 seconds, the heat will help release the cake from the pan. This process works for all cakes. Just be careful and judge how hot and evenly your stove top heats the pan.
After heating place a plate on top of the pan, and invert quickly. Tap the pan with the heel of a knife to help release the cake.
This time of year when the weather turns chilly, and the night comes quicker is my favorite time for family and friends. Sharing a cup of mulled cider, hot chocolate, or the beverage of your choice, with some freshly baked treat……sigh…..it just doesn’t get better than that. Sitting on the porch, or out by a fire pit, looking up at the clear night sky, counting the stars, laughing with friends, or stealing a kiss from your sweetie. Fall nights were made for sharing, so make sure you take some time to enjoy them.