Dessert has never tasted so good as with this pumpkin layer cake with butterscotch filling!

If I were anywhere near as witty as none of you are fooled into thinking I am, I would somehow find a way to weave nose hair plucking and after hour (i.e. TRIPLE XXX) cooking shows into my story of how I made this cake.

I would make it seem absolutely hilarious that my roommate’s boyfriend, for whom the cake was made, discussed these topics in great depths with his friends while sitting around my kitchen table.  And eating. This cake.

No really. Nose hair plucking techniques.

That’s what this cake spurred them to.


That is…until they unanimously agreed that I should pitch an after hours cooking show to the Food Network. That I would host.


And then spent the next twenty minutes coming up with perverse and highly suggestive permutations of my blog name.  Somehow I never realized this, but “Eats Well With Others” lends itself well to that.

Go figure.



….make this cake?

At your own risk.  For boys will be boys and if you give them a slice, there’s no telling what kind of conversation will ensue.

But the ladies?  The ladies will gobble this down in no time flat.  Then they’ll listen to what the boys are talking about, realize exactly the kind of males that are out there, existing, in this world (the kind who talk about exfoliation at the DESSERT TABLE!?!?!?).  And then they’ll stress eat another slice.

Then again.  Pumpkin, butterscotch and brown sugar?  They’d probably have another slice anyway.

**If you ever wanted to learn more about me and the inner workings of my mind, head on over to Taste and Tell where I’m being featured in Deborah’s Blogger Spotlight!

While this would be my ideal dessert for Valentine’s Day, I recognize that some of you are probably going to go a more traditional route.  Like, um. Chocolate.

But if you go the Russell Stover route, I will cry.  Many tears. Not worth the calories.

But you know what is?  Chuao Chocolatier Chocolates.

They sent me three of their chocolates to try – a Love Child bonbon (an aphrodisiac blend of a port wine drenched dried strawberry in a chocolate ganache), a Firecracker bonbon (guaranteed to blow your mind with chipotle caramel fudge, popping candy and sea salt in dark chocolate), as well as their new potato chip chocolate bar (for real).  And I swooned. Fell.In.Love.  For real.

Luckily, they’re giving all of YOU guys an opportunity to win a chance to taste these babies also!  They’re hosting a crazy contest for Valentine’s Day that is open only to specific blog readers, with the winning prize being a trip for two to San Diego for two nights, dinner at the beachfront THE SHORES restaurant, and attendance at a private chocolate and wine pairing event with Master Chef Michael Antonorsi.

Entrants will ALSO have a chance to win one of 14 Limited Edition Sweetheart boxes filled with 22 signature Chuao Chocolatier bonbons featuring delectable aphrodisiac ingredients.  Forget buying yourself chocolate and flowers from your “secret admirer” this V-Day. Just enter this contest, and keep your fingers crossed!

And EVERY reader gets a chance to save money on Chuao Chocolatier chocolates by entering the code “HEART” to get a 20% discount off any purchase made between now and February 14th.

Here’s how to enter:

Picnik collage

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Butterscotch Filling
Dessert has never tasted so good as with this pumpkin layer cake with butterscotch filling!
Yield: 1 9-inch cake
For the cake
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1½ cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
For the filling
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 stick unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces
  • ¾ cup chopped nuts (I used Oh Nuts! cinnamon pecans)
For the frosting
  • 2 cups tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  1. Line the bottoms of 2 round 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Grease the parchment, as well as the sides of the pans. Preheat the oven to 325°. Center a rack in the oven.
  2. To make the cake, combine the flour, baking soda, spices and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine pumpkin puree and buttermilk and mix until smooth. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase to high speed and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and scraping down the bowl between additions. Add the vanilla extract and beat on high for 30 seconds. With the mixer running on low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter, until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  3. Immediately divide the batter between the prepared cake pans, spreading evenly. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  4. To make the filling, heat the cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat until hot (do not allow to boil or simmer). Combine sugar and lemon juice in a separate saucepan and stir with a whisk to combine (the sugar will resemble moist sand). In a separate pot, caramelize the sugar for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk to break up any lumps. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the hot cream, one half at a time. Add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring to incorporate completely before adding the next piece. Cool in the refrigerator 45 minutes. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high speed for 2 minutes, until light (but not fluffy). Add the chopped nuts and stir to incorporate. Set aside.
  5. To make the icing, heat the brown sugar, heavy cream, 2 – 1 oz. pieces of butter, and cream of tartar in a 2-3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, while bringing the mixture to a boil. Allow the mixture to continue boiling while stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Transfer the bubbling hot mixture to a stainless steel bowl and allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding. Place the cooled mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, adding the 6 remaining pieces of butter one at a time, until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to high and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high for an additional 1 minute until light and fluffy.
  6. To assemble the cake, place one of the pumpkin cake layers on a cake platter or a cardboard cake circle. Spread butterscotch filling evenly on top of cake. Top with remaining layer of cake, pressing down firmly. Frost sides and top of cake with brown sugar icing. Decorate with extra frosting and cinnamon pecans. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.
Adapted from Annie's Eats
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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110 Responses to Pumpkin Layer Cake with Butterscotch Filling

  1. You are so kind to make this amaaazing looking dessert for your roomie’s boyfriend! I would feel oh-so-lucky if someone made a delicious cake like this for me. I love pumpkin and butterscotch!! 🙂

  2. Barbara says:

    That ingredient list had me drooling, let alone your photos. Fabulous cake, Joanne, and not something I should be reading about before I have breakfast. Could be gaining weight just looking at this!

  3. Whoa. This cake looks insanely good!! Love it!

  4. Jeanette says:

    I love reading your posts Joanne, what a great way to start my day off with a laugh. As for this cake, who needs chocolate for Valentines? Love that show with the slice of cake – gorgeous!

  5. Simply Life says:

    wow! I can’t believe you made this! I’m not sure I would even be able to pay attention to the conversation happening while eating this!

  6. Amy says:

    That sounds like a better cooking show than most of what’s on the Food Network lately! Also, this cake looks superb, as always!

  7. Hmm not quite the cookie show I would have picked for you… but it’s a start? Seriously amazing looking cake, Joanne!

  8. Kathy says:

    This cake is simply gorgeous!! Love the photo with the piece missing! Really enjoyed your post!

  9. This is an interesting and delicious sounding cake. No wonder there is so much to talk about, albeit the conversation is slightly off tangent:) Where did the cinnamon pecans come from – its a mystery.
    Keep us updated on the show, and if you need independent reviews on pilots:)

  10. Amy says:

    Boys! Only boys would tie a sexual innuendo to your blog name. Having said that, it could certainly give some of the other food shows on a run for their money! Do I even need to tell you how A.MA.ZING that cake sounds? Pumpkin…Butterscotch…swoon.

  11. Velva says:

    That cake is pretty much sending me over the edge-OMG! Never would this cake inspired me for boy talk ( nose hair plucking)…This would be my ideal Valentine cake too.


  12. That is some cake! I’m a huge butterscotch fan… and the pairing with pumpkin must be magical

  13. Cakes like these are such a labour of love. Way to go, Joanne, for making such a pretty cake!

  14. That is a drop-dead beautiful cake. Of course it spurred crazy talk! Love the wonderfully simple decoration, too. Stunning. And I could totally go for some of those chocolates!

  15. Lora says:

    That cake looks heavenly. Pink Valentine’s treats be dammed!

  16. This is one of the most tempting cakes I’ve seen in a long while. Seriously.

  17. I don’t care what conversations this cake would spur… just one slice of this delicious cake would make enduring gross/ridiculous conversations oh so worth it.

  18. Kristen says:

    I can see this cake inspiring a lot of wonderful topics, but nose hairs isn’t one of them. What a beautiful cake!

  19. Megan says:

    Pumpkin, butterscotch, and brown sugar… I’d take 3 slices, no matter what conversations were going on!

  20. Girl, you are killing me with these treats! The cake looks wonderful! You should start a cattering business! You do such wonderful work!

  21. Maureen says:

    Laughing at the nose hair. When I was a kid my mother sang a French song about a woman who cut her nose hair and made a stylish hat out of it. It was funnier in French probably. 🙂 I’m probably spelling it really badly but… ma mère a coupé les poils de le nez pour faire un chapeau a la mode and that’s all I can remember but it ends that the style changed and she had no more hair in her nose. Now you know why I’m nuts. It’s hereditary.

    Your cake looks fantastic!

  22. Danielle says:

    This would be my perfect cake – it is beautiful too!

  23. Mary says:

    This really looks divine and it sounds scrumptious. It is seriously tempting. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  24. JoAnn says:

    Hi Joanne,

    Great recipe, I’m thinking of making it for my secretary for her birthday! One question on your directions at Step #4 (see below)- I am confused as to what sugar is being carmalized in the separate pot, vs. the separate saucepan? Is there additional sugar? How do we know it’s being carmalized?

    Thanks for any clarification! I LOVE everything you make!

    Combine sugar and lemon juice in a separate saucepan and stir with a whisk to combine (the sugar will resemble moist sand). In a separate pot, caramelize the sugar for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk to break up any lumps. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

    • Joanne says:

      Hey! Thanks so much for your comment and great question. So you want to use the sugar that you combined with the lemon juice. Basically, take that mixture and put it into a small heavy saucepan or small pot on the stove. Cook it over medium-low heat until the sugar becomes an amber color…the shade of honey, basically. Once this is caramelized, remove it from the heat and add the heated heavy cream. Sorry for the confusion and hope this clarifies it! Feel free to email me ([email protected]) if you have any more questions!

  25. Sippity Sup says:

    I am predicting this was one of these jokster’s birthday cake. GREG

  26. Jenna says:

    I really need to figure out what the heck I’m doing for Valentine’s Day . . . but this cake could be a great start!

  27. Mary says:

    This looks fantastic! Boys really will be boys. I’m totally laughing imagining their versions of your blog name. A naked after hours cooking show? It’s just wrong, but I’m still totally cracking up at them.

  28. Pam says:

    Boys are so silly! What a beautiful BEAUTIFUL cake. Seriously. It looks amazing.

  29. Girl, you are hilarious! I love the idea of a late night cooking show… And
    this cake looks ridiculous! (in a good way, of course). I want to lick my screen now – but not in a perverse way…

  30. Laura says:

    I am sooo making this cake. All I have to tweak is the flour to GF-AP. Yep, this looks amazing!

  31. Shannon says:

    ha. that’s hillarious. and i love this cake. i’d love it even more if i had a slice right now, but we’ll save it for later 😉

  32. Claudia says:

    Bookmarking this lovely. Butterscotch isn’t used enough! And when I serve it, I shall have an approved list of conversations for the table.

  33. This looks dangerously addictive and delicious! Simply irresistible!

  34. If I had a slice of that cake no way would I be paying attention to guys talking nose hairs. With cake like that, who needs chocolate. Well, maybe a little piece of chocolate. On the side. For later.

  35. Beth says:

    That cake is seriously tempting me. I think it would make the perfect Valentine’s dessert. And I’m SO on my way to check out that link. Free trip? With food? I’m in!

  36. This looks in.cred.ible! Like, really amazing. I love that you mixed nuts into the filling. And the flavors sound really delicious 😀

  37. Pierce says:

    You have interesting friends. Now I can see you in the kitchen with not much on but an apron and a pair of dangling earrings, whisking your bowl of cake batter.
    On another note – nice cake 🙂

  38. This cake looks AMAZING!! Over the holidays I made a spice cake, used some pumpkin butter as a filling, and I even decorated the top with pecans, but it certainly pales in comparison to this beauty!

  39. Is it sad that I find more excitement looking at beautiful pictures of cake like this rather than looking at gorgeous pictures of scenery and sunsets. I think I might have drooled a little on my keyboard. I really really really want a big ol slice of this stuff right now! Heavy cream and two sticks of butter?!?! And that’s just in the icing! Holy crap! I think I would be willing to risk the glucose shock to my system in order to indulge in a piece of this stuff. You are evil, Joanne. Evil and awesome 🙂

  40. My husband just walked by as I had the photo of your cake up and he went Ohhhh. He also said it looked like it came from a bakery, it was so pretty. I guess that says it all.

  41. Ha! I never knew there was a technique to nose hair trimming until now!

  42. omg Joanne! These pictures are making my mouth water. Like seriously.

  43. Miriam says:

    Gotta tell ya, I never would have associated this delicious looking cake with nose hair removel…
    And I could totally picture you on the Food Network, clothed in much more than an apron though…
    I don’t know about those boys you hang out with…

    The cake looks awesome though, have a great weekend! [email protected]Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  44. April says:

    That cake looks like it should be illegal!!

  45. OohLookBel says:

    I am drooling (not a pretty sight) at the gorgeous fudginess of this cake. I’d certainly gobble it up, since I’m a ladeee.

  46. Best looking cake I have ever seen!

  47. Debbie says:

    What a great job you did on this cake Joanne. It is seriously (very seriously) beautiful. Wish you could send me a slice…oh well I guess I just have to make it!

  48. Candace says:

    This cake may toss our beloved carrot cake to the side. This looks absolutely amazing. I don’t think I will be able to get this one off of my mind, Joanne. Beautiful!

  49. Reeni says:

    This would of made a delectable birthday cake! Not only is it beautiful looking but so insanely delicious sounding! I need more pumpkin in my life.

  50. Marcia says:

    Oh boy, that cake looks so delicious! I LOVE pumpkin.

  51. Esi says:

    You had me at pumpkin cake, but that butterscotch frosting sounds amazeballs.

  52. You are killing me with the amazing, gooey, brown sugar-y pictures of this cake! I would suffer through a litany of gross topics just to have you make this for me! I cannot be trusted with a whole cake in my house though…

  53. Hi Joanne!
    My stomache is grumbling right now and your gorgeous cake is the cause of its restless behaviour. I d realy love a pice (or more)! have a nice weekend Joanne! =D

  54. That Girl says:

    I had to do a doubletake when I saw Chuao. They’re our local guys. I stick their chocolate in every “San Diego” basket I make. Along with some of our best breads, jams, and beers.

  55. Johanna GGG says:

    so maybe a cake that makes guys imagine you with your kit off is exactly what is needed on valentines day – I would just gobble it up myself! sounds delicious

  56. Debbie says:

    This recipe looks and sounds so yummy! I normally bake lite but am going to give your cake a try for my family!

  57. Debbie says:

    This recipe looks and sounds so yummy! I normally bake lite but am going to give your cake a try for my family!

  58. So funny! What a funny conversation to be a part of…while eating cake! This cake looks absolutely incredible, and your photos are amazing. I cant stop staring!!

  59. Hannah says:

    Oh no, I finally finished my huge stockpile of canned pumpkin! I guess it’s time to start hoarding again… I’m craving pumpkin cake like never before now. Your photos really sell it- That crumb looks so perfectly moist.

  60. bellini says:

    Butterscotch has always been a favourite of mine. I can envision this cake at my next get together.

  61. beti says:

    that layer of butterschotch is the best thing and besides the cake looks so moist

  62. Sarah says:

    i need this. that’s all.

  63. That is some gorgeous looking cake. Great photos; it looks like you may be experimenting with different lighting…I would just love to have a piece of this moist dessert with my afternoon tea; sigh… 😉

  64. Several things:
    1.) If I could eat my computer screen, I would. You always make everything look fan-freaking-tabulous
    2.) There have been many occasions where people sit around a table stuffing their faces with cookies, brownies, or cake that I’ve made, and none of what they’re saying is about the dessert, but about other odd things I have no interest in — like sports, and those new fangled finger/toe running shoes. They too are of the male species.
    3.) Thank you for continuously entertaining me.

  65. I missed your blog SO much! It always put a smile on my face…and I have SO much respect for you being able to juggle school and the blog. You are awesome!

  66. I need this cake in my life. The sliced shot sold me. Out-freaking-rageous.

  67. Elizabeth says:

    I only recently discovered that I don’t have all things pumpkin. I’m very intrigued. 🙂

  68. Julie says:

    this cake looks amazing! The conversation maybe not so much 🙂

  69. Carolyn Jung says:

    Someone please pass me a fork — pronto. Must have a bite. Must! 😉

  70. Dining Alone says:

    That cake looks absolutely amazing.

  71. Deborah says:

    Pumpkin, butterscotch and brown sugar? I’ll take a slice (or two), but I’ll be eating mine with the girls, since I’m not sure I’d have anything to add to the whole nose hair plucking techniques!

  72. I will be glad to risk making this cake. It looks great and I will wear earplugs to eat it.

  73. Elizabeth says:

    Seriously!! Russell Stover- eeewww. But this cake? That filling? Yes please.

  74. Allison says:

    I am willing to take any amounts of crazy talk for a slice even a bite of this cake.

  75. Oh man this looks soooo rich and wonderful. I want to get my hands on a chocolate covered bag of chips. Salty + sweet winning combo 🙂

  76. Lynn says:

    That cake looks to die for! Yummmm.

  77. Lori says:

    Ha, ha! A friend of mine changed her blog name and one reason was because she was getting so many hits from people searching for porn! Amazing how those foodie names can be twisted in the world of the Internets. 🙂 I would definitely take this cake for V-Day, but I’m also glad to be introduced to a new chocolate to try.

  78. For a cake with pumpkin, butterscotch, and cinnamon pecans, I’ll risk whatever conversation might come from that! This sounds pretty ideal for Valentine’s dessert to me.

  79. Men certainly are from Mars, aren’t they! But, oh my, lucky them to share this fabulous looking cake with you.

  80. Kerstin says:

    Haha, what a conversation 🙂 I actually don’t think I’d be able to talk about anything while eating this cake – I would be consumed in the deliciousness! *swoon*

  81. sally says:

    I’d like a slice (or three) of this cake for Valentine’s day–it looks pretty amazing!

  82. Maja says:

    Wow, looks amazing! So pretty, do delightfull! Amazing recipe and photos, too 🙂 I love it 🙂

  83. Kim says:

    There is no end to the ridiculousness that is men.

    When I look at this cake I can feel my self control just slipping away. I think it would end up being a cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner kind of situation.

  84. Indie.Tea says:

    That sounds and looks incredible! It looks really moist and utterly delicious.

  85. Oh my goodness this cake looks amazing!! I love pumpkin and am so excited to try this.

  86. That cake looks so wonderful!

  87. Cara says:

    You can make this for me and I promise I won’t talk about nose hair, ok?

  88. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, Looks wonderfully irresistible! Blessings my dear, Catherine xo

  89. Pam says:

    What a great cake, Joanne! I learn something new every time I stop by. Love it and your humor!

  90. elly says:

    I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for SO long. I really need to make it, but I never have anyone to make a layer cake for! It looks incredible.

  91. Erica says:

    That cake looks moist and delicious, Joanne!I love reading your posts…:) You are a great writer!

  92. ooh lala!! Loving these photos and the sound of that butterscotch filling!!

  93. Jackie says:

    Hi Joanne, I’ve always loved your desserts but I have to admit, this one beats them all. Butterscotch is my husband’s favorite flavor. So decadent!

  94. I think I could happily ignore Valentines Day with this cake and a fork. 😉 The filling sounds to die for.

  95. grace says:

    that filling is FOIN, joanne! 🙂

  96. OMG, this looks crazy good. Ca-raaa-zy good 😀

  97. This does look crazy good. No wonder you run marathons. You’d have to after eating this. hahaha.

  98. Gorgeous cake!! I’ve never made brown sugar icing but I’m sure I’d love it.

  99. What a delightful a flavor combination! I would totally vote for this as my V-day dessert…if we were having any. Is it wrong to veto dessert and chocolate on Valentine’s? We did! lol

  100. If you come to Hollywood and make this for me… I will literally SELL YOU MY MOTHER. She’s a real plus around the house. She gets up at like 5am and cleans, will make you a martini at the 5pm cocktail hour, and she’s in bed by 8pm… unless Idol is on or she decides to learn how to program contacts into her phone… then she’ll be up all night complaining about the results of both. Just make sure there’s a TV for her when Young and the Restless comes on and you won’t even know she’s there! 🙂


  101. This looks amazingly delicious!! Lovely photos too. And the flavor combination?? Sounds dangerously tasty 🙂

  102. MyFudo™ says:

    Looks like a really luxurious cake…I would love to try tis out!

  103. Denny Abler says:

    When I read the name of the recipe I started to salivate, right then and there I printed the recipe. This combination sounds dangerously addictive. Guess I know what I’m baking this weekend

  104. jb says:

    Um. This.Cake.Looks.Ridiculous! Seriously crazy. I want to eat this right now. I am SO glad I found your blog. Love it. Happy to add you to my list of must reads. 🙂

  105. Rebecca says:

    Okay, what did I do wrong? 🙁 I put in the cream and the sugar went all hard.

  106. Meghan says:

    Can I substitute whole milk or half n half instead of the heavy cream for the frosting? Also is it temperature sensitive, can I leave it out on the counter? Or will the frosting separate or droop? thanks

  107. […]  Joanne Eats Well With Others (just noticed the name of this blog and I LOVE […]

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