Pumpkin Layer Cake with Maple–Mascarpone Buttercream

Linda Harrell

101 Concepts, Atlanta, GA

Layers of rich, maple-mascarpone buttercream and the accompanying sweet-tart red currant jam set this moist pumpkin cake apart.


Pumpkin Layer Cake:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 cups pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted, and cooled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Maple–Mascarpone Buttercream:
  • 2 cups butter, room temperature and cubed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
Red Currant Jam:
  • 2 cups fresh red currants
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, about 1 large orange


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat two 8-inch round cake pans with butter and dust with flour.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. In another bowl whisk together the pumpkin purée, melted butter, sugars, and eggs. Whisk until there are no lumps. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredient mixture and slowly whisk in the pumpkin mixture. Whisk until smooth. Divide the batter between the two cake pans. Bake on the center rack until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Flip the pans over to a cooling rack and remove cake from the pans. Let cakes cool completely.

To make the maple-mascarpone buttercream, blend butter and sugar until smooth and creamy in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese and maple syrup, blend until smooth. Add mascarpone and blend on high until frosting is smooth and well incorporated, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Place red currants and sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl. With an immersion blender, purée red currants until smooth. Whisk together the cornstarch and orange juice, and then stir into the red currant purée. Transfer mixture to a small saucepan. Over medium-high heat bring purée to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from stove and let mixture cool before serving.

To assemble the layer cake, cut each cooled cake into two layers with a large knife. Place one cake layer on a large platter. Using a small spatula, spread 1 cup frosting over the top layer, making sure that the frosting extends over the edge. Place another layer on the cake, and repeat process until you reach the last layer. On the top layer use 1 1/2 cup frosting for the top and 1 1/2 cup frosting for the sides. Start with the top layer before frosting the sides. Serve slices with red currant jam.


10 servings