death by pumpkin cake


i’ve had a taste aversion to cinnamon ever since i tried the cinnamon challenge at a middle school sleepover. would NOT recommend. i’m okay if there’s a pinch of it in my coffee, but any more than that makes me want to gag.

every single component of this cake has cinnamon, so i haven’t tried it, but other people have said that it’s good! if you’re like me and don’t love all the spices, feel free to sub out the pumpkin cake for chocolate, or the pumpkin cheesecake for vanilla.


  • 115 g butter, softened
  • 125 g sugar
  • 150 g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 25 ml canola oil
  • 100 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 230 g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 175 g pumpkin puree

 pumpkin cheesecake filling

  • 8 oz heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 (14 oz) can canned pumpkin puree, chilled

graham cracker ganache

  • 95 g graham cracker crumbs
  • 10 g milk powder
  • 13 g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 27 g butter, melted
  • 27 g heavy cream
  • 85 g milk
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 85 g butter, room temperature
  • 15 g light brown sugar
  • 10 g powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

caramelized pumpkin seeds

  • 1 cup raw, shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

for the cake, preheat the oven to 350º. grease a half-sheet pan and line it with parchment paper. beat the butter and sugars in a stand mixer until fluffy, then add in the egg. stream in the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla with the mixer running. mix in all of the dry ingredients, then fold in the pumpkin. spread into the pan and bake for 10-15 minutes.

for the filling, whip the heavy cream and vanilla with a whisk or in a stand mixer until it’s stiff. set aside. in a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese with the spices. fold in the pumpkin puree, then the whipped cream. chill until ready to use.

for the ganache, toss together the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt. whisk together the melted butter and heavy cream, then add to the dry ingredients and toss to evenly distribute. blend this mixture in a blender with the milk and salt for 1-3 minutes, or until completely smooth. in a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugars, cinnamon, and salt for 2-3 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl. on low speed, add the contents of the blender. beat on high for 2 minutes.

for the pumpkin seeds, preheat the oven to 350º. mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl then spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. bake for 15-20, or until fragrant.

to assemble, use the cake ring to punch four circles out of the cake. reserve scraps for snacking. wipe off the cake ring, then place it on a sheet pan. lay a 6-inch circle of cardboard (or cake board) in the bottom. line the ring with a tall strip of wax paper. place a circle of cake in the bottom, then use the back of a spoon to spread on a fourth of the ganache. top with a generous amount of cheesecake filling. sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. repeat with the next two layers. nestle the final layer on top and cover with the remaining graham cracker ganache. garnish with pumpkin seeds. transfer the sheet pan to the freezer, and freeze for at least 12 hours (or up to 2 weeks).


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