Pumpkin Spice Naked Layer Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle

This Pumpkin Spice Naked Layer Cake is perfect for entertaining this fall and throughout the holiday season. Perfectly spiced, it’s an elegant cake that’s great for fall birthdays and Thanksgiving celebrations. Easy to make, it’s sure to impress a crowd! Finished with a delicious salted caramel drizzle.

A pumpkin spice naked layer cake on a white cake stand

The alternative title for this post was ‘The Cake that Almost Wasn’t”.  This shoot came up at the last second when a brand needed a very last second photo for a post.  My text conversation with our photographer Katie went something like this:

Me: “Hey, are you available to shoot on Friday?”

Katie: “I’m leaving town Friday!”

Me: “Are you available to shoot on tomorrow?”

Katie: “I’m shooting all day tomorrow!”

Me: “Want to shoot right now?”

Katie: “I’m on my way!”

Britt was already over at the house working on some other fun things we have coming up in the new year.  It quickly went from a computer day to a day that would take my kitchen countertops days and a half a dozen wipe downs to recover from.

I had been thinking about this cake for awhile.  Thanksgiving is such a pie holiday and I do happen to be in the pro-pie camp, but when I imagine a festive dessert bar for the holiday it feels like it needs a centerpiece like this one– a six tiered Pumpkin Spice layer cake drizzled with salted caramel and figs.

An iced cake on a cake stand ready to serve

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Naked Layer Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle

  • Preheat the oven to 350° and grease three 8-inch round cake tins.

  • Whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, eggs and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.

  • Combine the dry and wet ingredients and fold together until smooth. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins.

  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  • While the cake cools, make icing by whisking together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar and stir together. If you need to thin the icing, add milk or almond milk.  Just be sure not to get it too thin.
  • Remove cakes from their tins onto a cutting board.  Carefully remove the rounded top portion of the cake with a bread knife so that each side of the cake is flat.  Then carefully cut each cake in half across the middle so that you are left with six thin cakes.
  • Carefully stack each cake on a cake stand with a thin layer of icing between it, allowing some too spill down the sides.  Top with extra icing.  Using a spatula, smooth the icing on the sides and top with salted caramel sauce and figs.

Easy Naked Layer Cake

Cakes can be so intimidating, but not those of the naked variety.  The cake was a breeze and we all devoured the rounded top pieces that we sliced off before stacking.  The icing was another story.  It took more icing than we planned so we thinned it to stretch it which basically ruined it so we scraped the icing off, considered sliding the whole thing into the trash, but instead went back to the pantry, grabbed some cream cheese and ended up with this beauty.

Want to make a big impression without a lot of work?  This cake is your friend!

Half Dressed Cake Recipe

I’m such a huge fan of these naked cakes, not only are they much easier to frost than a fondant covered treat, but I like that they are not overly sweet. I think they look so pretty and rustic, they’re such a great centerpiece for any thanksgiving table.

Close up of a pumpkin spiced naked layer cake on a stand

Photography by Katie Jameson

Pumpkin Spice Cake Recipe

Enough about the frosting! This naked layer cake is full of the flavors of fall, thanks to a combination of your fall favorites:

  • pumpkin puree
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • all spice

It’s so perfectly balanced in flavor, and works wonderfully with the sweet frosting. The cake is finished off with a salted caramel drizzle, which honestly, is to die for!

Top Tips To Make Pumpkin Spice Naked Layer Cake

  • Cook the cake in a pre-heated oven and check if it’s done with a skewer – it should come out clean.
  • Let the cake cool completely before icing it.
  • Store the cake in an airtight container if not serving right away.

Be sure to check out these other cake recipes!

I would love to hear from you if you’ve made this recipe! Be sure to leave me a comment and a star rating below!

Pumpkin Spice Naked Layer Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle

This deliciously spiced layer cake is perfect for fall entertaining
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: iced pumpkin cake recipe, naked layer cake recipe, pumpkin spice cake recipe
Servings: 16
Author: Jen Pinkston

Ingredients

  • one 15 oz can of organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • large eggs
  • 2 1/2 c.  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  tsp.  baking powder
  • 3/4  tsp.  baking soda
  • 1/2  tsp.  salt
  • Tbsp.  cinnamon
  • tsp.  nutmeg
  • 1/4  tsp.  allspice

Ingredients for the Icing:

  • ounce  unsalted butter  softened
  • 16  ounce  cream cheese softened
  • cups  powdered sugar
  • teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • milk or almond milk to get to desired consistency

Ingredients for the top:

  • 1/2 c. salted caramel
  • 5 figs halved

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350° and grease three 8-inch round cake tins.
  • Whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, eggs and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
  • Combine the dry and wet ingredients and fold together until smooth. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  • While the cake cools, make icing by whisking together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar and stir together. If you need to thin the icing, add milk or almond milk.  Just be sure not to get it too thin.
  • Remove cakes from their tins onto a cutting board.  Carefully remove the rounded top portion of the cake with a bread knife so that each side of the cake is flat.  Then carefully cut each cake in half across the middle so that you are left with six thin cakes.
  • Carefully stack each cake on a cake stand with a thin layer of icing between it, allowing some too spill down the sides.  Top with extra icing.  Using a spatula, smooth the icing on the sides and top with salted caramel sauce and figs.

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