Pumpkin Spice Cake with Blood Orange Caramel

Chef Charity Pykles-George shares a spooktacular recipe that is perfect for entertaining! This delicious dessert layers pumpkin spice cake with “blood” orange caramel, chocolate buttercream and Swiss meringue buttercream.

 Pumpkin Spice Cake with Blood Orange Caramel

By Charity Pykles-George


2 c sugar

1 c vegetable oil

2 c all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

2 tsp baking soda

1 /2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp nutmeg

1 Tbs pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp Nielson Massey vanilla extract

2 c pumpkin puree



  1. Combine sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and eggs in a large mixing bowl; mix well.
  2. Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl; stir into oil mixture, beating well. Stir in pumpkin puree.
  3. Pour batter into a 3″ high 9″ round cake pan with parchment on the bottom, sprayed with oil. Bake at 350°F for 65 to 75 minutes or until skewer inserted into center comes out clean.
  4. Place onto rack to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate before cutting layers and filling.



“Blood” Orange Salted Caramel 


8 oz sugar 

3 /4 oz corn syrup 

1/3 c+ 1-1/2 tbsp water 

6 oz cream 

1 -1 /4 oz butter 

1 tsp 

Nielsen-Massey Pure Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract 

1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Orange extract 

1/8 tsp Chef Rubber Concentrated Red 

Paste Color 

Sea salt, to taste 




  1. Heat sugar, water and corn syrup, occasionally washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush until mixture is boiling and turns a dark amber color.
  2. Carefully add cream (the mixture will bubble up), stirring with a whisk, then add butter and salt to taste.
  3. Bring back to boil and cook for another two to three minutes. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes then add the vanilla,orange and red color, whisking them in completely. 



Chocolate Buttercream 


8 oz sugar 

1 lb powdered sugar 

2/3 c deZaan Velvet 22-24 cocoa powder 

1 /4 tsp salt 

1 /4 tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract 

1 /4 tsp Neilsen-Massey Pure Chocolate extract 

7 tbsp butter 

1/3 c hot water 




Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. 

Charity notes: Pulsing your mixer at the start of mixing will avoid any “clouds” of powder. 



Additional fillings for this cake include: 

Swiss Meringue Buttercream 

Chef Rubber caramelized cacao nibs and 

roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas). 




Split cake and fill each layer in this order: 

  1. Cake
  2. Chocolate buttercream with caramelized cacao nibs on top
  3. Cake
  4. Thin layer of Swiss meringue buttercream to seal the cake,then blood orange salted caramel, top with pumpkins seeds 
  1. Cake
  2. Frost entire cake with Swiss meringue buttercream before covering with fondant. 

Chef Charity Pykles-George

Charity Pykles-George runs d’Zrt Cake Studio in La Mesa, CA, which specializes in chocolate and sugar art, particularly wedding, specialty and extreme cakes. She has been a contestant on TLC’s “Ultimate Cake Off,” “Fabulous Cakes” and “Niecy Nash Wedding Bash.” In the Fall of 2012, she appeared in two Food Network shows, “Cake Wars” and “Halloween Wars.” Charity

teaches sugar and cake arts across the country and has a series of Craftsy classes. A proponent of allergen-free baking, Charity is also the president of the board of directors for Icing Smiles.


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