Chequered Pumpkin Cake in Shades of Autumn (+ Salted Burnt Caramel Drizzle)

So I had some cake-xperimentation time recently & as I was planning to attend a Clandestine Cake Club meeting to which members were requested to bring cakes with “a taste of autumn” theme, I immediately thought: PUMPKIN!  But, of course I had to put a little “JJD” twist on it, so here it goes… the recipe for the cake, the frosting, the drizzle + instructions on how to achieve the chequered effect. Now, this cake isn’t perfect, as I didn’t really measure the height of each cake, didn’t tort with a spirit level, etc., but this was really fun to do! It took me 2.5 hours from start to finish (including cooling time), so please don’t let these long instructions put you off.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius & grease-line-grease 4 cake pans. (I use Wilton’s cake release spray).

CAKE INGREDIENTS (This recipe makes 4 x 7 inch layers.)

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin (canned or fresh cooked/pureed)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups AP or cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg + other seasonings/spices you prefer


  • Mix all the wet ingredients together in 1 bowl: oil, eggs, buttermilk
  • Add the sugars and mix well
  • Then add the pumpkin and mix until all ingredients incorporated
  • Gradually sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & spices
  • Mix until the flour is fully mixed into the batter

The next part can be done as a “one bowl wonder,” so please read my previous information on this process.

Bake the cakes for 30 minutes, or until they’re cooked through. Allow to cool, then trim the tops so they’re all level.

To create the chequered effect, I measured the diameter of the cake, divided by half, then divided by four to determine the correct widths of the “template” I made to cut concentric circles.

Use your template to create concentric circles, mixing the colours from each of the four layers. To be honest, I lost track, but you get the gist…

I made some cream-cheese-buttercream:


  • 250g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 150g full fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese (yep, straight from the fridge)
  • mix the butter & cheese together until light & fluffy
  • add/sift in 4-5 cups of icing sugar until a stiff consistency is achieved

Then, I used a small piping bag with a 1/2 cm hole cut out to pipe the frosting in between each circle. I stacked each layer one on top of the other…

I should also mention that you can use Wilton’s Checkerboard Cake Set, which will achieve 3 layers…

…and then I decorated it! The caramel drizzle was very easy to make:

My SALTED BURNT CARAMEL RECIPE: RECIPE – (makes enough to fill a jam jar): 70 ml cold water + 170 g caster sugar + a few dashes of sea salt + 130 ml double cream… • Swirl around the sugar& water in a saucepan until dissolved. • Bring to the boil, without stirring, until it’s a dark brown colour (just starting to burn), which is about 10-12 mins. • Swirl around some more. • Take off the heat then whisk in cream carefully. • Allow to cool then pour into your jar (or eat/use immediately) ;-)

And then cut into your cake to reveal your checkerboard. Imagine making this with all different colours, too, though I do love how autumnal this turned out!

Eat & enjoy…




Originally posted 2012-11-09 10:20:39.