Pumpkin Cookie Cake

Pumpkin Cookie Cake

Three perfectly spiced, giant pumpkin cookies sandwich custard-based Spiced German Buttercream for a stunning display of fall in this Pumpkin Cookie Cake. A cookie sandwich is a treat made for one, but a giant cookie sandwich cake is made for fall celebration and sharing.

Pumpkin Cookie Cake
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup (147 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (122 grams) canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons (12 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (8 grams) cornstarch
  • 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) white chocolate baking bars, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • Spiced German Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: whole pumpkin seeds, chopped pumpkin seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla bean paste.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture all at once; beat at low speed until nearly combined. Fold in white chocolate until combined. Divide dough among prepared pans (a heaping 1½ cups or about 443 grams each), pressing into an even layer.
  4. Bake until centers are golden brown and set and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Using a small offset spatula, loosen edges of cookie layers. Carefully invert onto wire racks; turn cookie layers parchment side down, and let cool completely.
  5. Remove and discard parchment. Place 1 cooled cookie layer, flat side down, on a serving plate. Reserve 1½ cups (252 grams) Spiced German Buttercream. Spoon 1¾ cups (294 grams) remaining buttercream into a large pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch round piping tip (Wilton 1A); pipe evenly onto cookie layer, and smooth with a small offset spatula. Top with second cookie layer. Spoon 1¾ cups (294 grams) remaining buttercream into pastry bag, and pipe onto cookie layer, smoothing top. Place remaining cookie layer, flat side down, on top. Using a large offset spatula, spread remaining Spiced German Buttercream all over sides of cake and ½ to ¾ inch around edge of top. Using a bench scraper held flush against side of cake, scrape off excess buttercream to create a semi-naked cake look. (See Notes.)
  6. Place reserved 1½ cups (252 grams) Spiced German Buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with a large French star piping tip (Ateco #868); pipe decoratively around top edge of cake as desired. Garnish with pumpkin seeds, if desired. Refrigerate for at least 25 minutes or up to overnight before slicing and serving. (See Notes.)
Notes: This buttercream recipe yields enough to frost your cookie cake as desired, whether you want to recreate this look, pipe more all over the top, or fully cover the cake’s top and sides.

If refrigerating overnight, you may want to let your cookie cake stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour for easier slicing.

Spiced German Buttercream
Makes about 6½ cups
  • 1⅓ cups (267 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (40 grams) cornstarch
  • 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 2 large egg yolks (37 grams)
  • 1½ cups (360 grams) whole milk
  • 1¼ teaspoons (7.5 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 2⅔ cups (604 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) pumpkin pie spice
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks until well combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium heat, stirring frequently, until steaming. (Do not boil.) Gradually whisk warm milk into sugar mixture. Return mixture to saucepan; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, slightly lumpy, and beginning to bubble, about 4 minutes. Cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla bean paste. (Mixture should now be smooth again.) Pour into a large rimmed baking dish, spreading into a thin layer. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 1 hour.
  3. Let custard stand at room temperature for 40 minutes; stir until smooth and softened.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until light, smooth, and creamy, about 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add custard, 1 to 2 tablespoons (16 to 32 grams) at a time, beating until combined after each addition and stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  5. Switch to the whisk attachment. Add cinnamon and pie spice; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. If refrigerating, let come to room temperature and rewhip until fluffy and light before using.


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