Luscious Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake
Frankly, pumpkin, you had us at pie. But this jaw-dropping cake with pecans, caramel and cream cheese seals your place in the baking hall of fame as best ingredient ever.
- 1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
- 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin, divided
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup oil
- 4 eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, divided
- 1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
- 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
- 1/4 cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans
- HEAT oven to 350°F.
- BEAT cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs and 1 tsp. spice in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round pans.
- BAKE 28 to 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 10 min. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely.
- BEAT cream cheese in medium bowl with mixer until creamy. Add sugar, remaining pumpkin and spice; mix well. Gently stir in COOL WHIP. Cut each cake layer horizontally in half with serrated knife; stack on serving plate, spreading cream cheese filling between layers. (Do not frost top layer.) Drizzle with caramel topping just before serving; top with nuts. Refrigerate any leftovers.
- VARIATION Prepare using PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese and COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping.
- HOW TO SLICE AND STACK CAKE LAYERS Place 1 of the cooled cake layers on serving plate. Make 2-inch horizontal cut around side of cake, using long serrated knife. Cut all the way through cake layer to make 2 layers. Remove top layer by sliding it onto 9-inch round cardboard circle. Frost cake layer on plate with 1/3 of the COOL WHIP mixture. Slide top half of split cake layer from cardboard circle onto frosted layer on plate. Place the remaining unsplit cake layer on a cutting board. Cut into 2 layers as done for the first layer. Repeat process of transferring cake layers to stacked cake layers on plate using the cardboard circle.
- SUBSTITUTE Omit caramel sauce. Microwave 10 KRAFT Caramels and 1 Tbsp. milk in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until caramels begin to melt. Stir until caramels are completely melted. Drizzle over cake just before serving; top with nuts.
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