Thanksgiving Cake

Thanksgiving Cake recipe
Mike Garten

Stack all the best flavors of Thanksgiving — pumpkin, cranberry, and pecan — into a single three-tiered cake.

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Cal/Serv: 770
Yields: 24 servings
Total Time: 5 hours 0 mins
Ingredients
Pumpkin Cake

Unsalted butter, for the pan

2 c.

all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan

2/3 c.

granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp.

baking powder

3/4 tsp.

baking soda

1 1/4 tsp.

pumpkin pie spice

1/4

kosher salt

1 c.

canned pure pumpkin

2/3 c.

packed light brown sugar

2

large eggs, at room temperature

2/3 c.

vegetable oil

Bourbon Pecan Cake
1/2 c.

(1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan 

plus more for the pan

1 1/2 c.

all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan

1/2 tsp.

baking powder

1/2 tsp.

baking soda

1/4 tsp.

kosher salt

1/4 c.

molasses

1/4 c.

dark corn syrup

2 tbsp.

bourbon

1 c.

packed dark brown sugar

3

large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 c.

buttermilk, at room temperature

2 c.

pecans, chopped

Cranberry-Ginger Cake
6 tbsp.

unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan

1 1/2 c.

all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan

1 tsp.

baking powder

1/2 tsp.

baking soda

1/4 tsp.

kosher salt

1 c.

sugar

2

large eggs, at room temperature

1 tsp.

pure vanilla extract

3/4 c.

buttermilk, at room temperature

8 oz.

fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed if frozen), coarsely chopped

1/2 c.

candied ginger, finely chopped

Cream Cheese Frosting
5

8-oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature

2 1/2

sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 c.

confectioners' sugar

5 tsp.

lemon juice

1/4 tsp.

kosher salt

Directions
Make Pumpkin Cake
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.Butter one 9-inch round cake pan, line bottom of pan with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Lightly flour buttered pan, tapping out excess.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. In a second bowl, whisk pumpkin and brown sugar, then whisk in eggs and oil until smooth. While whisking, gradually add dry ingredients and whisk just until smooth.
  3. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake until top springs back when gently pressed and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
  4. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then invert, discard parchment, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Make Bourbon Pecan Cake
  1. Follow step 1 from Pumpkin Cake (above).
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a second bowl, whisk molasses, corn syrup, and bourbon.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with buttermilk, beating until smooth; beat in molasses mixture, then stir in pecans.
  4. Transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake until top springs back when gently pressed and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then invert, discard parchment, and let cool completely on a wire rack. 
Make Cranberry-Ginger Cake
  1. Follow step 1 from Pumpkin Cake (above).
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and
    sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with buttermilk. Using a spatula, fold in cranberries and ginger.
  4. Transfer batter to the prepared pan; bake until top springs back when gently pressed and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then invert, discard parchment, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Make Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Using an electric mixer,beat cream cheese on medium until very smooth. 
  2. Add unsalted butter; beat on medium-high until smooth and fluffy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and kosher salt until smooth.
Assemble Cake
  1. If cakes have rounded tops, use a serrated knife to trim and make flat. 
  2. Place pecan cake on a cake plate and pipe cream cheese frosting around the edge of the cake (this will create a dam, preventing the cake from bulging and the frosting from escaping). Spread about 3/4 cup frosting evenly inside dam. Top with cranberry cake layer and repeat with frosting. Top with pumpkin cake and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. 
  3. Frost top and side of cake with remaining frosting, spreading on side so you can see cake through frosting. Chill until ready to serve or up to overnight. 
  4. Decorate with sugared rosemary (brush rosemary with corn syrup, coat in sugar, and let set 10 minutes).

PER SERVING 770 CALORIES, 47.5 G FAT (22 G SAT)URATED, 9 G PROTEIN, 440 MG SODIUM, 80 G CARB, 2 G FIBER

COST PER SERVING $1.72

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