Culinary Tales/ Sweet Things

Easy Pumpkin Mocha Cake

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Kraft Heinz

This Easy Pumpkin Mocha Cake is sure to please everyone at the table! Three layers of moist, spiced pumpkin cake with a creamy mocha filling. 

The finished cake on a cake stand.

This cake is inspired by a Maryland tradition: Smith Island Cake—a cake said to have come to Maryland in the 1600’s with settlers. Smith Island Cake traditionally consists of 7-10 thin layers of cake all topped off with a rich chocolate glaze. 

The first time it was known to be published in a cookbook was in the 1990s, where it started out as 3-4 layers. In a friendly competition the neighborhood women were always trying to see who could make theirs higher, adding layer after layer. until they had finally perfected it to a steady 7-10 layers every time! 

In the 2000s it was actually approved as Maryland’s official dessert. Go anywhere on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and you’ll likely find this decadent cake front and center on the dining room table for Holiday dinners.

This Easy Pumpkin Mocha Cake takes the traditional idea andflavors of a Pumpkin Smith Island Cake, but utilizes an easier execution!

Picture of the finished cake garnished with edible flowers,

Bonus: I was able to find all of my ingredients at Walmart! I love shopping at Walmart when I’m picking up things for the holidays. It’s so convenient and affordable!

All of the ingredients together.

Plus, there’s a #ShareTheHolidaySweepstakes going on! You can enter the sweepstakes by clicking here for a chance to win daily prizes of $100 Walmart gift cards and a grand prize trip to visit loved ones (a $2,500 value). As a special gift from Walmart you’ll be emailed a link to download a free digital cookbook of holiday favorites (including this recipe!).

Easy Pumpkin Mocha Cake

Start by preheating the oven to 350° F. Prepare three 9” cake pans by greasing the pans with a little shortening and then lining the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. (You’ll need to cut the parchment paper into circles to fit perfectly into the bottom of the pan.)

Cake pan lined with parchment paper.

Next, using a large bowl, add the pumpkin, vanilla extract, butter, and eggs. 

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. 

Dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing thoroughly with a hand mixer on low. Finally, add the buttermilk. Make sure the entire cake batter is completely mixed and there are no lumps. But, do not overmix!

Batter mixed in a bowl.

Now, divide the batter into the three pans. Cook for about 25 minutes (turning halfway through). 

Cake poured evenly into three pans.

Cake is done when it is a golden brown or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cake cooling on a rack.

At this point remove cakes from the oven and let cool until pans are cool to touch. Place a plate over the top of each pan and carefully flip. Set each layer parchment paper side down on a cooling rack. Let the layers cool completely before frosting.

Prepare the Mocha cream. In a bowl: Add the COOL WHIP, cream cheese, brewed coffee (cooled), cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Using a hand mixer mix on low.

One layer of cake frosted.

Place one layer of cake on a cake stand. Evenly spread about ⅓ of the Mocha Cream onto it. Place another cake layer on top of that and repeat. 

Two layers of cake frosted.

Finally, place the last layer on top. Go ahead and spread the remaining Mocha Cream on the top.

Three Layers of cake frosted.

This is when you can place the chocolate covered espresso beans and/or flowers on top if desired! Use edible, seasonal flowers that are available near you for a rustic look. (I used peach carnation petals, a sunflower, a pumpkin blossom, and some whole oregano leaves.)

A picture of the finished cake and coffee.

Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Easy Pumpkin Mocha Cake

Print Recipe
Serves: 16 Cooking Time: About 1 hr

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin Cake
  • 1 cup pumpkin, canned
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • Mocha Cream Filling
  • 1 tub (8 ounces) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
  • 5 tablespoons PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • ½ cup of brewed MAXWELL HOUSE Original Roast, cooled
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Optional Garnish:
  • Chocolate covered espresso beans (7-9)
  • Edible flowers such as carnations, sunflower, pumpkin flowers, and/or oregano leaves

Instructions

1

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 9” cake pans. Grease the pans with a little shortening and then line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. (You’ll need to cut the parchment paper into circles to fit perfectly into the bottom of the pan.)

2

In a large bowl, add the pumpkin, vanilla extract, butter, and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing thoroughly with a hand mixer on low. Finally, add the buttermilk. Make sure the entire cake batter is completely mixed and there are no lumps. But, do not overmix!

3

Divide the batter into the three pans. Cook for about 25 minutes (turning halfway through). Cake is done when it is a golden brown or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

4

Remove cakes from oven; let cool until pans are cool to touch. Place a plate over the top of each pan and carefully flip. Set each layer parchment paper side down on a cooling rack. Let the layers cool completely before frosting.

5

Prepare the Mocha Cream. In a bowl: Add the COOL WHIP, cream cheese, brewed coffee (cooled), cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Using a hand mixer mix on low.

6

Place one layer of cake on a cake stand. Evenly spread about ⅓ of the Mocha Cream onto it. Place another cake layer on top of that and repeat. Finally, place the last layer on top.

7

Spread the remaining Mocha Cream on the top.

8

If desired, place the chocolate covered espresso beans and/or flowers on top.

9

Slice, serve and enjoy.

This holiday season may look a little different but, with classic, comforting foods and family traditions, it’s easy to remember the simpler times! 

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