Tiramisu purists may want to stop reading… this cake is a very loose riff on the classic, bringing pumpkin, cinnamon and almond flavors into the mix with more traditional mascarpone & liqueur. Of course, one bite and any protests will fade away as you sink blissfully into the cozy, creamy indulgence of this ultimate fall dessert. Ever since I saw this tiramisu cake, I’ve been wanting to make my own version that uses a similar method assembly, but spotlights a completely different flavor profile. Impress the neighbors by bringing this cake to the annual Halloween potluck – or wouldn’t it make a showstopping centerpiece to the Thanksgiving dessert table as an alternative to pumpkin pie? Keep reading for the recipe…and a “bonus” pumpkin-amaretto cupcake that I whipped up for good measure!

Italian-style Amaretti cookies add a satisfying crunch and take the place of tiramisu’s traditional dusting of cocoa.

This recipe yields enough for 9″ cake layers, but I decided to make mine a 6″ – perfect, since it meant I had enough cake batter and filling left to whip up these pumpkin-amaretto cupcakes! Just fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with the extra cake batter, top with crumbled amaretti cookies & sparkling sugar, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. For the ultimate cupcake, top with a bit of the mascarpone-whipped cream filling.

Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake

Ingredients:

cake:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin pie filling (includes all the spices)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
almond syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup amaretto
filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups mascarpone
  • 2 vanilla beans, seeds only, pods reserved for another use
  • 2 tbsp amaretto liqueur
  • 1 bag of amaretti cookies, crushed (found at many grocery stores or at any Italian market)

Instructions:

for cake:

  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans. Spray with cooking spray, then line bottom of pans with parchment paper; spray again, and dust pans with flour. Sift flour and next 3 ingredients into a bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat both sugars and oil in large bowl until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add pumpkin pie filling, vanilla, and orange peel; beat until well blended. Add flour mixture; beat on low just until incorporated. Divide batter between prepared pans. Smooth tops.
  2. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool cakes completely in pans on rack. Run knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto racks; remove parchment paper. Turn cakes over, rounded side up. Using serrated knife, trim rounded tops of cakes to level, then divide cakes in half horizontally to make 4 thin layers.

for syrup:

  1. In a saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Strain into a sealable container, allow to cool, then cover and store in refrigerator.
  2. When ready to use, mix in amaretto.

for filling:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar & cream of tartar, then beat until stiff peaks form.
  2. Meanwhile, combine mascarpone, vanilla beans and amaretto in a small bowl. Beat with a whisk to combine, then fold into whipped cream.

to assemble:

  1. Brush a couple spoonfuls of amaretto syrup on the cut side of each cake layer.
  2. Put the first layer, uncut side down, on a cake stand and spoon a generous layer of mascarpone filling over the top. Sprinkle a layer of crushed amaretti cookies over the filling. Repeat this process until all cake layers are used, ending with a thick topping of mascarpone filling and a generous sprinkle of amaretti cookies. Drizzle a little extra syrup over the top of the cookies and serve.

Store in the refrigerator – it’s great the next day!

15 comments
  1. 1
    Chris | October 30, 2012 at 11:31 am

    love the idea of using the marcarpone and amaretti cookies to bump up the flavor of the pumpkin cake……and it looks beautiful.

    Reply
  2. 2
    Ashley @ Any Lovely Thing & Yeah. We Bake. | October 30, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Gor-Geous, Camille! I’d love to see more dessert posts made by you (Jess too, she’s fabulous!)

    xo,
    Ashley

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | October 31, 2012 at 8:02 am

      Thanks Ashley – so glad to hear that you’re loving our sweets posts, and with the holiday season upon us there are LOTS coming your way! xo

      Reply
  3. 3
    TheLawStudentsWife | October 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    This is so beautiful! I adore tiramisu, and personally I feel like every Italian has their own take on this classic dessert anyway, so why not really mix it up as you have here? Seriously, this cannot be anything but pure deliciousness.

    Reply
  4. 4
    Erica | cupcakes + coffee breaks | October 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    This looks deeeelish! Even though I’m in the southern hemisphere and it’s not really pumpkin time, I am still putting this on my near-future-baking list. Because I love pumpkin, and because your photos are so gorgeous!

    Reply
  5. 5
    Tiffany @ Savor Home | October 30, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    This looks absolutely beautiful and delicious. It’s definitely on my list of desserts to consider for the holidays!

    Reply
  6. 6
    Camille Styles | October 31, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Thanks ladies – so glad that y’all are going to give this a try. I have no doubt you’ll love it, but please let me know how it goes, and if you make any tweaks or additions to this recipe!

    Reply
  7. 7
    invitation consultants | November 1, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    yummy!

    Reply
  8. 8
    Designiz | November 4, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Miam ! Ce gâteau à l’air aussi bon qu’il à l’air gras.Vive les calories !

    Reply
  9. 9
    Melanie {Reasons To Skip The Housework} | August 22, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    OM Gosh…are you serious? This looks delightful! Found you on Pinterest! We’d love for you to come over to our newest link party over at The Inspiration Network: DELISH- a desserts only link party. Bring your desserts and let’s party!!
    http://theinspiration-network.com/delish-dessert-link-party-no-1/

    Smiles,
    Melanie and Diana
    The Inspiration Network

    Reply
  10. 10
    Debraj76 | November 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Just finished making this, and it looks fantastic. However, I did have some issues with the recipe. Hopefully, this will be good feedback for anyone else attempting this lovely dessert! First, the hunt for amaretti cookies. Tried three stores, and could not find them. Finally, the nice people at Kroger called Pepperidge Farm, and they no longer make this cookie. Found them at World Market. Second, I do not believe a 15 oz can of Pumpkin Pie MIX exists. I searched stores and online with no luck. So….I used 2 cups of the Pumpkin Pie MIX from a 30 oz can (slightly more than half a can). Was not sure if the recipe calling for 15 oz was a typo, so just guessed at it. Third, I set my timer for 30 minutes to rotate my cake pans. Glad I did, as cakes were DONE! If I had followed the recommended 1 hr baking , this would have been ruined. Camille mentions that she used 6 inch cake pans (yielding a thicker cake), so perhaps recipe was tested accordingly. I did use the darker pans (not normally my preference) and one of the cakes was just slightly undercooked in the center but otherwise cook time was WAY off for me. End result looks perfect, tho’, and can’t wait to take it to Thanksgiving dinner! Will try and post an Instagram shot!

    Reply
  11. 11
    chichi | November 5, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Beautiful cake and photography. Love naked cakes. PINNED

    Reply
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