Chocolate Cake with Pumpkin Swiss Buttercream

To start out the month of November I am bringing you this delicious Chocolate Cake with Pumpkin Swiss Buttercream. With October behind us and the leaves scattered to the earth like golden confetti its time to start preparing that Thanksgiving menu. For the next four weeks I will be bringing you weekly recipes that you can make for your Thanksgiving dinner. Starting with this amazing cake. Its the perfect alternative (or addition) to traditional pumpkin desserts, like the pumpkin pie, that grace our tables every year. Subtly flavored with real pumpkin and spices, this is a standout dessert that will make a statement this holiday! 



2 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup buttermilk, sour milk or Kefir

1 1/4 cups strong black coffee

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, butter and vanilla. Turn mixer on low speed to combine then beat at medium speed two minutes. Pour batter into a greased and floured spring form pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a vented surface 10 minutes then release the side of pan and let sit until completely cooled. 


{Pumpkin Swiss Buttercream}

5 large, fresh egg whites

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon cubes.

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

5 Tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Pinch of Salt 

Set up a clean bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment.

Add egg whites and sugar to a mixing bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until temperature reaches 160 degrees. The sugar should be completely dissolved and mixture slightly fluffy and lightened in color. 

Transfer the sugar and egg white to the prepared mixer bowl and whip on high speed until the meringue is thick, glossy and the bowl has cooled to a neutral temperature, this will take about 10 minutes (note: do not move to next step until the bowl has completely cooled to a neutral-not warm temperature.) 

Once the meringue is cooled, lower the speed to medium and begin adding the butter one tablespoon at a time mixing well after each addition of butter. If mixture becomes too runny or starts to look curdled place bowl in the fridge for 15 or so minutes then continue to whip until the mixture becomes smooth and silky. Add vanilla and salt, then add Pumpkin Spice Syrup one tablespoon at a time. 

The frosting can be stored in an air tight container up to a week in the fridge or in the freezer up to a month. 

A note about Swiss Buttercream: Before you get nervous and think this is something complex that you cant accomplish, I want to tell you that Swiss Buttercream is basically meringue whipped up with butter. It is far superior to a regular buttercream in that it is light, smooth, satiny and delicately sweet. Unlike American buttercream which is heavy, grainy and almost sickeningly sweet. The Swiss Buttercream allows whatever flavoring you add to be the dominator, rather than the sugar overpowering the flavors. Its perfect for all kinds of desserts, but in this particular one, it allows the main flavors of pumpkin and chocolate to really shine.