Celebrate fall’s apple harvest with recipes from Handmade Charlotte’s founders

The Great Pumpkin Layer Cake

Handmade Charlotte fall recipes
Two Bundt pans turn this cake into a pumpkin-shaped treat.

Photograph by Raftermen

The Great Pumpkin Layer Cake
Serves 12

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 ¾ teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.

Butter two 9-inch-diameter Bundt pans; dust pans with flour. Sift 3 cups flour and the next 7 ingredients into a medium bowl. In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat both sugars and oil until combined (mixture will look grainy). Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well-blended after each addition. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and orange peel; beat until well-blended. Add flour mixture; beat just until incorporated. Divide batter between prepared pans. Smooth tops. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Leave cakes in pans and cool completely on a rack. Run knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto racks, then turn cakes over onto a platter.

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
4 ½ cups powdered sugar

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in dark rum and vanilla. Add powdered sugar in 3 additions, beating just until frosting is smooth after each addition (do not overbeat or frosting may become too soft to spread).

Chocolate sauce
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup cream

In a small saucepan, heat chips until just melted. Remove from heat, add cream, and whisk until smooth.

Handmade Charlotte fall recipes

Place 1 cake layer, rounded side down, on a platter. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the top of cake to the edges. Top with second cake layer, rounded side up. Drizzle with chocolate sauce. Note: This cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.