Pumpkin Layer Cake with Pear Buttercream and Caramelized Walnuts

Kürbistorte mit Birnencerme und karamellisierten Walnüssen

This layer cake is perfect for fall/winter as it is a hybrid. Hybrid because it contains pumpkin, which for me is associated with fall, but also winter as it has pears and walnuts. You think a pumpkin layer cake? Really? But once I tried a latte macciato with pumpkin, I  thought, why not a layer cake? Below pumpkin layer cake with pear buttercream and caramelized walnuts (I just love this title, it just makes me proud), was invented by me. Don’t worry, if you are not a big fan of pumpkin, its flavor is very subtle. Trust me. I have to say, I was a bit surprised when I started looking for recipes. Pumpkin and caramel is common as is pumpkin and chococlate. But pumpkin and pear is rare. At least in the baking department. But I just love that combination. Pumpkin and pear, I feel it is perfect. Maybe this cake is perfect for your Thanksgiving party? Or to start holiday baking season? It definitely is a show-off!

This cake consists of a very light pumpkin cake layer, which is accompanied by a buttercream with pears. And to top it all off, the caramelized walnuts make this a real beauty. When I served this cake to my test eaters (yes, not only my husband, but other people), all agreed that the caramelized walnuts were what made this cake so special. Next time I try this cake, I will definitely increase the amount of walnuts and will also put walnuts in the buttercream. The recipe below already reflects these changes.

So as stated, a very light and fluffy pumpkin cake layer, which will be subtle, a creamy pear buttercream, which is not as sweet as American buttercream and caramelized walnuts.

Kürbistorte mit Birnencerme und karamellisierten Walnüssen

Enough said, huh? Let’s bake!

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Pear Buttercream and Caramelized Walnuts

Serves: 1 four layer 20 cm ∅ cake
Cooking Time: 1hr preparation + 8-10min of baking


  • Cake Batter
  • 200 grams of pureed pumpkin, no additional flavor, pie filling doesn't work
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 100 grams of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of molasses (or alternatively 50 more grams of brown sugar)
  • 90 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice

  • Pear Cream
  • 2 very large pears or 4 smaller ones
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding
  • 50 milliliters + 150 milliliters of milk
  • 200 grams of butter, at room temperature
  • 200 grams of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 50 grams of regular sugar

  • Caramelized Walnuts
  • 250 grams of walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 70 grams of regular sugar



If you have to make the pumpkin puree, cut pumpkin in small pieces, add a little water, simmer for about 15min and puree. Set aside 200 grams.


Butter your springform(s). I used a very low 20cm cake pan. If you have low ones, you will get 4 cake layers. However, you can also bake in one deep 20cm springpan and divide into three or four later on. Adjust baking time accordingly.


For the cake batter mix eggs, molasses and sugar with a mixer for about five minutes in a large bowl. Add the pumpkin puree and mix a little more. Sift all other ingredients on top and slowly fold in everything.


Pour into prepared springform(s). Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for about 8-10min if baking each layer separately, for baking in one form, adjust time, approximately 20min. It’s crucial to immediately bake the batter once prepared.


Once done, let cakes set for five minutes and then take out of form.


For the pear buttercream filling first cut the pears into small pieces and simmer for about five minutes with the butter and cinnamon until soft. Puree once done.


Stir the instant pudding with two tablespoons of sugar and 50 milliliters of milk in a mug until no lumps are found.


Heat the pureed pears with 150ml milk again, stir in pudding mix and let boil for about two minutes. Cool off in freezer.


Meanwhile cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar in a bowl. Slowly add the pudding mix. Again set aside for further use in fridge.


For the caramelized walnuts place walnuts with butter in a frying pan and roast on medium heat until butter is melted. Add the sugar, still constantly until sugar slowly becomes brown. Take out off the pan and place on parchment paper, moving the walnuts as otherwise you will have a gooey mess.


To assemble the cake smear pear cream with some walnuts between the cake layers and also on top and a little bit on the sides. This is a naked cake. You should have enough cream though for the entire cake.


Garnish with more caramelized walnuts as desired.


Enjoy chilled.

Kürbistorte mit Birnencerme und karamellisierten Walnüssen




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  • Reply
    frugal hausfrau
    Saturday November 25th, 2017 at 11:27 AM

    Hi Jenny, this is marvelous! Pear cream! Oh I’m just about swooning over that. And I love the rustic “naked” look to the frosting. Thanks for sharing with us at Fiesta Friday!


    • Reply
      Saturday November 25th, 2017 at 12:35 PM

      Yes, pear cream! We need more of that!

  • Reply
    Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook
    Sunday November 26th, 2017 at 07:04 AM

    Such a pretty, pretty cake and sounds delish, too! 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Jenny! Happy FF!

    • Reply
      Sunday November 26th, 2017 at 10:59 AM

      It was gone in a beat!

  • Reply
    Judith Graber
    Sunday November 26th, 2017 at 11:45 AM

    Pumpkin and pears – I would never have put the two together. Looks like you have created quite the cake. Great dessert to bring to Fiesta Friday this week.

    • Reply
      Sunday November 26th, 2017 at 11:56 AM

      Why not? I really love the combination!

  • Reply
    Sunday November 26th, 2017 at 08:19 PM

    This looks absolutely delicious! Happy Fiesta Friday!

    • Reply
      Sunday November 26th, 2017 at 08:55 PM

      Thanks, Sarah!

  • Reply
    Saturday December 4th, 2021 at 05:49 AM

    Hey die Torte sieht super aus, bei mir funktioniert nur leider der link nicht zum Rezept ? hast du eine Lösung? Grüße Jenni

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