IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Ultimate Thanksgiving Dessert: Pumpkin Cake and Pecan Pie

Pumpkin-Pecan Pie-Cake
Duff Goldman and Gesine Bullock-Prado team up to make the ultimate mashup Thanksgiving dessert, the pumpkin-pecan pie-cake.Samantha Okazaki / TODAY


Pumpkin chocolate chip bundt cakes
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 room temperature eggs
  • 2/3 cup room temperature buttermilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Pecan pie crust
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and chopped into tablespoon sized pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pecan pie filling
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups pecan pieces, lightly toasted
  • Pumpkin ermine frosting
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (or vanilla bean paste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5-6 sticks unsalted butter, just a bit cooler than room temperature, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
  • Chef notes

    This might be the most decadent Thanksgiving dessert ever. Chefs Duff Goldman and Gessine Bullock-Prado join forces to combine pumpkin chocolate chip bundt cakes and pecan pie into one. The end result: a mouth-watering pumpkin shaped cake that will certainly top off any feast. 

    Kitchen equipment required: Whisk, two 10-inch cake pans, mixing bowls, food processor, 9" fluted tart tin, sauce pan, stand mixer


    Pumpkin chocolate bundt cakes

    Preheat the oven to 350. Grease two 10 inch cake pans and line with parchment.

    Whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt.

    In a separate bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, oil, and sugars until combined. Whisk in the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla extract. Add the buttermilk and

    whisk until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

    Carefully, add the dry ingredients and gently mix until combined.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pans and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out clean.

    Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

    Pecan Pie 

    For the crust:

    In a small bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolk and vanilla. Set aside.

    In a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Keep pulsing and slowly add the sweetened condensed/yolk mixture, pulsing until the mixture just comes together when pinched. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and turn over a few times in a kneading motion and past into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

    Preheat oven to 350ºF.

    Line a 9" fluted tart tin with the dough. Dock the bottom, freeze for 10 minutes and then line with parchment and fill with dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the pie weights and bake for about 5 minutes more or until the crust loses its raw dough sheen. Set aside.

    For the filling

    In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until melted and there are no lumps. Add the corn syrup, maple syrup, vanilla and salt and stir until combined.

    In a small bowl whisk the eggs. Continue whisking and add a small ladleful of the warm sugar mixture to the eggs to temper. Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Keep whisking until the eggs are completely integrated into the mixture. Take from the heat and stir in the pecan pieces. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake until just set, about 50 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

    Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

    Pumpkin ermine frosting 

    In a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour. Add the maple syrup, milk, cream, pumpkin puree and salt. Stir over low heat until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 20 minutes.

    Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer and allow to cool until the bowl of the stand mixer is room temperature. Add the vanilla.

    With the mixer on medium speed, add the butter a piece at a time until the mixture thickens and is spreadable.

    Constructing the dessert 

    Reserve 3/4 of the ermine frosting for the outer icing and place the bundt upside down on the platter. Cover with 1/2 the remaining icing and top with the pecan pie. Spread the remainder of the icing over the pie and top with the 2nd bundt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

    To finish

    Smooth the reserve icing over the sides of the cake, using broad "swipes" along the side with an offset spatula to mimic pumpkin grooves. Fill the top/center bundt hole with frosting.

    Shape a 5 ounce piece of almond paste into a pumpkin stem, flattening the bottom a bit to form a base. Using a pastry brush, brush the stem with cocoa powder. Place over the filled bundt hole.