2023 Smith Brothers Farms Bake Off Winner Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake and Cupcakes with Caramel Drizzle

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake
“This is my own take on the always popular fall beverage, in a dessert form fit for any holiday gathering.
It is made with a blend of fall spices, and topped with a whipped cream cheese frosting. The handmade caramel sauce takes it to the next level. Friends and family will definitely remember this one.”


For the cake:

Makes 2 8” cakes or approx 20 cupcakes

  • 1 cup butter - room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3 large eggs - room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks - room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice blend (I use my own mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove)
  • 1/4 cup room temperature milk
  • 3/4 cup room temperature STRONG coffee

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder and spices. Set aside. 
  3. In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides down to make sure everything is incorporated. 
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well blended. Remember to scrape the sides. 
  5. Add both egg yolks and vanilla, mix well. 
  6. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on slow as you slowly pour in the milk and coffee in a steady stream. Once it is all incorporated, beat on medium high for one minute.
  7. Divide the batter evenly into 2 well sprayed 8" pans and bake for roughly 25 minutes (or 3 8" pans for about 19 minutes). The toothpick will come out clean. 
    For cupcakes: divide batter into the cups of a lined cupcake tin and bake for 13-15 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool in the pans for about 7 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  • 1 brick cream cheese (room temperature - soft)
  • 1/2 cup Butter (room temperature - soft) OR Crisco (yes, really. plain not butter flavoured)
  • roughly 6-7 cups powdered sugar (you can add more if needed)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or light cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

This recipe absolutely can be halved or doubled with no problem. The remainder can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Just bring it to almost room temperature and re-whip before using.

  1. Combine the cream cheese and butter/Crisco in a large stand mixer bowl and whip until well blended.
  2. Add the vanilla and mix well. Turn off the mixer and add all the powdered sugar along with half of the cream. Start mixing on slow and, as everything is incorporated, increase the speed. 
  3. Add about half of the remaining cream and start mixing on high. At first it will seem very thick, but the longer you whip it the more air becomes incorporated and the lighter and fluffier it will become. Add the remaining cream if needed. Sometimes it will take a little more cream, sometimes a little less. Always start out with less and add a tablespoon at a time if you find you need more. Continue whipping on high until you have your desired consistency - I whip it for about 10 minutes. You want it to be firm enough to hold shape, but not so firm that it feels thick and cloying.

    Then, decorate any way you want! In this case I used a homemade caramel sauce to create a drip effect, and did a simple rustic frosting style and shell/wave trim with fluffy puffs on top and a dusting of my pumpkin spice blend on top for added flavor. You can add whatever you and your guests will like the most. It is easy to customize and can have any topper added to complete the look you want.

    You will usually have leftover frosting - just store well sealed in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before re-whipping. Use within a week.