Pumpkin Olive Oil Cake With Chocolate Crumbles & Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

Are you sick of all the pumpkin recipes yet? I sure hope not! I have a few more waiting to be shared. Coming in first place would have to be this cake. I mean look at it! I can’t contain my excitement cause it screams fall and the taste is outright impeccable. I had the honor of working with Carapelli again and they sent me their Il Centinario Olive Oil which is made from 100 year old olive trees! The slight peppery notes compliment the cake so well and keeps it light unlike a buttery cake. The frosting is the perfect blend of spices and I could’ve eaten the whole bowl with a spoon if I had no self control (which I don’t). And those chocolate crumbles are just to die for. I’m surprised there were any leftover for me to decorate and assemble the cake with! I couldn’t stop munching on those delicious, crunchy balls of goodness. Now don’t forget the mocha ganache because it is the perfect topping to go with all of it. I might have drizzled on some extra ganache on my slice…shhhh.

The concept of how I decided to decorate this cake came from the famous Christina Tosi and her lovely open cakes. If you don’t already know, cakes are probably one of my favorite things to bake, but when it comes to decorating I almost always lean back on what I know. It took me completely out of my comfort zone to make this one. I knew I wanted to try out her technique for a while now, but taking the first step is always difficult. Though I am SO glad I did because now I have opened up a door of possibilities. So once again, I’m thankful for working with a company that values creativity and got me to step outside the box. Let me know if you end up trying this recipe, I do love seeing your recreations!



for the cake

  • 1 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup Carapelli’s Il Centinario Olive Oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 maple syrup
  • 1/2 dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste

for the crumble

  • 2/3 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (melted)

for the frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temp.)
  • 8oz. cream cheese (room temp.)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp, ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

for the ganache

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coffee + more if you want a thinner consistency

for assembly 

  • Acetate cake collar/wrap


for the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Butter and flour (3) 6in cake pans & line the bottoms with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda, & salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all other ingredients.
  • Add the dry Ingredients to the wet and mix till just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the three cake pans. I like using a scale here to make sure each layer is even.
  • Bake for 25-30 mins or until a toothpick entered into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting and assembling.

for the crumble

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In a medium heatproof bowl, melt the butter.
  • Add all ingredients into the butter & mix with a fork until clusters form. At this point it may be clumping quite a bit, but that’s okay.
  • Transfer the crumble to your cookie sheet and using your hands, separate the big clumps. Make sure to spread the crumble out so they’re not all sticking to each other.
  • Bake for 25 mins, tossing them halfway through.
  • Take the crumbles out and let them cool completely before using. They will harden more as they cool, so no worries if you feel they’re too soft out the oven.

for the frosting

  • In a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together till light and fluffy (~3mins).
  • Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
  • Add in all the spices and beat to combine.
  • Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping after each addition.
  • Transfer the frosting to a piping bag or a ziploc bag then set aside or let it chill in the fridge till you’re ready to assemble.

for the ganache 

  • Place the chocolate and coffee into a heat proof bowl & microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each time util all is melted. You can add more coffee 1 tbsp. at a time if you want a thinner consistency.


  • If the tops of your cakes need to be leveled off, do so now.
  • Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate & wrap the acetate around the cake, using tape to keep it together.
  • Pipe the frosting in a circle around the edge of the cake, then fill the middle.
  • Sprinkle the crumbles on top of the frosting, the press them slightly into the frosting.
  • Drizzle the ganache over the crumbles.
  • Place the second layer of cake on top & repeat.
  • For the last layer, flip the cake layer upside down so that the bottom is facing up. This ensures that your cake is level and flat.
  • Repeat the frosting & crumble step, but do not drizzle on the ganache yet.
  • Let the cake cool and set in the fridge for 3 hrs or overnight.
  • Remove the acetate & drizzle on the rest of the chocolate over the cake. You may need to reheat the ganache in 15 second intervals.
  • Slice, serve and ENJOY!

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