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Pumpkin Mascarpone Cake

Our contributor shares a cake recipe featuring pumpkin mousse that is perfect for last minute entertaining this fall or any planned event.

10:00 AM EST on November 28, 2023

Pumpkin Mousse Cake.

Pumpkin Mouse Cake.

I learned to bake as kid during what I like to call, “the era of coffee and cake,” a time when family and friends would drop by almost spontaneously, usually on a Sunday afternoon for dessert — for coffee and cake.

The women, my grandmothers, great aunt, and neighbors who taught me to bake had what they called the 1,2,3 cakes, meaning, you’d get the call, and then the baking would begin. Within an hour, and with ingredients that were usually on hand, you’d have a scrumptious scratch cake.

The undisputed queen of these cakes in my world was my great Aunt Phyllis. Her desserts were epic, and I do believe that when she taught me to bake, she gave me a bit of magic.

In her spirit and memory, I have created this easy-peasy cake for Thanksgiving or any event in fall or winter. If you don’t have a Charlotte pan, feel free to use a bundt and serve the pumpkin mousse on the side or use a sheet pan and put the pumpkin mousse on top. It’s designed to be adaptable.

Note that this easily doubles or halves. For my Charlotte pan, I halve the batter.

Pumpkin Mascarpone Cake

Pumpkin Mascarpone Cake

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Recipe by Chiara Montalto Giannini


Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the Cake
  • 3 cups 3 flour

  • 1 3/4 cups 1 3/4 sugar

  • 1 envelope 1 lievito panenagli

  • Pinch salt

  • 4 4 eggs room temperature

  • 1 cup 1 whole milk

  • 1 cup 1 vegetable oil

  • 1 envelope 1 vanilla powder, or 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • A pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, and allspice

  • A drop of Nocello (optional)

  • For the Pumpkin Mascarpone Mousse
  • 1 pint 1 heavy cream, divided (reserve about 1/3)

  • 8.8 oz 8.8 mascarpone cheese, imported

  • 1 can 1 pumpkin

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 light brown sugar

  • 1/3 1/3 - 1/2 cup regular sugar (to taste)

  • About 2-3 spoons confectioners sugar, plus 1 envelope vanilla powder, to sweeten cream

  • 1 Pinch 1 each (to taste) Cinnamon, Clove Vanilla, Nutmeg Allspice


  • For the Cake
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Grease and flour pans.
  • Mix dry ingredients together.
  • Add wet.
  • Mix well.
  • Add spices.
  • Combine until you have a smooth and consistent batter.
  • Put in pan.
  • Tap on counter to release air bubbles.
  • Bake 350, 35- 40 mins till done.
  • For the Pumpkin/Mascarpone Mousse
  • Beat larger portion of whipped cream till soft peaks form.
  • Add in mascarpone, and mix to combine.
  • In separate bowl, mix together pumpkin and spices and sugars. Mix well.
  • Fold in Cream/mascarpone mixture till combined and uniform.
  • Chill until ready to use.
  • Whip remaining cream with confectioners sugar till stiff peaks form.
  • To Assemble the Charlotte
  • Put cooled cake on serving dish.
  • Cover with mousse.
  • Decorate with whipped cream.
  • Enjoy!

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