Italian Pumpkin Cake (Torta di Zucca) with Orange-Mascarpone Topping
This beautifully moist and flavorful adaptation of a few Jewish-Italian recipes features a special addition of orange-mascarpone topping. The cake is best made the day before serving; make the topping up to 6 hours ahead.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup mild olive oil
- 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
- In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. In a large bowl, combine both sugars. Add the eggs and oil and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, 2 minutes. At low speed, mix in the pumpkin, vanilla and lemon zest. Mix in the flour mixture until combined.
- Pour batter into pan and smooth the top. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. Store covered at room temperature until ready to serve.
- Topping: In a large bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer on high speed until it holds soft peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. In a medium bowl, blend the mascarpone, sugar, zest, juice and vanilla on medium speed until combined. Gently fold in the cream. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Serve cake slices with a dollop of topping.