Pumpple Cake—Philadelphia’s Quadruple Dessert

Desserts tend to get much more lavish around the holidays. This could be because people have time off (and therefore more time to spend in the kitchen). It could also be because everyone has stopped counting calories and resigned themselves to eating three days worth of sugar in one sitting.

On the Eighth Day of Imported Christmas, we stopped trying to decide which desserts to make and just made all of them at once in the form of a pumpple cake.

The pummple cake is the marvelous invention of the Flying Monkey Bakery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The dessert starts with two pies, pumpkin and apple, which are then baked into two cakes, chocolate and vanilla. The cakes are then layered and coated in buttercream frosting. Each year from October to January, customers can order this outrageous dessert from the bakery and knock out all of their Christmas favorites in one go.

Not being in Philadelphia, we opted to make our own pumpple cake this year. The cakes took twice as long to bake as usual, no doubt because of the dense pie in the middle. We used a regular apple pie, but found out afterward it is more traditional to leave the top crust off for this particular application.

Our review: pumpkin with chocolate is a revelation. Apple pie in vanilla cake is a delight. We aren’t sure that stacking those two wonderful combinations on top of each other really adds anything other than the undeniable wow factor. But if you are looking to make a dessert that people will talk about for decades to come, pumpple cake is the answer.

Interested in learning about more international Christmas traditions? Follow our 12 Days of Imported Christmas:

Twelve Days of Imported Christmas

  1. The First Day: Chichilaki—Georgia’s Shaved Christmas Tree
  2. The Second Day: Lotería de Navidad—Spain’s Communal Christmas Lottery
  3. The Third Day: Stargazy Pie—Cornwall’s Town-Saving Fish Dish
  4. The Fourth Day: Rellenong Manok—The Phillipines’ Elaborately Stuffed Christmas Chicken
  5. The Fifth Day: Himmeli—Finland’s Geometric Straw Ornaments
  6. The Sixth Day: Figgy Pudding—England’s Fiery Festive Centerpiece
  7. The Seventh Day: Glückspilz—Germany’s Lucky Mushroom
  8. The Eighth Day: Pumpple Cake—Philadelphia’s Quadruple Dessert
  9. The Ninth Day: Porchetta—Italy’s Decadent Pork Centerpiece
  10. The Tenth Day: Julkalender—Sweden’s Serialized TV Christmas Countdown
  11. The Eleventh Day: Peppermint Pig—Saratoga’s Shattered Sow
  12. The Twelfth Day: Ursul—Romania’s Bear Dance Festival

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