What Is a PieCaken—and Where Do I Buy It?

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You've heard of a turducken—but how about a PieCaken? It's the pinnacle of outrageous Thanksgiving desserts.

If there was ever a year to treat your family to a one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving dessert experience, 2020 is the year. It’s time to grab a couple forks and prepare for…the PieCaken. It’s a wonder to behold!

What Is a PieCaken?

PieCaken is a three-layer cake with two pies inside. The bottom layer of this dessert is sweet pecan pie, followed by a layer of pumpkin pie and finally a spice cake layer. Both pie layers even have real pie crust. A rich and silky cinnamon frosting runs through each layer and covers the entire cake.

The top is decorated with fluted mounds of frosting and a dollop of fresh, apple pie filling. (It’s the dessert world’s answer to the turducken.)

The genius responsible for this crazy Thanksgiving dessert is award-winning pastry chef Zac Young, a frequent judge of Food Network shows like Chopped, and a featured chef on Top Chef: Just Desserts and the Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets. In 2015, Zac created this twist on three classic holiday desserts, and the PieCaken has been a legend ever since.

What Does PieCaken Taste Like?

You may be wondering if the flavor of a PieCaken really lives up to the hype—and I’m here to tell you that it does! It’s like tasting an entire Thanksgiving dessert table all in one bite. The pumpkin pie layer is smooth and creamy with a hint of ginger, while the pecan pie has a deep, brown sugar sweetness plus a crunch from whole pecans in the filling. The soft, moist cake layer is full of holiday spices like nutmeg and clove. That addictive cinnamon buttercream brings everything together, along with a crumbly oat streusel pressed all around the outside.

Not surprisingly, one small slice of this 6-pound cake is more than enough!

Where Is the PieCaken Bakeshop?

The viral success of Zac Young’s PieCaken gave him the opportunity to open a pop-up PieCaken Bakeshop as part of the Revolution Food Hall in Roseville, Minnesota. Though the brick-and-mortar bakery has since closed, the Piecaken Bakeshop lives on though Goldbelly, a gourmet food mail order service.

(Not in Minnesota? That’s OK—each state has its own outrageous dessert to brag about.)

Where Can I Buy PieCaken?

You can order your PieCaken from the PieCaken Bakeshop through Goldbelly. The original, 8-inch pie cake is available there now. The cakes are shipped nationwide and are delivered frozen. This dessert can be stored frozen for up to three months—meaning you can order a Piecaken now and have it ready well in advance for your holiday table.

Let the PieCaken sit at room temperature for three hours, then slice and serve. Just one dessert will feed 12-18 people—and each one of them will remember it for years to come.

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How to Make a PieCaken

Slices of PieCakenCourtesy Goldbelly.com

Feeling up for a challenge? You can attempt baking a homemade PieCaken. Start by choosing your recipes for pecan pie, pumpkin pie and homemade spice cake.

You’ll also need three 8-inch springform pans, which will make it easy to release the pies and cake as tidy layers.

Step 1: Make the pies

Press pie dough into two of the springform pans, over the bottom and about two inches up the sides. Fill one with an inch of pecan pie filling and the other with an inch of pumpkin pie filling.

Bake the pies until the fillings are set and the crust is golden. Once the pies cool, trim the crusts down a little to be even with the filling. Chill both of the pies in the fridge.

Step 2: Make the cake

Pour spice cake batter in the third springform pan and bake. Once the finished cake is cool, slice through it horizontally to make a layer about 1-½ inches high. Chill the cake.

Step 3: Make the frosting

Make a buttercream frosting like this one and add 1-2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon. Make enough of this cinnamon buttercream for a three-layer cake.

Step 4: Assemble the cake

Place the chilled pecan pie on a cake board and frost the top with a half-inch of cinnamon buttercream. Chill it for 30 minutes. (Chilling helps make the layers stable for stacking.)

Next, place the pumpkin pie on the cake, and frost it with a half-inch of cinnamon buttercream. Chill the cake for 30 minutes.

Finally, place the spice cake layer on the top, and frost it with a half-inch of cinnamon buttercream. Chill the cake for 30 minutes.

Step 5: Decorate

Carefully frost the top and sides of the whole cake with the remaining cinnamon buttercream. Pipe a few decorative flourishes of frosting around the top edge. For the final touch, add a dollop of prepared apple pie filling (or diced apples tossed with a little sugar and cinnamon) to the top of the cake. Chill your homemade PieCaken for at least an hour.

Let your homemade PieCaken sit at room temperature for about an hour before slicing and serving.

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Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.