Combine sugar, oil, pumpkin, eggs, and extracts. Mix well.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
Combine gradually with wet ingredients.
Mix together until just combined, do not over mix.
Divide the batter between two 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pans (see note) that have been greased and the bottom lined with parchment.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs on it.
After cakes have been removed from the oven, gently level them by pressing the tops lightly with a towel until level.
Allow to cool completely. If possible, wrap and keep in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
For the Cream Cheese Buttercream
Combine cream cheese, butter and maple extract.
Whisk until smooth and combined, 1-2 minutes (I use a hand mixer, a kitchen-aid or by hand works too).
Add spices and powdered sugar.
Whisk until fluffy, adjusting the consistency with the cream 2-3 minutes. You may not need all of it so add it gradually, 1 teaspoon at a time.
The consistency of the icing should be smooth but hold it's shape.
This recipe fills three 10-inch pastry bags (plus a bit extra) and that is enough to ice the cake as pictured.
After cakes have been chilled, carefully cut each layer in half so that you have 4 full circle cake layers.
This is easiest when the cake is on a flat surface and you have a very sharp knife. Cut into the cake about 1/3 of the way, and then gently rotate your knife around until you have cut completely through.
Place one layer on your cake stand and spread about 1/2 of a cup of frosting out so it goes over the edge. Repeat with all of the cake layers.
Spread a thin crumb coat over the whole cake.
After your crumb coat is on, add a thicker final coat of frosting. Smooth this layer out.
Decorate as desired. I did swirls on the top and pressed pecans onto the bottom layer of the cake. After that, I drizzled caramel sauce and more chopped pecans over the top.
I used 8-inch cake pans for this recipe because I wanted the cakes to be a bit thicker since I was going to be cutting the layers in half. You can use 9-inch pans as well, just make sure you're working with an extra chilled cake to make cutting the larger and thinner layers easier.