Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting

That’s kind of a mouthful!  🙂  An extremely tasty mouthful, at that!

It is also quite tasty.  And probably not the best for my dieting efforts.  😛

I actually made this cake twice, as the recipe also suggests a bundt version.  This cake is NOT a lie.


It was an excellent excuse to buy that bundt pan I’ve been eying for the last month or so.  Fall just seems like a very bundt-y time of year.  Especially with pumpkin.

The list of ingredients is relatively short for the amazing taste of this cake!

One of the best things I’ve invested in so far has been a digital scale.  It’s the red thing hanging out on the right, under the brown sugar.

I’ve been really amazed at the lack of standardization in quantities and weights of prepackaged ingredients…butter, for instance.  While every stick says it is 1/2 cup, they weigh anywhere from 3.5 to 6 ounces!  That’s a big difference when baking.

Begin by creaming 4 oz butter with 12 oz brown sugar.  I’ve actually mixed 1 bag of light brown sugar with a bag of dark brown sugar, and I’m pretty sure I like the taste better that way.  Holy cow, what an innovation!  I’ve created medium brown sugar!  LOL

Room temperature is suggested for butter, eggs, and other ingredients from the fridge.  I’m finding the term ‘room temperature’ is pretty subjective.  Does it mean winter or summer room temp?  Texas room temp?  Mum’s house (around 80F), or mine (around 70F)?

I’ve decided what it really means is that the ingredients need to be soft enough to mix and emulsify well, but not so soft that they are liquidy and soggy.  Creaming the butter and sugar creates little air bubbles, which in turn, make the cake or muffins or whatever lighter and fluffier.

In a small bowl, bet together 2 eggs and 1 tbsp vanilla extract.  In another bowl, measure out 1 can pumpkin puree.  In a third bowl, sift together 2 cups cake flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground allspice, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.  Set out 1/2 cup buttermilk so it warms a bit to ‘room temp’.

First, add the egg mixture to the creamed butter sugar mixture, 1 tbsp at a time, letting it become fully incorporated before adding the next tbsp.  Stop about halfway through, and scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.

Then, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour.  Allow ingredients to incorporate between additions, and stop to scrape the bowl at least once.

For the bundt, just spray the pan with non-stick of your choice, fill and bake at 350F for abut an hour.

For the frosted layer cake, spray a 9 inch round, then line the bottom with a cut circle of parchment paper.  Again, bake at 350F for about an hour.

To make the frosting, toast 4oz pecan pieces.  Blend together 12 oz cream cheese, 3 oz butter, 1/2 cup maple syrup, and 1 3/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar until smooth and fluffy.  Use the best maple syrup.  Not the stuff that is really coloured corn syrup, but the real stuff that comes from trees!  I get mine from Whole foods, in the bulk isle, and it’s really pretty reasonable that way.

Unmold the cake onto a cake flat or tart pan bottom, leaving the parchment paper on the cake.  Level if necessary, and then slice the cake into tow layers.  Place the cake’s top layer onto the serving plate, cut side up, and frost.  Flip the bottom half onto the frosted part, parchment paper side up.  Peel off the paper and frost.

Press the toasted pecans into the side of the frosted cake.

Use a teaspoon to create swirls on the top.

Now it looks like something from the bakery!  No action photos, though, as it was almost 2AM!

I didn’t get the two layers quite even, but it still looks great, and tastes awesome!  Since it has cream cheese in the frosting, I refrigerated it overnight, but it tastes better served at room temperature…whatever that is!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

When I worked at Whole Foods Market, I looked forward to this time of year because of the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  I ate a lot of other yummy stuff also, but I particularly like the combination of pumpkin and semi-sweet chocolate.

I do not like pumpkin pie.


Whisk together 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 tsp salt.

With the mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup granulated sugar until fluffy, then add 2 eggs, one at a time, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.  Continue beating until smooth. Don’t overbeat, though, as it makes the muffins tough.

On low speed, alternately add 3/4 cup pumpkin puree and the flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.  Remove from the mixer, and fold in 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Grease the muffin tin and bake at 350F for about 20 – 25 minutes.  cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.

Eat immediately.  Otherwise, they’ll be gone!  😛

They are especially good, I think, while the chips are still warm and melty.

And now that it IS that time of year, I’ll be doing a lot more with pumpkin.  I may not like pumpkin pie, but I luves pumpkin in pretty much anything else!