Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Hooray for pumpkin dessert season! I'm so pleased to be able to pop pumpkin muffins in my mouth every day now, telling myself they're healthy despite the chocolate chips I add liberally.

And it's great to have fall options for non-chocolate cakes at the restaurant. I'm sure sick of lemon-berry combinations. It's on to pumpkin and apples and cobblers and caramel apples and spicy things!

Also I need to figure out what tree is blooming in my yard that smells like apricots.

On a side note, this past weekend was Sara and Andrew's wedding. It was one of the very best weddings I've ever been to- so creative and delicious and visually stunning. Her mother and relatives picked and arranged the flowers themselves. They were lovely, jewel toned and wild-looking bouquets. Sara wanted a dessert spread on tree stump cake stands, so we baked non-stop from thursday to saturday and made 10 different cakes, pies and cheesecakes. Best of all, Sara and Andrew are so utterly perfect for each other, I want to hold them at arms' length and just grin at them, ending with a nice cheek pinch.

Um so anyway, this cake is very moist and spicy and divinely delicious. Make it this weekend for your favorite person.
Many, many bloggers have posted this cake, but the original is from David Leite and can be found here.

For the pumpkin cake (I made the original recipe times 1.5 to come up with a three layer cake. Here, it is already multiplied for the three layer.)

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cups cake flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 7/8 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray with oil and line 3 8 or 9-in round cake pans with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and the sugars in a stand mixer on low speed for about 5 minutes, until fluffy. While this is going on, sift the flour, baking powder and soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl.

Add the eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix the butter milk and the vanilla, and alternate adding the buttermilk and the flour mixture to the butter/eggs in 5 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Add the pumpkin and mix until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter between the pans and smooth the top of the batter. Drop the pans onto the counter from a height of a few inches to jar out any air bubbles lurking below the surface. Bake the cakes for about a half an hour, until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the pans for 15 minutes and then turn the cakes out onto racks and cool completely.

Make the frosting (adapted slightly):

16 oz (two packages) cream cheese
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 pound confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup, or to taste

Beat all the ingredients with a mixer until smooth and fluffy. (add the confectioner's sugar slowly while beating).

This cake might need to be refrigerated after frosting for about 30 minutes to set before cutting. I sprinkled cinnamon on mine. Mmmmmm.

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