Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pumpkin Dream Cake

I've noticed that I haven't done any new pumpkin recipes this fall. But I did stock up on some pureed pumpkin that I've roasted and pureed. Its sort of been my tradition every year ever since my older daughter was born - to buy loads of pumpkin around Halloween and then roast and puree them for later use. I use them to make my now famous Pumpkin Cake Roll that I make a ton of around the fall, as well as Pumpkin soup, and Pumpkin Spice Pancakes.

This year, I'm so excited to finally get a chance to make this Pumpkin Dream Cake from one of my favorite blogs, The Novice Chef. I've had this recipe saved up ever since I first saw it on her blog last year. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it then because I was in my first trimester of my 2nd pregnancy, suffering from a bad case of morning sickness. So no pumpkin puree or any pumpkin recipe in the fall of 2012. But I vowed that it would be my first pumpkin recipe to try out. And boy was it worth the wait.

I never used to like anything that had to do with pumpkin. But I discovered that it was the spices associated with pumpkin that I didn't like: nutmeg, ground ginger, all spice, cinnamon. Don't get me wrong. I love all those spices. Just not all together with pumpkin. I guess that's why I don't like pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice latte that's been all the rage lately. I'm pretty selective with the spices and flavorings I use with pumpkin in my recipes. This cake hardly has any of the traditional spices in the cake. Which is why I absolutely love this cake. And its so moist and fluffy. After testing this recipe out, hubby has asked me to make it for his family's Thanksgiving luncheon. And I was happy to oblige.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1- 15 oz can puree)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk

Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
12 oz (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (optional, because I didn't have any)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 cups confectioner's sugar

1) Preheat oven to 300 deg F. Grease 3-8 inch pans. Set aside.

2) In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3) In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla, pumpkin and vegetable oil. Slowly beat in flour, alternating with the milk. Continue beating until well combined.

4) Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick test comes out clean. Remove pans from the oven and immediately place in the freezer to cool for 45 minutes. This will keep the cake moist by immediately stopping the baking so the cake does not continue to bake when you remove it from the oven.

5) For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese over medium speed until smooth. Beat in maple syrup (if using), vanilla and cinnamon. Slowly add confectioner's sugar on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth.

6) Assemble the 3 layers with a thick layer of frosting in between each layer. Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top and the sides. Place in the freezer to harden the crumb coat for about 10 minutes.
Then apply one thick layer of frosting around the outside of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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