I am brimming with excitement today. Here are the reasons why: 1- This is the best cake I have ever made and I can’t wait to share the recipe with you. 2- I leave today for San Francisco! Woohoo! And you know what is waiting for me there? A weekend of fun including the Food Buzz festival and getting to visit Andy’s hometown. Yup- I’m a happy girl.
Remember the first time I tried to make a layer cake? Yeah it didn’t turn out that well. This one was much different! Now I know that my layers aren’t exactly even, and I think I know how to fix it for next time, but is it so bad if I actually kinda like them this way? Sometimes I think a little less than perfect can be the most beautiful.
Guys I must say that this is one amazing cake. The frosting you may have seen before. Remember these cupcakes? When I made them back in May I used it on a Coconut Vanilla Bean Cupcake. Now even though they were outstanding, I had bookmarked this pumpkin cake recipe it was originally paired with for sometime in the fall. The frosting comes together like so: make caramel sauce, add cube by cube of cream cheese until the frosting is silky and caramel-y and delicious. Chill for a few hours so it gets nice and spreadable- and there you go. Pair it with the most soft and fluffy pumpkin cake, cinnamon sugar pecans and a drizzle of caramel sauce, and this is a fall dessert at it’s best. Trust me!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 pound cream cheese, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- Cinnamon Pecan Topping:
- 1 cup crushed pecans
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Caramel Sauce for drizzle: I like this recipe
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Cook over high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any crystals from the side of the pan. Cook over moderate heat without stirring until a medium-dark amber caramel forms, about 9 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the butter and heavy cream. (Don't worry if the butter separates.) Stir in Vanilla extract.
- Transfer the caramel to the large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat at low speed until the caramel cools slightly and comes together, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on, beat in the cream cheese, 1 cube at a time and beating well between additions, until silky. Transfer the frosting to a bowl and refrigerate until very firm, at least 6 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, nutmeg and cloves.
- In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar and eggs at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the oil, then beat in the pumpkin puree. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk in 3 batches, beating well between additions.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen the cakes, then invert them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Using a serrated knife, carefully slice each layer of cake in half to make 4 thin cake layers.
- Place one layer on a plate and spread with 1 cup of the caramel–cream cheese frosting. Top with the the next 3 layers and repeat. Then, frost the top and side. Top with Candied pecans and Caramel Sauce (optional) Refrigerate the cake for 2 hours before serving.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt. Whisk egg white until frothy and discard about half. Add the nuts. Toss until well coated. Add dry ingredients and stir well.
- Spread nuts on a cookie sheet lined with foil, in a single layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Once cool- break the pecans apart and sprinkle on top of the cake.
*The cake can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Adapted from: Food and Wine