Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

My big Thanksgiving feast last year only added to my inspiration for creating the website.  The table looked wonderful, my cooking skills had improved enough to conquer a big meal and somewhere in the back of my mind, I think I knew these recipes would make it out for the for the rest of the world to see.  
The meal included the Cider Brine'd Turkey, warm artichoke dip, Sauteed Mushrooms in Collard Greens, Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese & Balsamic dressing, Candied Yams, Mashed Potatoes, chilled black olives and the log of cranberry jelly (some traditions stick).  I will review old pictures to see what I can post for your viewing pleasure. 
Now on to dessert...
Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cakes 
with Cream Cheese Frosting


Ingredients for Cake:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting pans
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp pur vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup canned crushed pineapple (do not Drain)
  • 1/3 cup dried currants
Ingredients for Frosting:
  • 1 package (8oz each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preparation:
  • Place rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Butter two 9-inch cake pans, including up the sides.  Line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper.  Sprinkle the pans with flour, tap and evenly distribute the flour.  Set aside until you need to use them.
  • Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves into a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine beaten eggs, oil and vanilla.  In a third bowl, combine pumpkin puree, coconut, crushed pineapple and currants.
  • Add bowl #2 (egg mixture) to bowl #1 (flour mixture) and stir with a spoon until just combined.  Add bowl #3 (pumpkin mixture) and stir until just combined again. 
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and spread the batter until even.
  • Bake for 35 - 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in to the center of a cake comes out clean. 
  • Transfer to wire racks and let cool in pan for 15 minutes.  Remove from pan (easy when you run a knife along the sides and it should slide right now), place cake on racks and let cool completely.  Don't forget to remove the parchment paper.
  • For the frosting, place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium until smooth, approximately 3 minutes.  Add butter and beat for an additional 2 minutes until combined.  Add the pumpkin puree and beat until incorporated, about 1 more minute.  Finally, add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, approximately another 3 minutes.
  • To assemble, place one layer of the cake on plate or pedistal.  Using an offset spatula, spread half of the frosting over the top of the first cake layer.  Spread the frosting right to the edge of the top without frosting the sides of the cake.  Carefully place the second cake on top, lining up the edges.  Spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake without frosting the sides.  Swirl the frosting to decorate the top.
  • Refrigerate cake to set the frosting. Before serving, remove from fridge for at least 30 - 40 minutes to come to room temperature.
Some Personal Notes:
  • If you do not have currents, dried cranberries or dried cherries work great as a substitute.
  • The original recipe called for double the ingredients for the frosting and I found that to be too much for the two cake layers.  You could always double the recipe if you're ready for a total frosting take over.
  • The cakes themselves can be made and refridgerated up to two days in advance.  Once done baking, chill completely, wrap tighly in saran wrap and store in fridge.  You can also freeze for up to one month.  Just make sure it is very tightly wrapped in saran wrap to avoid freezer burn.
**Recipe from epicurious.com & The New Thanksgiving Table

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