Pumpkin Spice Cake

Yes, my first blog is about a cake.  What?  Who doesn’t like cake?  I’ve discovered that as my miles increase, so does my sweet tooth.  I can’t decide if that’s good or bad but, for you, it’s good because you get a cake recipe!  And, if you’re wondering, I ran 22 miles this morning.  No, that’s not a typo.  Yes, it was on purpose.  No, I wasn’t being chased.  Yes, I’m hungry.

We had a bake sale at work yesterday.  It was supposed to be a “healthy” bake sale but you know there were store-bought cupcakes and brownies and other treats there.  Healthy schmealthy, right?  Well, there were good things like muffins not the size of your head, cookies, and cupcakes made with whole wheat flour, splenda blend sugar (best invention ever!), egg whites, applesauce instead of oil, and pumpkin.  Yes, pumpkin!  I love pumpkin!  Plus, it’s chock-full of the antioxidant beta-carotene which is good for your health! (Read more here.)  Anyway, it’s almost officially Fall and the thought of pumpkin inspired me.  So, I looked for and found a recipe for a Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese frosting.  Delicious, right?  I mean really, can’t you just taste Fall right around the corner?!

Pumpkin Spice Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin (about 1/2 of a 15 oz. can)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups sifted cake flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tbsp pure maple syrup (preferable Grade A Dark Amber)

3 – 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ (aka powdered) sugar, sifted.

For garnish:

1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts or pecans

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven.  Butter and flour (or spray with Baker’s Joy) two 8-inch cake pans.

2.  In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.  Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Divide the batter in half and pour into prepared pans.  Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert and remove the cakes from their pans.  Cool completely before frosting.

4.  Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of your food processor (or use a hand mixer) and pulse until smooth.  Add the maple syrup and confectioners’ sugar and process just to combine.  (Do not over process or the frosting will be too thin.)  Adjust syrup or sugar until you have the right consistency.

5.  Place one of the cake layers, top side down, on a serving plate.  Frost with a layer of icing.  Place the second cake, top side down, onto the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake.  Garnish with toasted nuts, if desired.  Refrigerate but bring to room temperature before serving.

6.  ENJOY!

*recipe courtesy of http://www.joyofbaking.com*

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