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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cake

As Thanksgiving nears, the pumpkin spice recipes must continue rolling. My beloved is part of an interesting faction called the Zombie Squad (don't try to look it up). They're all close friends, and they are like family. So this past Saturday was the ZS Thanksgiving! Everyone was to bring something, and I was volunteered to bring a cake (of course!). I figured I'd make a pumpkin spice cake, and decorate it with none other than the unofficial sponsor of ZS-- Natural Light beer. I found the recipe for a very moist pumpkin cake at The Joy of Baking and it goes as follows:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar (packed)
2 large eggs
1 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin (about 1/2 of a 15 ounce can)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (I replaced this with nutmeg because I didn't have cloves-- still turned out great!)
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1) First, I preheated the oven to 350 and sprayed 2 8" round pans with Baker's Joy (it's just as good as buttering and flouring a pan without the fuss and mess). I also moved a rack in the oven into the center position.

2) Beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy (2-3 minutes) then add the eggs, one egg at a time, giving time between each to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl (and the beater!!) if necessary. Then add the pumpkin and vanilla. Beat until mixed well.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

Add the buttermilk and the flour mixture alternately, making 3 additions. Make sure to start and end on the flour mixture. Pour the cake batter evenly into both cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a butter knife inserted into each center comes out clean.

4) Cool the cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out of their pans to cool completely.

While the cakes were baking, I got started on the cream cheese icing, which is the same recipe that I had used for my pumpkin cupcakes.

I decided to torte the two layers to add some height and make it look a bit fancy when cut.

Cream cheese icing is very soft, so I refrigerated after the crumb coat, I refrigerated after the final coat, and I refrigerated when I was done with my design.
I scored the logo with a toothpick and got to work filling it in. I like the "puffy" look, so I went over my design a couple of times. I added borders to the bottom and top, and I was done! Everyone LOVED the cake, both inside and out.

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