Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cake of the Week: Pumpkin Chocolate Layer Cake


Ah the joy. Cake of the Week Tuesday. I hope you appreciate all the blood, sweat, and tears I put into this blog for your enjoyment! (Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration…) Though there is a chance that I am slightly loosing my mind (blame the blog? blame the fish? who knows???) For example, I often think in terms of blog posts. And I find myself making ridiculous lists and noting potential entries. For example, last Friday, I typed this up when “inspiration” hit:

I’ve started keeping running lists of things for “professional blogging purposes.” (Aka – I feel justified wasting time.) Which is ironic because professional = you get money for doing something. Which is not my relationship to this blog. Nope, I’m doing this all for you, no strings attached.

Things that make me happy:

Cupcakes at work

Weird things I’ve eaten today:

A cupcake with a shrunken head decoration on top. Yes that’s right. NatGeo is celebrating Expedition Week by giving staff free cupcakes. And the fondant shrunken head? To celebrate the new NatGeo special of course! Overall, the shrunken head part…kind of weird. But refer back to the “free cupcake” part. I’m not complaining.

Look forward to more “lists” in the future. Or dread them…your choice.

Anywhoozle – back to Cake of the Week!

On Sunday, I just had to make a cake (for professional blogging purposes). But after my weird morning, I was kind of uninspired. Just not in the mood for cake? That can’t be right…

Perhaps the fantabulous pumpkin ginger pancakes Mer made for me satisfied my cake cravings for the day? Well they were quite delicious, but I kind of live by the life-philosophy that there is no maxing out on goodness!

Inspiration struck later that afternoon. I had pumpkin. I had chocolate. I had cream cheese. And I didn’t want to make the trek to Safeway…so Pumpkin Chocolate Layer Cake it is!

This recipe has been in my mind for a while - I almost made it for the Dessert Party, before opting for a less complex (but no less delicious) option.

The cake is fantastic! Really moist and delicious. The ingredients for the pumpkin layer are exactly the same as the chocolate layer (except one involves chocolate - obviously).

I modified the original recipe from Baking Bites a bit by adding more spices.

And the frosting is quite good, if I do say so myself. I halved the cream cheese (because I only had 8 ounces), and thus added a bit more milk, but followed the rest of the recipe. I think that because my version had proportionately more maple syrup than the original, it turned out a lot stickier and a bit difficult to spread. So this isn’t the prettiest cake I’ve ever made – but it’s GOOD!

Sidenote: I just had major inspiration. Woah. Here it comes. Make this cake recipe, and then make butterscotch filling. And then frost the whole thing with maple buttercream!!! OhmygoshOhmygoshOhmygosh! Someone please do that NOW!

Phew. Sorry – sometimes I get excited. Here’s the cake:

 

Pumpkin and Chocolate Layer Cake


Pumpkin Cake Layer

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour


1/2 cup brown sugar


1/4 cup sugar


1 tsp baking soda


1/2 tsp baking powder


1 tsp ground cinnamon


½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cloves

½ teaspoon ginger

1/4 tsp salt


2 large eggs


1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil


1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled


3/4 cup pumpkin puree


1/2 cup milk


1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Chocolate Cake Layer

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour


1/2 cup brown sugar


1/4 cup sugar


1 tsp baking soda


1/2 tsp baking powder


1/4 tsp salt


2 tbsp cocoa powder


½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon ginger

2 large eggs


1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil


1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled


3/4 cup pumpkin puree


1/2 cup milk


1 tsp vanilla extract


2-oz dark or bittersweet chocolate, melted (I did math for you! That’s about 4 Tablespoons of chocolate chips. You’re welcome.)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and lightly grease the bottom and sides of both.
Set up two large mixing bowls so that the batter for both cakes can be prepared at the same time.

For the pumpkin cake:

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
In a large measuring cup, or a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil, melted butter, pumpkin puree, milk and vanilla extract until all ingredients are well combined.
Pour pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients and stir until no streaks of flour remain visible. Pour into a prepared pan.

For the chocolate cake:

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Sift in cocoa powder and spices and whisk to combine.
In a large measuring cup, or a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil, melted butter, pumpkin puree, milk and vanilla extract until all ingredients are well combined. Whisk in melted chocolate.
Pour pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients and stir until no streaks of flour remain visible. Pour into a prepared pan.

Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed. The baking time is the same for one cake as it is for two cakes in the oven at the same time.
Turn cakes out of their pan and onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting. Freeze them for easier cutting/frosting.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

2 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature


1/2 cup butter, room temperature


1/4 cup maple syrup


1/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract


3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat at high speed until smooth, gradually adding the confectioners’ sugar until a thick and spreadable consistency is reached. Additional confectioners sugar may need to be added to thicken frosting, especially if humidity is high in your area.

To assemble the cake, slice both the pumpkin cake and the chocolate cake in half horizontally. Place a chocolate round on a cake stand or serving platter, spread with a thin layer of cream cheese icing, and place a pumpkin layer on top. Make sure to spread the frosting all the way to the edges of the cake rounds. Spread the pumpkin layer with frosting and repeat with remaining chocolate and pumpkin layers.
Use remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. 

No comments:

Post a Comment