Sunday, 15 January 2012

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy New Year all!

I made this cake twice for Christmas gatherings a week apart. I'll let the reviews I got do the talking ;)

"I dare say your pumpkin cake is currently my most favourite thing in the world.
The sweetness of the caramel frosting perfectly counterbalances the pumpkin moistness and density of the cake with a little bitter chaser" (She should be a food writer right?!)

"I thought Hummingbird was good but ... this cake, oh my God"

"Possibly the best cake I've tasted of yours so far"

"Had a slice, smuggled out and carried across state lines. One word; sublime"

"Someone just screamed OH MY GOD. Can you get me her details?"

I'm not touting my own horn; it's the cake!

This incredible recipe (changed very slightly) is from Food & Wine.


1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
170g unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons double cream
455g cream cheese, cut into small cubes

2 cups plain flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 425g can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup whole milk

For the frosting
1 - In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vanilla bean and seeds. 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.
2 - Cook over a medium-high heat without stirring until a medium-dark amber caramel forms, about 15 minutes (Don't worry if it takes longer). Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the butter and double cream. (Don't worry if the butter separates). Discard the vanilla bean.
3 - Transfer the caramel to the large bowl and using a mixer, beat at low speed until the caramel cools slightly and comes together, about 5 minutes.
4 - With the mixer, beat in the cream cheese, 1 cube at a time and beating well between additions (until the cube you've just added has completely disappeared into the mixture), until silky. It should be cool by the time you've incorporated all the cream cheese. Transfer the frosting to a bowl and refrigerate until very firm, at least 6 hours.
For the cake
5 - Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas mark 4 / 350F. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. (Note: I made 1 1/2 half times the recipe to make a triple layer cake).
6 - In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
7 - 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.
8 - Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 20 - 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
9 - 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.
10 - Place one layer on a plate and spread with 1 cup of the caramel cream cheese frosting. Top with the second layer and frost the top and side.

Refrigerate the cake for 2 hours before serving.
Make ahead: The cake can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Notes: The cake can be garnished with candied nuts

Thank to Philippa Brady for the lovely Christmassy photos!


needlenerd said...

mmmmmm! thanks for sharing vickii!

Adura said...

This cake was soooooo yummy and moist! I think I ate at least 1/8th of this cake.

Life's too short jare ;)

Azuka said...

This looks great. I'm going to have to start baking soon.

Have you thought of compiling your posts in a book?

SaSa's Kitchen said...

I just found out from Doyin that you made my birthday cake last year, red velvet. It was absolutely divine! It was moist and delicious. Thank you soo much! Even after a few days it still stated fresh.

I can only imagine how lovely the cake is. Well done!

Vickii said...

@needlenerd: you're welcome Bonnie :)

@Adura: Ha ha glad you enjoyed it! Life IS too short!

@Azuka: You say this every time you comment on my blog - you need to start baking this weekend mister! Well maybe one day I'll have a book with my own baking recipes and better pictures :)

@SaSa's kitchen: Oh that was your cake? Wow! Small world! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. Thank you for your lovely compliment!

Gabriela said...

Hi Vickii - I am trying the frosting recipe for my husband's cake this Sunday. Does the the frosting get gooey and melty if left out too long? Just asking bc fridge space is tight. I think I am going to make the cake & frosting the day before, but not frost the cake until the morning of.

Vickii said...

Hi Gabriela, I thought it would get 'all gooey and melty' when left out for too long but it didn't (the first time I made it, we left it out in a central heated room filled with people all afternoon). It is a soft icing though and it's definitely a good idea to make it the night before giving it a good few hours in the fridge to become less soft so you can put it on the cake.

Let me know how it goes! It's a great tasting frosting!

Gabriela said...

Vickii~! I was not a believer of the frosting at first because it was so soft going into the fridge I thought it was never going to harden & got up twice during the night to check on it. I also almost lost patience waiting for the caramel, but OH MY! IT IS PROBABLY THE BEST CAKE frosting I have ever made or tasted. I got tons and tons of compliments. Thanks. It was DIVINE!

Flipper said...

Oh the memories of this cake...

...and ta for the photo credit hahhaha!

PS Now drooling at my desk looking through some of these!