This recipe comes from a friend of mine at work, who decided to bake a pumpkin spice cake after I told him of my easy recipe. Doug's recipe is much more challenging, but sounds incredible. I have not spoken with him yet to see how it turned out, but the maple syrup in the icing sounds wonderful.
Pumpkin Spice Cake:
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (270 grams) light brown sugar
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 (200 grams) sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk, room temperature)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces (228 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (preferably Grade A dark amber)
2 cups (230 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1/2 cup (50 grams) toasted and chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter and flour (or spray with Baker's Joy) two - 8 inch (20 cm) cake pans. Cake: In the bowl of your electric mixer(or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla and beat until incorporated.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 then pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle 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.
Frosting: 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 to combine. Adjust syrup or sugar until you have the right consistency.Assemble: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 chopped nuts, if desired. Refrigerate but bring to room temperature before serving.
This recipe is adapted from Cindy Mushet's excellent baking newsletter "Baking with the American Harvest". (Unfortunately, it is no longer in publication.)