Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

I celebrated yet another birthday last week and everybody asked me what cake did I bake for myself. When I said "Pumpkin Cake" they were all stumped. You see, in India Pumpkin is always used in savory dishes. Moreover we rarely use the orange pumpkin as it is not widely available. I have seen so many recipes for pumpkin pies, muffins, cakes etc and I was really tempted to try the pie. I searched for the canned stuff but it is not available anywhere over here in Dubai. One day however, I went to a supermarket where I rarely shop and what do I see? A can of pumpkin puree! I immediately grabbed it and headed home with grand plans of baking a pie. Sadly, there are no pie eaters in my house and I decided to chuck the idea. But when I came across this cake, I knew I had found the perfect recipe.

This cake is fantastic. But the frosting? It’s to die for! It may even be my favorite frosting from now on. It is light, creamy, not too sweet and does not have that buttery taste which I hate.

I highly recommend this cake if you want to try something new. I reduced the recipe by 25% as I had just less than 2 Cups of puree. The picture is of half the cake only as I have frozen the other half.

Ingredients - Makes one 7 inch four layer cake. (Reduced Recipe)

For the Cake
2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour (Spooned and Leveled)
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
A Pinch of Salt 
3/4 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp Ground Ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp Freshly Ground Nutmeg
3/4 Cup Golden Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
1 1/2 Cups Canned Pumpkin Puree
4 Large Eggs, At Room Temperature
3/4 Cup + 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
For The Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting - Yields enough to frost a 8" or 9" double layer cake. 
453 Grams (16oz) Full Fat Cream Cheese, Softened But Still Cool
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Cold Heavy Cream (Use The Ultra Heavy 40%+ Cream If You Can Find It)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
Bake The Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line two 7 inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
2. Place the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl and mix well with a whisk. Keep aside.
3. In another bowl, mix the brown sugar with 1/2 Cup of the pumpkin puree, ensuring there are no lumps. Add the remaining puree and oil. Mix well and add the eggs, stirring after each addition. 
4. Add the dry ingredients in batches, mixing well after each addition.
5. Pour equally into the prepared pans and place in the oven on a lower middle rack. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until done or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Unmold and cool completely before frosting.

Make The Frosting
1. Sift the powdered sugar and add the cream cheese to the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat them thoroughly until fluffy and completely smooth/lump free.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream to nearly stiff peaks, then add the whipped cream into the cheese mixture, scrape down the sides of your bowl and quickly and briefly beat to combine. Do not over beat.

Frost The Cake
1. Slice each cake horizontally to get a total of four layers.
2. Place one layer on a cake board or plate and place a dollop of frosting. Spread evenly without reaching the sides. Repeat with all layers.
3. Cover completely with remaining frosting, Decorate as desired.

Happy Eating!!