At The Table: Pumpkin Spice Cake

Although autumn technically started on September 23, on the insistence of Mother Nature and her recurring desire to greet the beginning of the school year with unseasonably warm weather, I don’t get into the full swing of fall until October. I mark the first signs of the changing season by playing around with the decor in our home, pulling out our warmer jackets and rain boots and of course by adding a little fall flair in the kitchen. It’s no secret that I adore the pumpkin and I try to incorporate any of it’s touches into our autumn life, especially when the touch is as sweet as this scrumptious confection you see before you!
Pumpkin Spice Cake
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground nutmeg
*Pumpkin Cream-Cheese Frosting

1. Prepare cake pans: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat three 8-inch cake pans with softened butter. Cut three 8-inch circles out of parchment paper and fit them into the bottom of the cake pans. Lightly coat the paper circles with butter and set aside.

2. Make the batter: Cream butter until smooth in a large bowl with an electric mixer set on medium speed. Add the sugars and mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and light. Set aside. Combine the pumpkin purée, buttermilk, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. In thirds, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture, blending well after each addition until smooth.
3. Bake the cake: Pour batter into the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean — 35 to 40 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan on wire racks for 30 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and return to the wire racks until completely cool.
4. Assemble the cake: Place one layer on a cake plate and top with one-third recipe of Pumpkin Cream-Cheese Frosting. Repeat with the second and third layers. Serve or store refrigerated for up to four days.
*Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Blend the cream cheese, pumpkin purée, butter, orange juice, zest, and vanilla in a large bowl using an electric mixer set at medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and creamy, about 5 minutes.

*recipe via Country Living

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