Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake with Cinnamon Eggnog Buttercream

During the holiday season, the house is filled with candies, cookies, cakes and more. While I am always a fan of the traditional desserts, I still like to mix things up, just a little, and create a new variation. This past week, my husband had his department Christmas party at work. When trying to decide what to make for the event, I considered brownies, cupcakes, and cookies, but I just wanted to expand my horizons a little. As I thought more about what to make, carrot cake came to mind.
My husband absolutely loves spiced cakes such as carrot cake, but is not a big fan of the rich cream cheese icing. I know, I know. Many of you are rubbing your eyes right now to make sure you read that last sentence correctly but it is true. He does not care for cream cheese icing. Imagine! Anyway, as I began to think about how I could change the recipe, I decided to make a pumpkin spice cake layered with a creamy eggnog buttercream that I developed last year. The result is delicious. Even if you do not like eggnog, you need to try this. Neither of us care for eggnog on it's own, but in this buttercream it is just a thick, vanilla flavored boost that makes this buttercream spectacular.

2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
4 Large Eggs, Room Temperature
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
2 Cups Pumpkin Puree
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
6 Cups Powdered Sugar, Divided
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Eggnog
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar, oil, and eggs until smooth. 
2. In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients and spices together.
3. Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, half a cup at a time, making sure to mix well during each addition.
4. Add the pureed pumpkin to the batter. 
5. Mix until combined.
6. Prepare three 9-inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray with flour. 
7. Evenly divide the batter into the three pans.
8. Place into a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until lightly brown. You can use a toothpick to check for doneness, if you desire.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack for cooling. While the cakes cool, allow the butter to soften at room temperature.
10. Once the cakes are completely cool, approximately 1 hour, begin to make the buttercream icing.
11. In a large mixing bowl, beat 3 cups of powdered sugar with the remaining icing ingredients on high for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, slowly incorporate the remaining powdered sugar, whipping on high until fluffy.
12. Carefully assemble the cake. The layers are very tender so be careful when stacking. Smooth the buttercream between each layer. 
13. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to allow the buttercream to set.
14. Prior to serving, allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
15. Slice and enjoy!

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