Saturday, September 6, 2014

PUMPKIN CAKE, The ONLY cake to make this FALL!

This is a FABULOUS cake.  I'm not overstating it, this pumpkin cake really is exceptional.
Hmmm,...you might wonder, how can I be so sure about that??  Well, I can give you FOUR very good reasons.  It has won first place AND best of show for the last two years in a row... Look, there I am and there is the cake...

That is technically four reasons, two first places and two best of shows'...but I am going to throw in a few more good reasons for good measure, in case you needed more convincing.


1. It's an award winning, blue ribbon cake, we covered that...

2.  It is a fantastic make-ahead dessert, meaning that it tastes better after it sits in the refrigerator overnight... the cake's texture and flavor are better the next day... a BIG plus in my book.  Perfect for when you are busy in the kitchen doing other things!

3.  It is unbelievably easy to make...really, it doesn't get much easier than this cake, I promise.

4.  It tastes like fall...It just hits all the right notes and makes you happy that autumn is here again!



PUMPKINS and AUTUMN LEAVES

I added a few edible pumpkins to the cake I entered at the fair.  I used marzipan, also called almond paste.  Roll a small ball of almond paste in your hand, like you would do for a meatball, but much smaller.  Using a toothpick, make indents like a pumpkin might have, shaping it as you go.  Add a marzipan stem. Repeat the process of making pumpkins of varying sizes to add interest to the final decoration.  This too is a make-ahead option.  Make the pumpkins up to three days ahead and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

For EXTRA GLAMOROUS CAKES ...use luster dust to give the pumpkins a golden look. Using a food safe craft brush, lightly dust the marzipan pumpkins to achieve the color. Luster dust comes in all colors, and is available in most cake decorating shops.
For autumn leaves, I used a small leaf-shaped cookie cutter, a little powdered sugar so it would not stick and rolled the marzipan out.  I applied the luster dust to the leaves too.

For the blog, I thought I would make this pumpkin cake as a Halloween cake..but really, it could be used for any fall event, tailgating, Sunday dinners, Thanksgiving...


MINIATURES

How sweet are these little Halloween fairy garden add-on's?  Perfect for fairy gardens...but I thought they would be so cute for a Halloween cake too!  Not all fairy garden items are likely to be food safe, so be sure to check before using any items on your food.

THE RECIPE

Here is the recipe below and  a 
handy-dandy printable version is available, just click PUMPKIN CAKE RECIPE HERE 

Pumpkin Spice Cake
First Place and Best of Show 2013 and 2014 made by: Karri Perry
4 large eggs room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin  use Libby's or a brand your trust--not generic.
***
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans (optional)

Combine first four ingredients into a bowl.  Blend well using mixer.  Combine flour and the remaining dry ingredients together.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, making sure all the flour is incorporated.  If using nuts, stir in by hand, do not over mix batter.

Pour batter evenly into three (3) greased, parchment lined 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.  Bake at 350 for 24 minutes or until set, toothpick will come out with no batter. 

 For cupcakes: makes 36 in cupcake liners, bake 17-19 minutes or until done--tops will look dry and a toothpick will come out clean.  Tip: Use an ice cream scoop for even distribution of batter for cupcakes.

Cool cakes out of pans on wire rack until completely cooled. Frost cake and put into the refrigerator until ready to serve.  This cake is even better after resting, chilled for 12-24 hours.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce cream) cheese bricks, softened
1 stick of room temperature unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3 -5 cups of confectioners’ sugar
Blend butter and cream cheese 2-3 minutes on medium until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla.  Slowly mix in confectioners’ sugar about a ½ cup at a time, until you reach a frosting like spreadable consistency. 

Tips: It may be helpful to frost between the layers and apply a crumb coat, refrigerate for 20 minutes to help cake firm up and then continue frosting.  Refrigerate cake when finished.  Cake flavor is best if allowed to chill overnight.  Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving.



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