Monday, December 5, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Cake 
Maple Frosting
This is pretty much the best pumpkin spice cake I have ever had. I think the frosting is what pushed this one over the edge for me. I don't usually lick frosting before it is on the dessert (that's what Ryan is for) but this one made me rethink my stand on being a non-frosting-licker. The candied pecans didn't hurt, either--next time I will double the pecans! 
For the cake: 
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
3/4 cup brown sugar 
3/4 cup sugar (you can use all brown sugar if you prefer, so 1 1/2 cups)
12 tablespoons melted butter
3 eggs
15 oz. can pure pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)

*the original recipe also suggests using Garam Masala or Chinese 5 spice for more complex flavor

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
12 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2-3 cups powdered sugar

For the pecans:
1 cup whole pecans
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
pinch of kosher salt

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking dish, set aside.
Mix all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pour in the melted butter, pumpkin puree, and eggs. Mix together until completely incorporated and smooth.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes until the cake bounces back when pressed and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
For the frosting:
Place cream cheese, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until light and creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until desired consistency. If you need to thin it out a bit just add milk a teaspoon at a time. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use. 
Spread over cooled cake. 
For the pecans:
Place the pecans in a skillet over medium heat, drizzle with syrup and sprinkle with salt. Keep the pecans moving until all the syrup is clinging to the pecans and begins to crystallize, this will take several minutes. The nuts will become glossy when they are done. The syrup coating will harden up a bit as they cool. Transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Once cooled, sprinkle over the frosted cake. 

Store the cake in the refrigerator, it will keep for several days...if it lasts that long.

Recipe adapted from 'A Spicy Perspective'.

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