Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Cook's notes: Pumpkin desserts are especially popular during the fall and winter months and this Pumpkin Spice Cake is sure to please. It's a moist and spicy cake frosted with a maple flavored cream cheese icing. Now, don't confuse pure maple syrup with the corn syrup flavored with artificial maple extract, sometimes called 'pancake syrup'. Pure maple syrup is a reddish-brown aromatic liquid that has a distinctive rich, sweet and nutty flavor.

Cake flour is a finely ground flour used in many (but not all) cake recipes. Cake flour has a lower protein content of about 8%, as compared to a 10-11% protein content in all-purpose flour. The protein is important! It helps to add structure to our cakes. The lower protein content of cake flour ensures that our cake layers have structure and a soft and light (not tough) texture. Cake flour is especially important in chiffon or Angel Food Cake. We should have it in our pantry but that does not always happen.

that you can easily make a substitute for cake flour using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen: all-purpose flour and cornstarch.

How To Make Cake Flour:
  • Measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and place it back in your flour canister. Replace the removed all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
  • Sift flour 5 times. Yes… 5 times. Sifting the flour and cornstarch together will help thoroughly combine the mixture and help to lighten and aerate the flour. By replacing a bit of the all-purpose flour with cornstarch, we’re removing some of the gluten and replacing it with a tenderizing element.
You probably guessed right-I did not have cake flour for the recipe and had to follow above instructions.
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting 
recipe inspired by joyofbaking.com
Cake Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 TB. pumpkin pie spice or 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. ginger, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. allspice, 1/8 tsp. ground cloves 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Cake Directions:
  • Grease a 8 x 8 inch square pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  • Add in eggs one at a time. Add in pumpkin and vanilla and blend well.
  • In a another bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, salt and orange zest. 
  • Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture alternating with buttermilk. Stir in nuts.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes or until comes out clean using a toothpick in the center. 
Frosting Ingredients:
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 TB softened butter
  • 2 TB. pure  maple syrup 
  • 2-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk 
Frosting directions: 
  • Beat all ingredients with a mixer until smooth. Frost the cooled cake.    

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