pumpkin cake

Today we're talking about cake.  Pumpkin cake to be precise.  There's salted caramel involved as well (because duh...you should know by now that I'm obsessed with it).

I made this cake for my birthday way back in October!  Yes, I know that was more than a month ago, but my life is just calming down after our crazy Fall season on the farm, and I'm very slowly catching up on all of the Fall themed things I shot but didn't have time to blog.

Also....Yes, those are leaves on my cake. #noregrets

Anyhow.....I knew that I wanted a pumpkin cake, and I had dreams of a brown butter swiss meringue icing situation with salted caramel drips. Alas, it was not meant to be, as my icing majorly failed, and I had to improvise with whipped cream instead.  Of course this happened with half an hour of daylight left, and family arriving for my birthday dinner.  Talk about STRESS!!

Nonetheless, it was mighty delicious, but very messy, as whipped cream isn't the best for layer cakes.  Cutting the cake was a bit of an adventure, as the messy, imperfect photos below can attest to.  And maybe there was a birthday-life-lesson in there somewhere, since life doesn't always turn out the way you imagined.  It's often messy and imperfect, but when in doubt, caramel drizzle makes everything better.

Pumpkin Cake

yields: approx. three 6-inch cake layers


1 1/3 cup butter (browned)

3 1/3 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp allspice

4 eggs

15 oz pureed pumpkin (about 2 cups)

2  2/3 cup brown sugar

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla




1)  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2)  First you'll want to brown your butter, and allow it to cool slightly.  Using a stainless steel saucepan or frying pan is great since you'll be able to see when the butter starts to darken.  Place your butter in a large pan over medium heat.  Swirl the pan to help your butter melt and cook evenly.  It will take a few minutes, but your butter should start to foam a little bit on top, and then will start to darken.  Keep swirling, and once it reaches a dark tan colour then remove from heat and set aside to cool.  It will smell a bit nutty and taste extra delicious!  (You can always skip this step if you're short on time, and just melt your butter instead).

3)  In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice.  Mix well, and then set aside.

4)  In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.

5)  Add your browned butter, pumpkin, milk and vanilla, and mix well.

6)  Gradually add your dry ingredients to the wet ones, and mix until just combined.

7)  Distribute batter between your greased cake pans.  (If you don't have 3 pans, you can bake  1 or 2, and then remove your cake from the pan(s) once the cake has cooled a bit, wash the pan, re-grease it, and bake the next one.  The cake will likely rise a bit differently since the batter has sat for a while!  I bit the bullet and purchased 3, and it makes life so much easier!)

8)  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Frost your cake with your desired icing - I recommend using Amy's Brown Butter Swiss Meringue Frosting (recipe here).  Or you can use whipped cream for a messy look like me!  I added homemade salted caramel between each layer, as well as on top of each piece as well.  Have fun with it!

Happy Cake Baking!