Tuesday, November 2, 2010
On Labor Day weekend, I was at the Williams-Sonoma Outlet (we're lucky to have one of these in town) and saw a pumpkin cake pan on sale. I try not to buy many seasonal baking items, because they just take up space for the rest of the year. But I love pumpkins, and I needed cheering up, and pumpkin things have a longer life span than, say, gingerbread men, so I bought it. :)
My big chance to make the pumpkin cakes came with my church's Community Group chili cook-off last Friday. They were a hit! This recipe came with the pan, but you could also use it for cupcakes. Due to time and location constraints, I iced mine with store-bought icing, but the cream cheese icing would have made them even better. This recipe is fussier than most - I don't know if that's a Williams-Sonoma thing or what.
Pumpkin Patch Cakes
From Williams-Sonoma. Makes 24 "half" cakes or 12 "whole" cakes (although I had batter for about two additional half cakes).
For the cakes:
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 ¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
2 ¼ tsp salt
5 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 ¾ tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cloves
14 Tbsp (1 ¾ sticks) unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1 2/3 cups pumpkin puree
For the icing:
8 oz cream cheese
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
½ tsp vanilla extract
Food coloring as desired
1. Preheat oven to 350 F and position the rack to the lower third of the oven. Generously grease and flour the wells of the pumpkin patch pan (or cupcake pan).
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves; set aside.
3. In a mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
4. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add pumpkin puree and beat until incorporated.
5. Divide half of the batter between the wells of the prepared pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
6. Tap the pan to loosen the cakes, then invert onto the rack and let cakes cool completely. Repeat the baking process with the remaining batter.
7. Meanwhile, make the frosting: In the electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed 2-3 minutes. Add butter and beat until combined, 1-2 minutes. Add confectioners sugar and vanilla, and beat until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add food coloring as desired.
8. To make "whole" cakes, place one pumpkin half on top of another, with frosting in between. Otherwise, decorate the exterior of the cake halves as desired. These are already huge, so I think a whole cake would be difficult to eat!