Friday, November 4, 2016

Pumpkin Espresso Cake with Fall Roses

As I type this, my baby is asleep on my lap, his eyelashes fluttering against his soft chubby cheeks, his warm milky breath fanning my arm, his lips puckering and suckling in his sleep.  How is he already a month old?  Fall has passed me by this year - in the last few weeks, the wind has stripped our maple tree almost bare, the backyard is a sunset of fallen leaves in every shade of red and purple, and late afternoon brings with it the chill of autumn as the sky darkens earlier and earlier each day.

I'm learning to multi-task like I've never had to do before - holding baby while typing, eating, cooking...  I find I have to choose between taking a shower, brushing my teeth, putting on makeup; getting ready throughout the day happens in 5-10 minute increments, but never all at once.  It's now taken me hours to get these few paragraphs typed up, and I am only just now finishing since my husband is home.

This cake is the first dessert I've made since having Phoenix, and I made it for the occasion of my parents visiting last week.  It's a recipe I've posted previously for brown butter pumpkin cake with espresso buttercream, and I thought they would like it.  Our roses are still blooming fabulously, and made a pretty garnish for the cake.  The cake is all gone now, but the roses are still blooming, at least until the first freeze comes.

In other news, why is the internet in such an uproar every year over a disposable holiday coffee cup?  It's just a cup.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Cake with Mocha Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons, cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 can (14 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2-3 tablespoons espresso powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms only of three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Cook the butter, swirling occasionally, until nutty brown solids form on the bottom of the pan; remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.  Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, then whisk in the browned butter until smooth.

Divide the batter between the pans.  Bake until the centers of the cakes spring back, and a toothpick comes out clean, about 22-26 minutes.  Cool in the pans, on a wire rack, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and espresso powder for several minutes.  With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar and meringue powder until combined.  Add the milk and vanilla and increase the speed to medium high; whip for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy.

Frost the cooled cakes with the buttercream.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen