Tag Archives: cake recipes

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting and Caramel Filling

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Here is the ultimate pumpkin cake! It’s the cake that will make your holiday unforgettable! It’s a delicious, decadent , over the top dessert! Spicy pumpkin cake in four layers, caramel layered between the cake, then topped with a cream cheese buttercream frosting.  On top of the cake are shards of pepita ( pumpkin seed) brittle. The cake stays moist so you can make it a day in advance and keep covered in the refrigerator. It’s sublime!

From by the bay wishing you, pumpkin food memories!


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Butter for coating cake pans, at room temperature
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons canned unsweetened pumpkin purée
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Caramel Filling

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar or until thick enough to spread

Directions for the cake

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch sides. Line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper. Sprinkle the pans with flour, tap the pans to evenly distribute the flour, and then shake off the excess flour. Set aside.
To make the cake, in a large bowl, sift together the 2 cups flour, the granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and allspice. In a electric mixer using the paddle attachment combine the pumpkin, sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in orange zest. On low speed add the flour mixture to the flour mixture until just combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, spreading it evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a tester inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Transfer to wire racks and let cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Run a table knife around the edge of the pans to loosen the cakes. Invert the cakes onto the racks and peel off the parchment paper. Let cool completely before frosting the cakes.

Directions for the cream cheese buttercream frosting
To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed for about 3 minutes until smooth. Add the butter and beat for about 2 minutes until combined. Add the pumpkin purée and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat for about 3 minutes until fluffy.
Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate or platter. Using an offset spatula, spread half of the frosting over the top of the first cake layer. Spread the frosting right to the edge of the top without frosting the sides of the cake. Carefully place the second cake on top, lining up the edges. Spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake without frosting the sides. Swirl the frosting to decorate the top. Refrigerate the cake to set the frosting. Remove from the refrigerator 30 to 40 minutes before serving.

Directions for caramel filling

In a medium sauce pan add brown sugar and butter and cook for two minutes on medium heat, melting butter. Add mild and bring to a boil. Take off heat add vanilla, mix and cool. Once cool whisk confectioner’s sugar until good consistency to spread and smooth. Add more sugar until thickened if needed.

To assemble cake :

Cut each cooled layer of pumpkin cake in half with a serrated knife. Place first layer on cake stand and using an offset spatula spread on top of cake. Spread the frosting right to the edge of the top without frosting the sides of the cake. Carefully place the second cake on top, lining up the edges.Repeat with the remaining 3 layers.

Spread  cream cheese buttercream frosting over the top of the cake and sides. Swirl the frosting to decorate the top. Refrigerate the cake to set the frosting. Remove from the refrigerator 30 to 40 minutes before serving.Spread the top and then sides with the cream cheese buttercream frosting. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Let come to room temperature.

Optional : garnish with pepita/ pumpkin seed  brittle recipe follows below

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Pepita Brittle

Adapted from “Craft of Cooking” by Tom Colicchio and Smitten Kitchen Blog from 11/1/2008

Makes one 12 x 16 – inch pan

Canola -oil spray

2 cups sugar

1/4 pound unsalted butter

6 tablespoons corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 pound  or 1 1/2 cup shelled raw unroasted pepitas ( pumpkin seeds)

1 1/2 tablespoons Maldon sea salt 


Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with Canola oil. Take a large non-stick pot and add sugar, butter, corn syrup and 1 1/3 cups water. Place on high heat melting sugar until the caramel turns amber color, stir occasionally as this is cooking. This might take awhile, it will thicken as it boils before it finally turns amber. At this point add the baking soda and salt, then remove from heat and add the pepitas. Stirring well, then quickly pour onto the baking sheet and spread out evening with a spatula. An alternate method for a smoother brittle is slide the parchment paper out of the baking pan and onto a smooth counter top. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and use a rolling in, to smooth the brittle and roll it out thin. Once the brittle is rolled out you can remove the top sheet of parchment paper and  let the brittle cool and then break into pieces. If you can resist eating this , store in an air tight container.

Blueberry Boy Bait

I love looking around antique fairs for cookbooks and recipes. I stumbled upon the 1954 Pillsbury Grand National Baking Contest recipe book and was drawn to the recipe with the amusing title Blueberry Boy Bait. A young teenager won the 2nd prize in the Grand National Junior Contest  with this recipe she made her friends. There are many adaptions of this receipt from Nigella Lawson to Smitten Kitchen , sharing my favorite from Smitten Kitchen. With a name like Blueberry Boy Bait the cake is had to resist and so good you can understand why it is boy bait. too bad I didn’t find this recipe a long time ago!!

From by the bay, wishing you fond boy bait food memories!


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Blueberry Boy Bait
From Smitten Kitchen , which adapted it from  the Cook’s Illustrated version, which was adapted from the original


Serves 12, generously

2 cups (250 grams) plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks, 8 ounces or 225 grams), softened
3/4 cup (145 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup (235 ml) whole milk (though buttermilk, which was all I had on hand, worked just great)
1/2 cup (about 85 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first as it tends to muddle in the batter)

1/2 cup (about 85 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down bowl. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one-third of flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining one teaspoon flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.

For the topping:
Scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

Slightly Salted Brownie Cake

I love recipes that are easy to make, impressive to serve and delicious to eat. This recipe delivers 100% and more. You can make the simple batter a few hours in advance, put in a ramekin and keep in the refrigerator. Bake at the end of your meal and serve warm! Perfection.

From by the bay, wishing you warm brownie cake food memories!


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Adapted from a recipe featured on Goop ” Date Night Dinners”


2 ounces salted butter

2 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao)

¼ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 ½ tablespoons flour

whipped cream, crème fraiche or ice cream, optional

1. Lightly grease two 6-ounce ramekins with butter or cooking spray.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate together over medium low heat, whisking every so often to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn. Once the mixture is melted and smooth, remove the pan from the stove and whisk in sugar and vanilla. Add the flour, whisk, then add the egg and whisk until everything is incorporated. Use a spatula to divide the batter evenly between the two ramekins. At this point you can cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

3. To cook, bake in a 375 degree oven for exactly 18 minutes. Serve plain, with freshly whipped cream, crème fraîche, or your favorite ice cream.


Mitzi’s Plum Cake

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Mitzi’s Plum Cake

¼ pound unsalted butter softened plus 1 tablespoon

½ cup fine sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for topping the cake

1 egg

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

6 italian plums

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Split plums and remove pits. Place plums in bowl, cover with lemon juice, mix and set aside. Using electric mixer combine  ¼ lb butter and sugar until fluffy, then add egg and combine. Next add  the flour and  baking powder and combine. This makes a soft dough.  Take an 8” non stick cake pan line with parchment and butter and flour the pan. Press the dough into the pan covering the bottom of the cake pan. Use a spatula to spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Press plums into dough with the cut side facing up in a concentric circle. Combine 1 teaspoon sugar with ½ teaspoon cinnamon, mix and sprinkle on top of the plums. Dot with extra butter. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until  cake tester is clean.

Variations: replace plums with apricots or peaches