Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Maple Butter Cream Icing

Okay do I really need to even try to convince you that this is amazing and you must go make it right now? Seriously? Okay…

Now what?!? Go make it for goodness sake.

The perfect fall dessert. Moist, spicy cake with a creamy sweet maple topping. Mmmm.

Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Maple Butter Cream Icing
Makes two 8 inch round cakes or one 9×13 sheet cake

2 cups all purpose flour, sifted (you could sub whole wheat pastry flour)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup buttermilk (I used a cup of milk mixed with 1 tbsp. lemon juice. let it sit for 30 min. at room temp.)
2 sticks butter, softened (NOT melted)
1 cup sucanat (could use brown sugar)
1 cup white sugar (could use all sucanat for a whole foods version)
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Line the bottoms of 2 round 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Grease the parchment, as well as the sides of the pans. Preheat the oven to 325°. Center a rack in the oven.

To make the cake, combine the flour, baking soda, spices and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine pumpkin puree and buttermilk and mix until smooth. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase to high speed and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and scraping down the bowl between additions. Add the vanilla extract and beat on high for 30 seconds. With the mixer running on low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter, until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Immediately divide the batter between the prepared cake pans, spreading evenly. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

(Original cake recipe that I changed a bit found here)

Maple Butter Cream Icing

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened

2-3 cups of powdered sugar

1 1/2  tsp. maple extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2-3/4 tsp. salt (This may seem like a lot for an icing recipe, but it gives it such a good flavor, like a salted caramel mocha)

2-3  tbsp. half and half or milk

(If you have a standing mixer, you’ll want to use it for the buttercream.)

In a large bowl or 5-qrt standing mixer cream butter & maple extract until smooth.  Add powdered sugar 2 cups at a time, blending well after cup. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.  Once all the sugar is added, beat on medium speed for 5-7 minutes. Around minute 4 or 5 you’ll notice your buttercream getting very fluffy which means you’re almost there. Add 1-2 tbsp cream or milk if your frosting is too thick. The icing shouldn’t be too stiff. To determine, pull the beater out of the buttercream. It needs to slightly shift or slowly fall off the beater. If it barely moves you’ll need to add some liquid & beat for another minute.

Are you still sitting here?  GO!  Make the cake!

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