Thursday, October 6, 2016

Spiced Pumpkin - Applesauce Layer Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

I love the flavors in this rustic layer cake. The salted caramel and fall spices make your taste buds jump for joy! Bill thinks this is the best frosting he has ever eaten. He wants it on his birthday cake.
The Pumpkin and Applesauce Cakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon, heaping full
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. all spice
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup 100% pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two, 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.
  • Put the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and baking powder into a bowl and mix well. Divide the blended ingredients between two medium bowls.
Applesauce and pumpkin puree waiting to be beaten into the dry ingredients.
  • Add 3/4 cup of applesauce to the dry mixture in one of the medium bowls and add 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree to the other bowl. 
  • To the applesauce cake bowl add the cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground allspice
  • To the pumpkin cake bowl add the pumpkin pie spice
Evenly divided dry ingredients with a spices. The left bowl contains cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. The right bowl contains pumpkin pie spices.
  • To each bowl add 1 egg, 1/4 cup of water, and 1/4 cup of canola 
  • Beat each bowl of ingredients on low speed for thirty seconds, and on high speed for about two minutes. Occasionally scrape the bowl sides as you beat the batter.
  • Pour each bowl of batter into a cake pan.
  • Bake for about 28 to 30 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes for about 10 minutes in the pans.
  • Remove the cakes from the pans and place on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes. 
Ready to chill in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes.
  • Put the cooling rack with the cakes into your freezer for about 20 or 30 minutes to completely chill.
  • While the cakes are cooling, make the Caramel Buttercream frosting.                           See the recipe below.
  • Once the cakes are completely chilled, you can level and stack the cake.
Leveling, Stacking, and Frosting the Cake
I used 9 inch cake pans which gave me a thinner round of cake. I did not cut the layers in half. If you use 8 inch cake pans, you can slice each cake in half and have four cake layers.
A fine tooth, serrated knife and a cake level help achieve an even layer. 
  • Level the top of the bottom round.
  • Place on a cake plate so that the bottom of the cake layer is facing up
A vintage turkey platter stands in for a cake plate. 
  • Spread with caramel butter cream frosting to within 1/4 inch from the edge.
  • Place the top layer, bottom side facing down,  on top of the frosting.
  • With an angled spatula, spread frosting into the gap between the layers and smooth completely.
  • Spread caramel frosting over the cake top to within a quarter inch of the edge.
  • Swirl the frosting from side to side with the angled spatula
  • Drizzle cool caramel topping across the top of cake in the same direction as the frosting ridges. Allow the caramel topping to drip slightly down the cake sides. 
Caramel Buttercream Frosting 
Yields enough to fill and frost an 8 or 9 inch four layer cake. 
Left over frosting keeps for 2 weeks if covered tightly and refrigerated. 

2 lb. bag of powdered sugar
1 cup of salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup of solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. caramel extract
1/2 cup cool water
Caramel topping for drizzling the cake top

  • Place butter and shortening into a large mixing bowl
  • Cream the butter and shortening together until blended and light colored
  • Add one third of the powdered sugar and blend on low speed until just blended. Scrape the bowl sides constantly
  • Add the caramel extract, half of the remaining sugar, and 1/4 cup of water
  • Beat on low speed until just blended
  • Add the remaining ingredients and beat on low until blended
  • Beat on high for another minute or two until the frosting is blended and creamy.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside. Keep the frosting at room temperature if layering the cakes immediately.