Posted by: Emily | November 15, 2008

Whine Stopper

I think I have to apologize to my readers (all 4 of you) for that whiny post the other day. I really appreciate the nice things you all said though! I even knew, while I was writing it, that I would regret it and feel stupid later, but whatever. Sometimes you just need to get things off your chest!!!

Really, things aren’t that bad. Frenchie and I will be fine. I called the nice loan people and they said I could defer a couple months before starting payments and I now have a job interview! I think this one is actually going to happen too. I don’t want to jinx it by saying too much so you are all going to have to wait until Wednesday to hear about it.

Yesterday we had some friends over who are going through a breakup. I’m a little unclear why they came to dinner together but it definitely put some things in perspective. Their sadness hung in the air and their voices and it made me realize how lucky I am right now. I have everything I need in my life right now and I think I’m going to try to just appreciate that.

In other news, hopefully I improved my friends’ moods by force feeding them this amazing cake I made yesterday! I think it was the best cake I have made!! And it was pretty easy. Making the caramel icing could have been a disaster but I got lucky. Just make sure to only cook the sugar for 2 minutes. Also, I did not have all these spices and it was still very yummy. Just improvise if you can’t find them (add more of the ones you like!).

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake With Caramel and Cream Cheese Frosting
bon appetit, November 2008

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 (I used Libby’s)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel (I used lemon)

1 1-pound box powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temp
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
Candied orange peel (I didn’t use this)

CAKE/ Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans with 1 1/2-inch sides, tapping out any excess flour. Whisk first 9 ingredients in large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat pumpkin, sugar and oil in another large bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to incorporate between additions. Mix in orange peel. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend. Divide batter between prepared pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 33 minutes (mine took more like 40 minutes). Cool in pans 10 minutes. Invert onto rack, then turn top side up and cool completely.

FROSTING/ Sprinkle 1/2 cup powdered sugar over bottom of small nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until sugar melts (do not stir). Continue cooking until sugar turns deep amber, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Carefully stir in 1/2 cup cream, vanilla, and salt (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until any caramel bits dissolve. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon cream. Strain into small bowl. Cool caramel to room temperature.

Sift remaining powder sugar into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat in cooled caramel. Cover and chill frosting until firm enough to spread. (make sure to taste the frosting along the way. A lot. Because it is wonderful. You’ll have enough for the cake).

Using long serrated knife, trim rounded tops from cake (eat this with the frosting to make sure it’s not gross). Place 1 cake layer on cake plate, cut side up. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over. Place second cake layer, cut side down, atop frosting. Cover top and sides of cake with remaining frosting, creating smooth surface.

Sprinkle candied orange peel over top of cake.

Doesn’t this look yummy???



  1. It looks very yummy!!! I’ve been gushing about those cookies by the way. Soooo good!!! And no worries about the whining! I think you think your whining was far worse than it was! Besides, life isn’t all roses and sunny days! Can’t be happy all the time!

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