2012 has already started off as a busy year. On January 1st I took a big leap of faith and did something I’ve been thinking about for a long time; I officially started my own business, a photography business. So while I’ve been busy wrapping up one project I’ve also been doing all the things required to get a new business started. It’s been very busy, the kind of busy that feels both crazy and good at the same time, the kind that says in my gut I’m doing the right thing.
So today I’m celebrating with you the start of a new chapter for me, plus a few other things. Last week was my birthday and we celebrated with this cake, a spiced pumpkin layer cake with dulce de leche cream cheese frosting liberally sprinkled with toasted coconut, because a low calorie birthday cake would be just wrong. I put a single candle on it, a discreetly appropriate number, I think, and Monkey Boy still wanted to help me blow it out. We also celebrated the sixth anniversary of this blog, which is almost ancient in Internet years.
Thanks so much to all of you who have read the stories, made the recipes, and commented on the photos over the years, and thank you for helping me celebrate the start of something new and exciting this year.
Where Women Cook: Celebrate! is one of the wonderful things I’ve had the good fortune to participate in. The book is beautiful and full of stories of women who celebrate with food and the recipes they share. Our tenth anniversary celebration is included along with the recipes we used to recreate a German Oktoberfest in honor of our honeymoon. You’ll also find celebrations from Helene Dujardin, Beatrice Peltre, Tricia Martin, and Molly Wizenberg. And I’m excited to share that I’m contributing to another book that’s coming out in the summer from Where Women Cook, one that’s sure to tempt your taste buds.
Where Women Cook is helping me celebrate by offering copies of Where Women Cook: Celebrate! to two lucky winners. Just leave a comment below telling us about something you have to celebrate or a leap of faith that you have taken. I can’t wait to read the stories you have to share! Entries will close on Thursday January 19th at 8 pm EST, and Random.org will select the two winners. I will notify the winners via email, so please make sure the email address field is filled in correctly. Once the winners have responded and are confirmed, the winners will be announced in this blog post.
[Disclosure: Giveaway sponsored by Where Women Cook.]
Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting and Toasted Coconut
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- 2 medium bowls
- 3 (8-inch) round cake pans, greased and floured
- wire cooling rack
- cake stand or other serving plate
- 1¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ¾ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 15 ounces roasted pumpkin puree (or a 15-ounce can pumpkin puree)
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup unsulphured molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 6 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
- 1½ cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
- ⅓ cup
dulce de leche
- 2 cups sweetened coconut (toasted until light brown)
- Put the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350° F/175° C.
- In one medium bowl, whisk together the unbleached all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and salt. In the other medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, buttermilk, molasses, and vanilla.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat together the softened butter and brown sugar and the mixture is creamed. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until the eggs and fully mixed in.
- Add one third of the flour mixture and mix in on low, then add half the pumpkin mixture again mixing on low. Repeat with one third of the flour mixture, then the remaining pumpkin mixture, and then the remaining flour mixture just until the flour is mixed in. Don’t over mix. Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans. Tap the cake pans lightly on the counter to remove any bubbles.
- Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 to 28 minutes. Cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then run a plastic knife around the insides of the pans to release the cakes and turn them out onto the racks to cool completely before frosting.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Add the sifted confectioners sugar and mix until it has no lumps. Add the dulce de leche and mix until it is thoroughly combined.
Assemble and Bake
- Place one cake layer on the cake stand and spread one-third of the frosting on it, then sprinkle one-third of the toasted coconut on it. Repeat with the second layer, and repeat with the top layer.
Oh my that cake looks so good.
I'm celebrating 2012 and hoping it is the best year ever!
Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories) says
I agree with you that a low calorie birthday is wrong! 🙂 And congratulations on your leaf of faith! A leap of faith I have taken is that within this last year, I resigned from a job that (while providing decent income) was leaving me stressed and unhappy most days, so I could do more things that do make me happy...mainly working more on my food blog and going back to college this year (for pastry arts). It hasn't been quite a year yet, but I can already tell that it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Julie @BananasForBourbon says
All of my favorite things! I took a big leap last year related to my job. I think it was the right decision, but it's not been the most fulfilling. Still working on that part. 🙂
I would love a new cookbook...
Congratulations on the new business.
the wicked noodle says
I'm so excited for all the wonderful opportunities that are coming your way. It couldn't be happening to a nice person!
I'm celebrating my marriage this year. It's one of my resolutions.
Oh, my goodness, this cake sounds so good!
Congrats on your new direction. Good luck!
I am finally allowing myself to go for what I truly want in life. I took a big leap of faith and told my supervisor that I will be leaving to move to the country and live the life I actually want for myself. It's scary to let go of the security of my job, but honestly it makes me feel bad about myself every single day and I've had enough. This move is the right thing for me.
Would love the cookbook! My leap of faith began last year but will culminate within the next few months. My invention is finally going public and I'm keeping fingers crossed that it will be well-received. You're gonna do great.
I'm taking a leap of faith to start blogging. It seems as though I've always been a foodie, even though I didn't know it for the longest time. The idea of blogging has been toying around in my head, but now I finally started. Who knows where it will lead, but I know I'll enjoy the ride!
Congratulations on everything! Wow, very impressive! And gorgeous cake! Wow!
Good Morning! My husband just got a new job and we are moving to a new city. Last year brought 3 deaths in my immediate family......so we 'definitely' look moving forward, to some happiness, and a positive focus this year. Thanks! Sincerely, Valerie.
Mary Thompson says
I am hoping for an early Spring!
congrats on all you have to celebrate. and best of luck on the next step on your journey. unfortunately my "leap of faith" did not have a good outcome at all.... i hope - and have some faith - that yours will turn out differently. good luck.
A leap of faith that I'm currently undertaking is changing fields of study/career! I'm hoping for the best this year
Congratulations on good things coming your way. It's fun to cook and celebrate with family and friends. We have a reason to party almost weekly. I'm celebrating my 18th grandchild that will be born in May. Each one is such a joyful gift in my life!
Thanks for such a great giveaway. My most recent cause for celebration was completing my first semester as a college professor - after being in school my whole, finally finishing my Ph.D. and getting a job was huge, having a great 1st semester as a teacher was even more wonderful, life affirming!
I'm finishing up law school, while balancing writing a food blog, and entering the unstable job market. Of course, any corporate world is a challenge for women, but I'm trying my best!
Thanks to everyone to who entered! The giveaway is now closed. Winners will be contacted via email, and once confirmed, will then be announced in this blog post.
Does the dulche de leche come pre made in a can?
Hi Brittney. You can buy dulce de leche in cans or in squeeze bottles.