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
- 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 15 ounces roasted pumpkin puree (or a 15-ounce can pumpkin puree)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 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)
- 1/3 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.