Altruistic. It’s one of the characteristics I strive to posses and desire for others to see in me. No one is ever going to say that you are too kind, too caring, or too giving in life. Putting others first and spreading joy and love is what brings me true happiness.
I give through cake. It provides nourishment and generally just makes people happy. This cake I made for others.
See this was a birthday cake for a wonderful woman who has always inspired me and set an example of kindness, caring, love and altruism.
For her a made a cake full of caramel and pecans and goodness that I knew she and the family would love. I made a cake full of things I dislike (and couldn’t even taste test) in order to make others smile.
It may only be a small thing to make a cake. But if I can build a life around small acts of kindness, love and continually giving to others then I will feel I have brought some happiness into this world. And perhaps some day be half the woman my aunt is.
And while I may not have tasted the cake… there were a lot of comments along the lines of ‘this may be your best ever.’ So I think it’s safe to safe it’s an amazing cake that you should make, fill with love, and share with those around you.
Pumpkin Cake w/ Salted Caramel Pecan Filling & Mascarpone Frosting
3 cups Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Cloves
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
3 Stick Butter, softened
3 Cups Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups Pumpkin puree
3/4 Cup Buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350.
Using a whisk to mix together the Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, and Ginger. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, then add the eggs and vanilla. Add the pumpkin puree and continue beating until just combined. Alternately add the buttermilk and the flour mixture to the wet ingredients.
Pour equal amounts into 3 greased 9in layer cake pans.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
Salted Caramel Sauce & Frosting
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Water
2/3 Cups Light Cream
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
Caramel Pecan Frosting
1/2 Cup Caramel Sauce (from above)
1/2 Cup Butter
3 Cups Confectioners Sugar
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
In a small saucepan mix sugar and water over low heat without stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. This will take about 5-7 minutes, and you can occasionally swirl the pan to stir but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. When the mixture reaches golden amber color, remove heat and add cream, vanilla and salt – it will bubble up. Turn heat back down to low and stir continuously until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature to cool and thicken. You will save part for topping and use part for the frosting.
Once cool start the frosting. Beat butter in the mixer until creamy. Add in the caramel mixing until fully incorporated. One cup at a time beat in the confectioners sugar.
Mascarpone Buttercream Frosting
8 oz Mascarpone Cheese (or Cream Cheese)
1 Cup Butter, room temp
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
5 Cups Confectioners’ Sugar
2-3 Tablespoons Milk
Beat the butter with your mixer until creamy. Add the mascarpone cheese and continue mixing until combined. Mix in vanilla. Add Confectioners’ Sugar a cup at a time. Beat on high for 3-5 minutes until fluffy. (If needed add milk to thin out the frosting until desired consistency is reached.)
Place first cake layer on cake plate. Top with half the pecan frosting and smooth out to the edge. Top with second layer and repeat with remaining frosting. Then place third cake layer on top. Cover cake with one thin crumb coat layer of frosting to set. Let harden for 30 minutes. Then smooth the final layer of frosting on. Drizzle remaining Caramel Sauce over the top and decorate with whole Pecans.