Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Frosting + Cider Caramel is sure to be a fall favourite. It looks pretty enough for company but is easy enough to whip up to keep on hand for those cake cravings.
It’s here! Could you pardon me for a moment?
(Uh huh, uh huh, uh huhuhhuhuhhuh. Happy DANCE! )
Um, thank you. I kind of needed to get that out of my system. I wait from February fifteenth (there’s something so romantic about snow on Valentine’s Day) to -oh, say- September twenty first of every year to get to fall. I love pumpkins and apples and squash and brightly coloured leaves and crisp air and apple crisps and oh my gosh… I just love everything about it.
I love drizzly, cold days and grey skies. I love driving down the road and seeing all the pumpkins for sale. I am passionately insane over winter squash. Butternut squash makes me swoon. Pumpkin. Pumpkin makes me flip my lid. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin custard, little bitty pumpkins stuffed with rice and sausage, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin soup. I’m like the Benjamin Buford Blue (a.k.a.the Bubba in Bubba Gump) of pumpkin.
I could eat pumpkin in just about any form, but my favourite is dessert. There’s something about pumpkin desserts that bridge that savoury/sweet line with such ease. It’s a vegetable so it almost feels like desserts made from it are health food. Hoo-yeah.And this cake I’m about to show you today… It has a vegetable and a fruit. That’s so healthy it’s almost disgusting.
It’s everything autumn; super moist pumpkin spice cake with a maple sugar glaze and apple cider caramel. Rawrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Just look at this.
Can you guess how long that cake lasted at our house? I can’t give you an exact time, but I can tell you it was less than twelve hours and probably less than eight. Time is a little fuzzy. We were kind of on a bit of a pumpkin high…
There’s a bonus -as if the cake wasn’t good enough by itself- the apple cider caramel portion of the recipe makes more than enough for the cake. In other words, you have some apple cider caramel leftover. In other other words, EXTRA CARAMEL for more cakes later or for drizzling on oatmeal or stirring into coffee or tea or hot cider or over ice cream or just plain on a spoon.
Oh gosh, I so love fall.
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Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting and Apple Cider Caramel
For the Cake:
- 1/2 cup butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup canned pumpkin or homemade pureed pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
For the Maple Frosting:
- *Note: If maple sugar is not available substitute dark brown sugar for a brown sugar frosting.)
- 1/2 cup maple sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons milk preferably whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
For the Apple Cider Caramel:
- 1/2 cup Boiled Cider Syrup also available through Amazon.com or King Arthur Flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons of butter cut into four pats
To Make the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease a bundt pan with oil or non-stick cooking spray then flour the pan. Tap out the excess and set the pan aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the batter blade (or in a bowl with an electric mixer) cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and add the eggs, one at a time, blending and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. When the eggs are fully incorporated, blend in the pumpkin and vanilla. It may look curdly and horrid, but that's okay! Keep going!
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour with the rest of the dry ingredients. Add about 1/3 of the flour to the butter mixture and blend until incorporated. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and blend in completely. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour and blend. Finish mixing the batter by adding the final 1/2 of buttermilk, mixing, then adding the final 1/3 of flour.
- Spoon the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan, gently smooth the top and bake the cake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly with your finger.
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes before carefully turning out onto the rack to cool completely. While the cake cools, make the caramel...
To Make the Apple Cider Caramel:
- Bring the boiled cider syrup and brown sugar to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 3 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream and return to a boil. Boil for 2 more minutes then drop the heat to low. Add the butter one pat at a time, whisking it in until it's fully incorporated. When all of the pats of butter have been added and incorporated, pour the hot caramel into a clean pint jar, reserving any excess for drizzling over the cake. Let cool completely before drizzling on the cake.
To Make the Maple Frosting and Assemble the Cake:
- Bring the maple sugar, butter, and milk to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil for 1 minute, still whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Be careful, it will boil up!
- Gradually whisk in the powdered sugar. Continue whisking it gently until smooth, cooled slightly and thick, about 3-5 minutes.
- Place the cooled cake on a cake plate or serving platter and immediately pour warm maple frosting over the cake. Let the frosting rest for 5 minutes, then drizzle with the apple cider caramel.
- Store leftovers, well covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.