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The Great Indoors: Frosting puts Pumpkin Dream Cake over the top

Pumpkin Dream Cake With Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese Frosting2 / 2

Sometimes just the title of a recipe sends me over the edge—the right combination of nouns and adjectives, in the right order trip across your tongue and turn the creation of the dish into a foregone conclusion. A culinary involuntary reflex. You simply HAVE to make what this recipe promises whether it's "Crazy Good Chicken" or "The World's Best Lasagna." Recipes like this clutter my Pinterest board. But any Pinterester will tell you just because you pin it doesn't mean you make it. True that.

But one such recipe that I pinned on my board that while it didn't make any promises of "world's best" or "crazy good" was good enough to get me to actually follow through and make it. It's called Pumpkin Dream Cake With Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. Combining pumpkin and dream together? Brilliant. Pumpkin-flavored anything, from spiced lattes to bread, is a dream. Thank you very much. And what's not to embrace about cream cheese together with cinnamon and maple? A trifecta of sit-by-the-fire in your slippers on an autumn day creamy, sweet goodness.

The recipe comes from a woman named Jessica Segarra who writes a blog entitled "The Novice Chef." Based on the number of cake recipes on her blog, I've decided she needs to be my new best friend, as one should choose friends based upon the number of cakes on their blog. Watch our video to see us put this cake together. The cake is a pretty basic pumpkin cake, but the frosting on the cake really puts it over the top.

No one in my family really likes pumpkin flavoring that much (I'm not sure how I ended up with these people, let alone gave birth to a couple of them. Whatever.) Because of that, I took some of the leftovers to work, where they disappeared like a dream. I might need to make another one and have my new best friend Jessica over for coffee.

Pumpkin Dream Cake With Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

The Novice Chef

Yield: 3-layer cake

Cake

• 3 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

• 2 cups granulated sugar

• 3 large eggs

• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

• 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

• 1/4 cup vegetable oil

• 1 cup milk

Frosting

• 12 oz (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, softened

• 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

• 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

• 2 teaspoons cinnamon

• 6 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl/stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla, pumpkin and vegetable oil. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and immediately place in freezer for 45 minutes. (This keeps the cake moist by immediately stopping the baking so the cake does not continue to bake when you remove it from the oven.)

For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Add confectioner's sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth.

Assemble the three layers with a thick layer of frosting in between each layer. Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top and sides. Pop back in the freezer to harden the crumb coat for about 10 minutes.

Apply one final thick and even layer around the outside of the cake. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Tracy Briggs

‘The Great Indoors’ with Tracy Briggs appears every Thursday in The Forum. For more information go to her blog at thegreatindoors.areavoices.com.

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