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When this post landed in our mailbox recently, we knew it would get its chance. Well it is done, this beautiful autumn week-end seems like the perfect occasion to give this Pumpkin Salted Caramel Cake by Glorious Treats a try!
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cups)
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I usually use light flavored olive oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Salted Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon corn syrup
1/4 cup water
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoons salt (such as good quality sea salt)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups roughly chopped pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Salted Caramel Frosting
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
4 oz. (1/2 block) cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup caramel sauce (from recipe above, or good quality store-bought, see notes)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Prepare the cake-
1. Preheat oven to 350*F., grease and lightly flour the sides of your baking pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper (we used 3 8-inch pans).
5. Divide batter into prepared pans and bake cakes until the tops are slightly rounded and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean (no wet batter). If you are using 8″ pans the time will be around 35 minutes). Cupcakes will bake in 22-24 minutes.
6. Cool the cakes in the pans about 10 minutes, then (carefully) remove from pans and cool fully on a cooling rack.
Make the Caramel Sauce –
1. Warm the heavy cream in a bowl in the microwave and then set aside.
4. Stop stirring and allow the mixture to boil undisturbed until it begins to darken in color. You want the mixture to reach a honey color, but no darker. The syrup will change from light in color to dark very quickly, so it’s important to watch closely and remove the pan from the heat as soon as it’s light-medium honey color.
5. Once removed from heat, carefully and slowly pour in the warm heavy cream (the mixture will hiss and bubble). Stir to full incorporate the cream.
6. Add butter and salt and stir to combine. Add vanilla.
Prepare Candied Nuts –
2. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and boil, while stirring occasionally, until most all of the water has evaporated (so there is not much sauce in the pan, it’s move of just a coating on the pecans), about 5- 10 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat and add salt and cinnamon. Stir well.
Make the Salted Caramel Frosting –
3. Add about half of the powdered sugar, then while the mixer is running, pour in the caramel sauce. The caramel sauce should be no warmer than room temperature. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Continue blending and add the remaining powdered sugar, vanilla and salt.
The frosting should be thick, creamy and fluffy. If by chance you kitchen is very warm, or the caramel sauce was too warm when you added it, place the bowl of frosting in the fridge to firm up, then beat once more before use.
Assemble the cake –
1. Level and split cake layers as desired.
2. For easy assembly, add the frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip. This is optional.
3. Begin with a layer of cake on the plate or cake stand of your choice. Add a layer of frosting by piping a large spiral, then spread as needed with an offset spatula. Alternatively, scoop a large dollop of frosting onto the cake layer, and spread as needed with an offset spatula. Add a drizzle of caramel sauce on top of the frosting.
4. Repeat layers of cake, then frosting, then a caramel drizzle.