Pumpkin and Chocolate Cake with Maple Buttercream Icing

It was my friend’s birthday recently, at work, and so I baked her a cake (which she elected to eat for breakfast, and why not?). A few other people brought her in goodies as well, so she ended up with a cake, whoopie pies, sugar cookies, and something that may have been a tray of brownies – I don’t mean it was unrecognizeable, just that it was covered and I thought it would be rude to peek! But yeah – that’s what happens when you are not only loved, but loved by a department full of nurses who all bake. And me, who is not a nurse at all.

So yeah, this cake came from Baking Bites, although I didn’t split each cake and do the 4-layer thing – no time, no skill, and probably not enough icing – and since I don’t like cream cheese icing, I made a maple buttercream instead. Which was so completely easy that I feel like that was the real accomplishment. You guys, I made an icing, and it covered the entire cake (much to my surprise, as you can see with my stinginess between the layers… turns out I could have put more there, oh well), AND I didn’t totally savage the cake while spreading the icing on. That is accomplishment enough for me for one day. I’ll leave splitting layers for another day. Although I did do the shaving off the rounded top of the bottom layer thing, to make the first stack better. My mom just leaves the bottom layer upside down (after getting it out of the pan, right) and somehow the curve just… absorbs into the cake and doesn’t make the “bottom” (which is now the top, keep up) pop up in a curve if its own. I don’t understand how this squares with physics, but it works for her. Maybe it’s like cartoon characters running out over the edge of the cliff – once you start thinking about it, it stops working. P.S., I chose which layer to put on the bottom based on which flavour Matt wanted to sample, because the shaved-off part was ours to eat right away, still warm.

So since there are two layers that are different, you’re going to need 4 bowls here. But the good thing is that the vast majority of ingredients are the same for both, in the same amounts and everything. It is only in the details that they differ. So when you’re measuring out flour or what have you, you can just do the same thing twice instead of having to keep consulting the ingredients list for amounts and whatnot. I did both dry-ingredients bowls and then both wet-ingredients bowls, mixed one flavour, mixed the other flavour, poured each out into their respective cake pan, and then baked them at the same time. Hooray for a normal-sized oven!

Pumpkin and Chocolate Cake with Maple Buttercream Icing

Ingredients

for the pumpkin layer
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

for the chocolate layer
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (this is not a mistake! There’s pumpkin in the chocolate layer, too!)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted

Method
Preheat the oven to 350.
Grease 2 8 or 9″ cake pans (the original recipe says 8″, mine were 9″, the world didn’t end, whatever).

for the pumpkin layer
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients – eggs, oil, melted butter, pumpkin puree, milk, and vanilla.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined.
Pour into one of your pans. I just typed “pants.” You’re welcome.

for the chocolate layer
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients – eggs, oil, melted butter, pumpkin puree, milk, vanilla, and melted chocolate.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until combined.
Pour into the other pan.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely on wire racks before frosting wiiiiiith…

Maple Buttercream Icing

Ingredients
4 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 cups icing sugar

Method
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and maple syrup.
Gradually mix in the sugar until desired consistency is reached. Note: it will be sticky!
Slather all over your cake. Hooray!

Oh, and I too was affected by the NATIONAL PUMPKIN SHORTAGE that is causing panic in the streets (in case you hadn’t noticed). I thought the first grocery store I went to was just out of canned pumpkin. Then I complained about it online that night, and someone filled me in. Fortunately, I tried again the next day and found it – and restrained myself from being the kind of antisocial person who buys ALL the cans just because there might not be any more. Don’t be that guy.

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3 Responses to Pumpkin and Chocolate Cake with Maple Buttercream Icing

  1. Kiara says:

    I would make this for Real Thanksgiving ( :P ) but my father hates anything with pumpkin in it, and would probably go all hulk on me and toss it out the window.

    Or not, he’s actually pretty calm.

    But the man has the weirdest hatred of pumpkin.

    Especially since he likes sweet potatoes, and when you make baked goods with either one, they taste rather similar.

    But I digress.

    Maybe I’ll make it anyway and tell him it’s sweet potato.

    Bwahahaha.

    …yeah.

    This comment is getting rather long, and I suspect you might think I’m crazy now, so I’ll stop.

    :P

  2. camille says:

    You wouldn’t even have to tell him anything about the secret pumpkin in the chocolate layer. It’s hard to tell it’s there, just that there’s a difference to the flavour – a good difference, but not an IN YOUR FACE IT’S PUMPKIN! difference. The pumpkin layer, though, you’ll have to lie. In the interest of this cake, it’s not wrong to lie. The ends do justify the means when it comes to cake.

  3. Pingback: Pumpkin Brownies | Easier Than Falling Off a Log

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