Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

This cake is part of a series of Christmas baking for 2014. Or at least that’s my excuse for my self-imposed baking spree in the month of December! Every year end, I surprise myself by my intense need to bake … and eat the spoils without any guilt. The most ‘magical’ time of the year is also the time most weight-gain of the year. For me, from the time we were kids, Christmas has been mostly spent in the kitchen, cakes, home-made wine, savory snacks bottled away to feed impromptu guests, lunches dinners.. it goes on. No wonder then, that food is my first and strongest association to Christmas.

Salted caramel has been on my to-make list for a very long time. Oh and it makes for a great edible gift (after bottling it in an air tight glass jar). Salted caramel goes really well with this spiced pumpkin cake. This is my second time with this spiced pumpkin cake, and truth be told, there is really no need for a frosting because the cake itself is one that hits all kind of comfort notes. But if you like to dress it up a bit and go from comfort to decadence, then this is the cake for you.
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Cake
(This recipe makes two 6 inch cakes)

1 ¼ cup (approx. 200gms) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ cup butter at room temperature
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup (approx. 200gms) pumpkin puree (you can make pumpkin puree by roasting peeled pumpkin pieces in the oven for 45 min at 170 C, and then smashing them with a fork)

Preheat oven to 170C. Prepare two 6 inch baking pans by buttering them and dusting with flour.
In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the ground spices. Keep aside. In a separate bowl, cream together sugars and butter. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat. Add buttermilk and pumpkin puree and mix till well combined.

Pour the batter into the two prepared pans and bake at 170C for 40 -45 min or till a skewer comes out clean. Turn out the cakes onto a baking rack and let cool for around 1 hour.

Salted Caramel Sauce

I used this fool-proof recipe from purplefoodie.com

Butter-cream Frosting
1/3 cup softened butter
1 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons caramel sauce

Beat the butter until creamy, for 2 minutes using a stand or hand held mixer. Add the powdered sugar slowly, and beat for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add caramel sauce a little at a time and beat till frosting is the right consistency for spreading (approx. total beating time of 5-6 minutes).

Assembly
Level the cakes with a serrated bread knife. Spread butter-cream over one layer of cake. Top it with caramel sauce. Repeat with second cake and spread butter-cream on the sides as well. Drizzle caramel sauce on the top. It will have a lovely mirror glaze and will drip slightly.

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