Spiced Pumpkin Cake

One of the books on my summer reading list was Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I read it in a day or two, I was completely taken with Lady Catherine Pinkerton, the future Queen of Hearts. We all know the end of the story, but we don't know the beginning....until now.

Catherine is a keen baker, the story opens up with her making the perfect lemon tarts. We also quickly learn of her dream of opening her own bakery, but of course being a proper lady her parents have different plans for their only daughter. 

When I was trying to figure out which delicious bake to make out of the many Catherine makes I didn't know if I should go with the lemon tarts, rose macaron's, or the climatic bake the Spiced Pumpkin Cake. 

If you want to know exactly what that means then I suggest you get a copy of this book right away and give it a read! It was an easy read and I loved being taken back to Wonderland even if it was only for a short time....well until I re-read it! 

This Spiced Pumpkin Cake turned out perfectly soft and spiced. The slight tartness of the cream cheese frosting perfectly matches the cake and as Catherine did I topped it with toasted coconut. Which did give it an extra something, she really knows how to bake. 

Spiced Pumpkin Cake

165g plain flour
115g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2/4 salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
115g light brown sugar
225g (1/2 can) canned pumpkin
2 large eggs
150ml vegetable oil

Heat the oven to 180C and line the bottom of two 7 inches or 20cm round cake tins. 
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb of soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside. Beat the brown sugar and pumpkin together until combined, using a whisk or hand mixer. Add the eggs and beat until just combined, then add the oil and beat until it too is combined. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and gently beat until combined, then add the other half and again beat until completely combined. Pour half of the batter into one prepared tin and fill the other prepared cake tin with the rest of the batter! 
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until sponge comes back when gently pressed or used the skewer test. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before taking out of the tins and leaving to cool completely before icing. 

Cream Cheese Frosting
170g cream cheese
45g unsalted butter, room temperature
170g icing sugar (plus 1-2 tablespoons)
1 tsp of vanilla extract 

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until soft and completely combined. Add the vanilla extract and the icing sugar bit by bit. I added a couple of extra tablespoons to my frosting to make it come together better. If it's too runny add a tablespoon as a time. 

to finish: 
approx. 25g desiccated coconut, toasted 

Place the first layer of the cake on a cake stand and spread half of the cream cheese frosting on top leaving a bit of room around the edge, when the top layer goes on it will smooth it out to the edge. So, go ahead and gently place the top layer on. Then put the rest of the frosting on top and spread nicely. Before covering with the toasted coconut. 
I toasted my coconut after the cakes came out of the oven, as it was already warm, by spreading about 25g of desiccated coconut on a baking sheet it only takes like 3-5 minutes so watch it! 

I'm not 100% sure this cake would stand up to the Queen's standards nor am I sure it would win any baking competitions, but it is delicious!! If you want to read more about Heartless check out my review in the previous post or linked here

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