Scrumptious Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Everyone who tasted this scrumdiliumcious frosting loved it. Most just wanted to eat it with a spoon – forget the cake! It was originally a recipe for Browned Butter-Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting in the December issue of Southern Living, but I changed it up a little. I omitted the cinnamon, added maple flavoring and pecans, and put it on a Pumpkin Spice Cake. Here’s the recipes:


Pumpkin Spice Cake (Used Duncan Hines cake mix)
1 box Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix
3 eggs
1 & 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons oil
1 can pumpkin

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Grease and flour cake pans (I used 3 9″ pans and sprayed with Pam). Mix according to directions of back of package. Pour into pans and bake according to box directions (for 3 9″ pans I baked them for 20-25 minutes). Remove from oven when toothpick inserted into middle of cakes come out clean. Place pans on wire racks for about 5 minutes, then remove from pans and continue to cool on racks until completely cooled.

Tip & Trick:If your cake tops aren’t level, take a serrated knife and level by cutting off the tops.

To assemble: spread a small amount of frosting on cake plate, then place one cake layer top side down on plate. Spread frosting on first layer and place second layer top side down on it. Spread that layer with frosting and place the third layer top side down on top. (This way you are always spreading frosting on the bottom side of the cakes.) Finish by spreading the remaining frosting on the side and top of the cake (you may have some frosting left over).

Maple Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from Southern Living)
1/2 cup butter
2 80z packages cream cheese, softened
2 boxes powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
1/2-1 cup finely chopped pecans

Cook butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown. Immediately remove from heat. Pour butter into a bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour or until butter is cool and begins to solidify. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in maple flavoring, vanilla and pecans.

Tip & Trick: To make frosting smooth, run hot water over metal spatula or spreading knife and start smoothing frosting. Continue heating knife and running it around the outside and top of cake until desired smoothness is reached.

As you can see I missed the “tip & trick” for smooth frosting on this cake, but it was still extremely tasty!

Highlight of Thanksgiving…CAKE!

After three days of baking and cooking, Thanksgiving dinner was served right on time – well, actually just a little early. We miscalculated the start of the annual movie outing and had to quickly move dinner up about an hour in order to make it to the theater before the previews ended. You see, my brother, my youngest sister, and I take all the kids to the movies after consuming more food than any person should in one setting. This holiday tradition started 30 something years ago with our own children; now we take them and their children!

By the way, this year’s movie was Arthur Christmas and it was wonderful – what we saw of it that is. Most of the adults took a little nap in the middle of it and the 4 year old slept through most of it. Funny thing this year was that we were scattered all over the theater. The kids wanted to sit all the way in the back, the youngest wanted to sit all the way in the front and the adults wanted in the middle! Luckily the theater was empty and we could sit wherever we wanted.

I’ll have to say though, with all the fun of watching the kids play and taking 12 of us to the movies, the highlight of the day had to be the desserts…Chocolate Fudge Cake, Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, Cake Pops, and Pecan Pie.

The chocolate cake is my husband’s absolute favorite – until this year. His new favorite is the Pumpkin Spice Cake with that scrumptious maple browned butter frosting. All I can say is THANK YOU Southern Living. I took their original recipe for Browned Butter Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and changed the cinnamon to maple and added chopped pecans. DELICIOUS! The Pecan Pie was store bought, but you can’t beat Sam’s Club Pecan Pie – perfect every time! Besides, every cook needs a little break!

How do I make the cakes? With my favorite cake mixes from Duncan Hines, of course:

Chocolate Fudge Cake
1 Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1/4 cup flour
3 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1 & 1/3 cups of water

Preheat oven to 325˚. Grease and flour cake pans (I used 3 9″ pans and sprayed with Pam). Mix according to directions of back of cake mix box. Pour into pans and bake according to box directions (for 3 9″ pans I baked them for 20-25 minutes). Remove from oven when toothpick inserted into middle of cakes come out clean. Place pans on wire racks for about 5 minutes, then remove from pans and continue to cool on racks until completely cooled.


Tip & Trick: If your cake tops aren’t level, take a serrated knife and level by cutting off the tops.

To assemble: spread a small amount of frosting on cake plate, then place one cake layer top side down on plate. Spread frosting on first layer and place second layer top side down on it. Spread that layer with frosting and place the third layer top side down on top. (This way you are always spreading frosting on the bottom side of the cakes.) Finish by spreading the remaining frosting on the side and top of the cake (you may have some frosting left over).

 

Chocolate Frosting
2 sticks butter
7 tablespoons cocoa
2 boxes confectioner sugar
6-12 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons vanilla

Melt butter and cocoa together in microwave, stirring occasionally. Pour into mixing bowl and add confectioner sugar a little at a time mixing after each addition (if you add it all at one time, the sugar will fly everywhere – I know) and add just enough milk after each sugar addition to keep it spreadable.

Tip & Trick: To make frosting smooth, run hot water over metal spatula or spreading knife and start smoothing frosting. Continue heating knife and running it around the outside and top of cake until desired smoothness is reached.

 

Super Cute Cake Pops…

I’ve been seeing cake pops everywhere – at Starbucks, in magazines, on the web, so I decided I’d give it a try. How hard could it be? Roll cake into a ball and dip in chocolate, easy…and it was! I had to get the hang of it, but after a couple it was easy peasy…and oh, so cute! Check our bakerella.com for lots of ideas.

Here’s the recipe:

1 box of cake mix
1 small can of frosting
dipping chocolate
lollypop sticks
sprinkles or other decorations
styrofoam

Bake the cake as directed on the back of package in a 9×13 pan. Let cool and crumble into mixing bowl. Add can of frosting and mix together. Should be of a consistency that when you squeeze into a ball it holds together, but not sticky. Roll into balls, mine where about 2″or so. Place on cookie sheet and place in freezer for about 15 minutes, just until they get really cold and firm. Meanwhile, melt the dipping chocolate (you can use chocolate bark or those candy wafers from Hobby Lobby or Michaels) according to the package directions. When ready to dip, dip one end of the stick into the candy and insert into ball. Dip the ball into the chocolate covering completely and let excess drip off. (Bakerella gave the best tip – hold pop in one hand and tap, tap, tap until the excess runs off. Watch her do it on her website.) Sprinkle with decorations at this point – once candy sets the sprinkles won’t stay. Stand up pop in styrofoam and let dry.

My Favorite Soup…

The weathermen are forecasting rain for the next couple days which prompted me to cook a big pot of soup. And wanting to document my Thanksgiving preparations this year with photos, I thought I would practice on my favorite soup. So here goes: photos of Taco Soup and the recipe.The best thing about this recipe is that you can substitute the ingredients with whatever you have on hand and it’s still delicious.

I had some leftover peppers so I decided to chop them along with a large onion and some fresh garlic.

Pour a little olive oil in your soup pot and add the chopped peppers, onions, and garlic
and saute them until they start to become translucent.

Then add lean ground beef or ground turkey and brown. After the meat cooks drain to remove any grease.

Put the pot back on the heat and stir in a package of taco seasoning and a package of Hidden Valley
dressing mix. (I had a large container of Hidden Valley dressing so I used about 3 tablespoons.)

Add a can of Rotel and a can of diced tomatoes. Now this is the part where you can use whatever you
have in the pantry. I used a can of black beans, a can of kidney beans, both drained, a can of Ranch beans
with juice, (I didn’t have any pinto beans) and a can of shoepeg corn. I like shoepeg corn because it’s small
and tender, but you could use frozen corn or canned corn or no corn.

Add a can of water. How many? That depends on how thick or thin you want your soup.

Cook soup for at least 30 minutes or longer.

You can add a spoon of light sour cream, grated low fat cheddar cheese, and baked tortilla chips to each bowl.

Enjoy! And thanks at my looking at my attempt at food photos.

Here’s the recipe: Remember, you can adapt this anyway you want with whatever you have on hand.

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef or ground lean turkey
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can chili beans or Ranch beans
  • 1 can kidney beans drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can shoepeg corn, undrained
  • 1 can tomatoes with chilies (Rotel)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 envelope ranch dressing mix (Hidden Valley)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
Cook onions, brown ground beef, and add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

Getting ready for Thanksgiving…

This year I want to document the preparations of THE Thanksgiving dinner. It’s days of cooking all of my family’s favorite holiday food. And by the way, the menu HAS to stay the same every year. Nobody wants it to change, and while you can add dishes, you had better keep the usual ones! In fact, THE menu hasn’t changed in almost 30 years!! Menu is: roasted turkey, southern cornbread dressing (a recipe handed down from my great aunts), gravy, sweet potato casserole, real mashed potatoes, green beans, blackeyed peas, pistachio salad, cranberry sauce, and rolls. This year I’m adding a broccoli salad. We’ll see how it goes.

Here’s this year’s turkey going into the fridge to thaw. He’s a big one, almost 20 lbs. Hmm, going to be good eating!

It’s Raining Leaves…

What is with kids and leaves? If there are leaves around, kids just naturally have to play in them. They just can’t help it. They have to jump in them and throw them, then rake them back into piles and do it all over again! Even for adults, leaves are fun. They crunch underneath your feet as you walk across the yard, they swirl down from the trees dancing as they fall, and somehow, they always manage to collect in the corners of the garage!

 


*© All photos are copyright. Do not copy, print, manipulate or otherwise use without permission.

Take Two Boys, A Yard Full of Leaves, & A Sunny Afternoon…

More fun playing in the leaves. You can tell these two boy really love each other and have a ton of fun together.

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