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Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Icing picture

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Icing

This pumpkin cake is super moist and good enough to pit against your favorite pumpkin pie recipe! Make it up to 2 days ahead!

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  • a little butter and flour for greasing the pan
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour (sift first, then measure)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin (not "pumpkin pie filling")
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the caramel icing:
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • For serving (optional): whipped cream

Makes one sheet cake

  1. Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F.
  2. Butter and flour a 13-inch by 9-inch baking pan (see video demonstration, Preparing a Cake Pan).
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the sifted flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, ground ginger, salt, allspice, and cloves.  Use a wire whisk to combine the ingredients.  Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and oil in a large bowl until well blended, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and continue to beat until well blended.
  7. Turn the speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients; beat just until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then turn cake onto a baking sheet.
  10. To make the icing, whisk the heavy whipping cream and the cream cheese in a small bowl until smooth.
  11. Combine the sugar and the water in a small, heavy saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.
  12. Increase the heat to high and boil without stirring until the syrup is amber in color. (Keep an eye on it; once it turns amber it will continue to darken quickly and will take on a slightly burnt flavor.)  Brush down the insides of the pan with a wet pastry brush occasionally during cooking to prevent crystals from forming.
  13. Remove from heat and allow bubbles to subside, about 1 minute. Carefully whisk in, a little at a time, the cream and cream cheese mixture. (It will bubble and froth ferociously!)
  14. Add the butter and continue whisking until smooth. (If necessary, return the pan to low heat while whisking.)
  15. Allow the icing to cool about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  16. Pour the icing through a fine strainer into a pouring jug or a bowl with a spout, and then pour the strained icing onto the cooled cake. Use a spatula to smooth towards the edges.
  17. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least an hour before cutting and serving.  (Note:  The cake can be made up to 2 days in advance if kept in the refrigerator.)
  18. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving.  Trim the edges from the cake if you like, and then cut into squares and serve with a dollop of whipped cream on the side (optional.)

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