The perfect cake.

I can’t believe I haven’t shared this with you here before!  I have baked this cake several times now, and taken multiple (not so good) pictures of it…I seriously can’t believe it.  I must have forgotten about it over the holidays.  In any case, my birthday is on Sunday.  Yes, April 1st!  I will be 31 this year and have no intention of doing what I did last year so we are going to keep it pretty simple.  Tamale party with friends on the 31st (a tutorial on Tamale making coming soon…) and then a quiet dinner with the hubby on the actual day.  Sounds nice right?

Ok, so back to the cake.  With my birthday coming up, I started thinking about cake, and now when I think of cake, I will forever and always think of a particular cake.  It’s and truly so amazing that you will never want another cake, ever again!  Well, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but for me this is true.

It all started when a friend of ours found this cake recipe and made it for our housewarming party in October.  She left the remains of the cake with us, and seriously day after day that we ate that cake in the following week it was still moist and delicious every time.  Now that is no small feat in a desert environ with NO humidity to speak of.

The Cake.

I knew just had to make that cake for Thanksgiving when my parents came to visit (my dad really dislikes pie, so I wanted to make something he’d like and I knew he’d appreciate this cake.  But here’s the bigger question: I KNOW RIGHT?!?!  WHO DOESN’T LIKE PIE?????  What’s wrong with him?) So, I asked my friend to Pin the recipe to her Pinterest boards so that I could then pin it to my Pinboard.  Funny how in this modern age instead of asking her to e-mail me or write it down, I asked her to pin it instead.  I know, know.  I’m obsessed, and so is she, so that’s what made sense in my head… Pinterest made the most sense!  Plus, I have a Pinboard just for desserts. 🙂

Oh cake, I'll eat you up, I love you so!

So she did, and I did, and then I made the thing, and let me tell you….HEAVEN!  Oh, I just realized that I haven’t even told you what kind of cake it is yet!  Well, I am going to do even better and I share the recipe with you here:

Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Icing

(recipe from Martha Stewart)

For the cake:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (I used fresh baked puree, but canned will work too)
  • 1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) milk
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan. Line pan with parchment, and butter the parchment. Coat pan with flour, and tap out any excess.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, and beat until combined. Add pumpkin puree and milk; beat until combined. Add reserved flour mixture; beat on low speed until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool. Let cake rest 20 minutes.
  5. Unmold cake. Using an offset spatula, spread icing over top of cake, and decorate with caramelized walnut halves.

For the Icing:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used salted!)
  • 1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind.
  2. Add sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk; stir until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add the remaining tablespoon milk, a little at a time, until consistency is spreadable. Let cool 5 minutes. Use immediately

For the Caramelized Walnuts:

*These aren’t necessary so you can skip them if crunched for time.  I only made them the one time and frankly found them to be a total hassle.  I promise you won’t miss them.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 10 well-shaped, large walnut halves
  1. In a small skillet, melt sugar over medium-high heat until medium golden, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Working quickly, drop walnut halves, one at a time, into the melted sugar. If the sugar hardens, return skillet to low heat, and stir several minutes. Using a fork, turn walnuts until they are evenly coated. Transfer walnuts to a wire rack to cool completely. Use to decorate cake.

The original blog that my friend found this on is Shutterbean, but the recipe is originally from Martha Stewart.  Thanks Martha for another one of your good things.

Don’t let the seasonality of this cake fool you.  It is so good it will make you not ever care if you have another cake ever again.  “I pledge allegiance, to this cake….”  But seriously, it’s that good.  And I don’t usually like cake…. (Queue the screams.)  I am as bad as my dad, I know. 🙂

Happy Friday!


About Marinade Designs

Kristen aka. Marinade is an avid knitter, knitwear designer, grower of veggies, hiker of mountains, and maker of many things. She is mama to human baby Olive and fur baby Wallace and she is married to an amazing man who loves most of the same things, but also dragons and Cubs baseball. She lives in Reno, NV.
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1 Response to The perfect cake.

  1. It does look truly great 😀

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