I got the concept for this recipe from the Hungry Rabbit blog, which has interesting flavors and beautiful photography. As I thought about Ken's recipe, I decided to go with tried and true recipes I trust, and make a few tweaks based on his recipe. (For instance I wanted a cake more tender than what happens with me and butter cakes, and I wanted something more silky than a cold powdered-sugar-based buttercream.) The end result is DIVINE. Even if you don't care for pumpkin spice lattes, you may still like this cake. It is definitely one of my top recipes of the year.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake
The pumpkin cake is the pumpkin praline cake recipe (minus the praline elements) from the Almost Home Restaurant, a place I used to make desserts for a while when I lived in Indiana. I made a few tweaks to the recipe to help the cake tie better to the buttercream.
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground or grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp instant espresso
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
In a separate bowl, beat:
1 cup vegetable oil
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Add to egg mixture alternately with dry ingredients:
2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
Spoon into 2 9" round pans, prepared. Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes or until done. Let cool 10 minutes, invert pans, and allow to cool completely.
The coffee buttercream is a silky delicious recipe originally from Nick Malgieri, the usual recipe I make for my buche de noel.
4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
24 tablespoons (3 sticks or 1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons rum or brandy
Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of an electric
mixer. Set the bowl over simmering water and whisk gently until the
sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
Attach the bowl to the mixer and whip with the whisk on medium
speed until cooled (10-15 minutes.) Switch to the paddle and beat in the softened butter
and continue beating until the buttercream is smooth. Dissolve the
instant coffee in the liquor and beat into the buttercream.
If at any point the mixture appears curdled, keep beating! It will all come back together and be shiny and smooth.