Naked Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream
My husband proposed to me again after I made him this cake. It was a complete shock to me, as he is not a big sweets eater. We have come to a comfortable understanding in our lives: I make desserts every day, I ask him to sample them, and he nods that they are fine.
See, this is the best pumpkin cake you will ever try. It is a three-layer beauty made up of tender and flavorful pumpkin cake that's paired with a delicious cinnamon buttercream frosting. Pecans are the ideal crunchy complement, and the addition of a caramel drizzle is perfection — exactly what's needed for an impressive finish. This cake is simple to put together, and the recipe is easy enough for even a beginner to bake.
To prepare the cake, coat three 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.
Place granulated sugar, brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until well blended.
With mixer on low, add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in pumpkin and vanilla.
Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire rack.
In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy (about 3-5 minutes).
With the mixer on a slow speed, carefully add in confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time. Then add in the vanilla extract and cinnamon.
Add in heavy cream a little at a time. If you need a thicker frosting, use more confectioner's sugar; if you need a thinner consistency, add in more heavy cream.
Place cooled layer of cake on cake stand. (This recipe should yield a very level cake, but if your cake does dome, level it before assembling.) Cover with about 1/2 cup of buttercream. Spread 1/3 cup of chopped pecans.
Repeat with next layer of cake, covering with 1/2 cup of buttercream and 1/3 cup of chopped pecans.
Place final layer of cake on top.
Place remaining buttercream in a plastic bag fitted with a large open star tip. (I used a #362 tip.) Pipe out a design on the top of the cake making sure to only pipe around the exterior.
Sprinkle remaining pecans, then drizzle cake with caramel sauce. Serve immediately.