#FirstontheFirst- Pumpkin Spice Cake with Penuche Frosting

1 Oct

We’ve reached the first of the month once again- another opportunity to join some fabulously talented food bloggers as we try something new in the kitchen during First on the First.

First on the First Kitchen Adventure

But I’m sort of cheating this month.

This month should have been penuche fudge, but exhaustion from mono + a busy schedule + a toddler DO NOT equal candy-making success so I made the (wise) decision to forego candy making for the time being, especially a candy that is new to me.  Granted, I know my way around a pan of fudge but I’m not familiar with penuche or penuche fudge.

Shhh… here’s a secret (Northerner ladies- cover your ears for a second): All my research into penuche makes it seem pretty similar to pralines.  Pralines, on the other hand, are something that any proper Southern gal- such as myself- has pretty well mastered.   I know plenty of pecan praline purists here in the South, but I’m inclined to believe that a good thing can always get better… like when Martha Stewart dolloped pecan pralines atop brown sugar cookies in Aunt Mary Dillon’s Praline Cookies.  And can I add how much better pralines are when married to a cookie?!

#firstonthefirst: Pumpkin Spice Cake with Penuche Frosting

When a toddler plans a party, things can get interesting.

This weekend I was committed to making cakes (yep… that’s plural) for Baby Bird’s self-styled “Fall Football Princess” party for her Grandpa so I decided that in true Martha style I’d frost one of the cakes with my own nod to penuche in frosting form.  Grandpa’s birthday necessitated dark chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream so the penuche was married to the pumpkin spice cake.

#firstonthefirst: Pumpkin Spice Cake with Penuche Frosting

The single pompon Baby Bird wanted… perfectly placed to ruin photos and stifle table conversations.

Oh what a marriage it is!  Moist and spicy meets pralinesque sweetness.

The pictures are a wreck (the cakes were half eaten before I could snag one) and the frosting finishing job is aesthetically half hearted (it’s what happens when you say to your husband “Frost this cake while I hang the Princess banner!”) but it the end what does it all come down to?

#firstonthefirst: Pumpkin Spice Cake with Penuche Frosting

Taste buds, my friends.  Taste buds.

That’s what really matters.

And my taste buds were oh so happy!

#firstonthefirst: Pumpkin Spice Cake with Penuche Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake with Penuche Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Cake:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups organic canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 generous tsp freshly grated peeled ginger root
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Penuche Frosting

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • about 4 cups confectioners sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 8 or 9 inch cake pans with parchment rounds.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together sugars and butter until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in pumpkin then add vanilla and ginger. Mix in flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat on low until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Bake until cakes are golden brown, about 35 minutes. Allow cakes to cool on wire rack for 15 minutes then turn out to cool completely.

To make frosting, melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in brown sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, stirring constantly for two minutes. Stir in milk and return to a boil, stirring constantly as it reaches boiling. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Whisk in confectioners sugar until desired consistency is reached.

Frosting will begin to set quickly- fill and frost cake before frosting hardens.

Check out a few more fabulous penuche recipes:

8 Responses to “#FirstontheFirst- Pumpkin Spice Cake with Penuche Frosting”

  1. Anna (Hidden Ponies) October 2, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    This sounds perfect for fall! I think the thin layer as frosting would be more enjoyable than the whole sweet pieces of fudge-I’ll have to try it!

  2. Alyssa D. {Suitcases & Sweets} October 2, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    Penuche frosting?!? Not THIS is a version of fudge I can get behind! Great work! 🙂

  3. kate | Food Babbles October 3, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    LOVE this penuche frosting! Brilliant! I can just imagine the perfection of penuche with pumpkin cake. Great idea. I’m going to have to give this one a try. Yum!

  4. poet in the pantry (@PoetInThePantry) October 8, 2013 at 2:23 am #

    YUM! It may not be what you intended initially, but it sounds like an awesome combination of flavors! Pumpkin and Penuche are made for each other – as Kate has shown, too! Thanks for joining us this month!


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