pumpkin & orange cake

© Nick Loven

A Friday treat! Today I'm putting the rest of the pumpkin puree I made to good use, with a delectable pumpkin cake with orange and cinnamon cream cheese frosting. The frosting is heavy on the sugar but is lightened by the orange and cinnamon, and the combination with a pumpkin cake is just too delicious. It's a good thing that the guys at work liked this one too, it's a big, tall cake and it otherwise would have been a hell of a lot more swimming I would have had to do...

If you don't want to have to swim 28 miles to burn this off, divide the recipe quantities by 3 and bake for 20-25 minutes to make roughly 6 cupcakes instead.

Lydia's Pumpkin Cake with Orange and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, serves about 12
3 eggs
450g (4 sticks) butter
540g (2½ cups) caster sugar
650g (2½ cups, 23 oz) pumpkin puree (recipe here if you have a plethora of pumpkins!)
510g (3½ cups) plain flour
3 tsp cinnamon
1½ tsp ground nutmeg
1½ tsp ground ginger
1½ tsp ground cloves
1½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Orange and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
225g (8oz) cream cheese (a.k.a. soft cheese), room temperature
225g (8 oz, 1 cup) margarine / butter, room temperature
540g (3 cup confectioner's) icing sugar
1½ tsp cinnamon
zest of 1 orange
© Nick Loven
Preheat the oven to 170°C (375°F, Gas Mark 3) and line three 8 inch (20cm) round cake tins with baking parchment, or grease with oil/butter and dust with flour.
Lightly break up the eggs and mix in the pumpkin puree. Set to one side.
Cream the butter and the sugar till light and fluffy, then slowly add the pumpkin/egg mixture while mixing. Add the rest of the ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until smooth. Divide among your pans and bake for 30 minutes until the centre of each cake is springy and there's a slight fizzing sound. Leave cakes in the tins for about 5 minutes before transferring, upside down, on a wire rack to complete cooling.

To prepare the frosting, beat the cream cheese and margarine / butter on slow until you get a homogeneous mixture. Add the sugar one cup at a time, mixing until incorporated then increase the speed to fast until it's nicely whipped up. Add the cinnamon and orange zest and blend until just incorporated.

To assemble, cut each cake layer in half lengthways, creating 6 thin layers. Sandwich them together using a thin layer of frosting between each layer. For a smooth finish, cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting and refrigerate for 30 minutes before repeating with your final layer of frosting - either piped on or smoothed on with a palette knife. The first layer will act as a "crumb coating" and prevent any stray crumbs from the cake from appearing in the frosting, giving a neater finish.

On account of the cheese in the frosting, any leftover frosting and cake should be stored in the fridge. Hah, "leftover" cake.

© Nick Loven

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