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Spiced Pumpkin Ginger Cake with Caramelized Pears


First Posted: 10/27/2011 4:55 pm Updated: 08/31/2012 10:48 am

Spiced Pumpkin Ginger Cake with Caramelized Pears

Spiced Pumpkin Ginger Cake with Caramelized Pears
New Media Publishing
Provided by:
total prep
This towering cake is visually impressive, but it's the heady autumnal combination of pumpkin, cream cheese frosting, and caramelized pears that will have your guests raving.

Ingredients

  • FOR CAKE:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon madras curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for buttering pans
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • FOR PEARS:
  • 5 Bosc pears, (about 2 pounds), peeled, cored and coarsely chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • FOR FROSTING:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • Equipment: 3 (8-inch) square or round non-stick baking pans; a small offset spatula

Directions

  • Put racks in middle and lower third positions and preheat oven to 350F.
  • MAKE CAKES:
    Butter baking pans, then chill pans until butter is firm. Dust pans with flour, then invert and tap pans to rid excess flour. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, curry, clove, and salt into a bowl and reserve.
  • Whisk together pumpkin, buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl and reserve.
  • Beat butter, brown sugar, and white sugar in a large bowl with a hand-held or stand mixer until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, until just incorporated.
  • At a lower speed, add one-third of flour mixture, alternating with half of buttermilk mixture and ending with flour mixture, mixing until smooth after each addition. Stir in crystallized ginger.
  • Divide batter evenly between the 3 prepared pans. Smooth top of batter with a small offset spatula. Tap cake pans gently on work surface to eliminate air bubbles. Bake cakes, rotating pans half way through baking, until a skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Let cakes cool in pans, on a rack, 30 minutes. Invert cakes on to racks and let cool completely, 30 minutes more.
  • COOK PEARS:
    While cakes cool, saute pears in butter until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add rum, sugar, lemon juice, and salt and cook over high heat until pears are tender and juices are deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Reserve.
  • MAKE FROSTING:
    Beat cream cheese, softened butter, pumpkin, rum, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla in a bowl with a hand-held or stand mixer until smooth. Add confectioners sugar, cup by cup, continuously beating, until frosting is smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes.

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