Who has two thumbs and recently had a birthday? This gal! The big 2-8, creeping ever closer to 30. Working in church circles, I constantly get told how young I am, so adding another year is more of an advantage than a cause for crisis. Seriously, 28? If you had told me at age 18 that I would be in charge of a church as the only clergyperson, married and a homeowner, and have run 2 marathons, I would laugh in your face. My life is ridiculously awesome. For example, at our Blessing of the Animals in celebration of St. Francis, I blessed a chicken. Ministry in Wilson County can get a little wild!
Anyway, for my birthday week, Joe took me out to etch for dinner on Tuesday night, and we had a phenomenal meal. On Wednesday, we hit up Amerigo for a South American wine tasting. I love my Malbec. And then on my actual birthday, Joe left early that morning for a conference, so I had a few friends (and my parents) over for appetizers, wine, and cake.
I’m only towering over my mother because of the glittery high heels I’m wearing. If you can’t wear sequins and glittery high heels on your birthday, when can you wear them?
The theme of the gathering was Trader Joe’s + pumpkin. A delicious hummus quartet, chips and salsa, and a pumpkin butter/pecan Brie en croute made up the majority of the offerings. And of course, the pumpkin pie cake. Lightened up baking can often be disastrous, but this cake was not at all overly dense and had a great spice flavor. The icing was a little thin, which explains the recommendation to only ice the top of the layers. I may have seen my dad sneak back for another slice.
Pumpkin Pie Cake
source: Cooking Light November 2005
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup egg substitute
2 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- To prepare cake, coat 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Dust pans evenly with 2 tablespoons flour.
- Combine 1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until well blended. Add egg substitute and eggs; beat until well blended. Add pumpkin, beating until blended.
- Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, beating just until blended. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove cake from pans; cool completely on wire rack.
- To prepare frosting, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until blended (do not overbeat). Add juice, stirring until blended.
- Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Spread 1 cup frosting over layer, and top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top of cake. Sprinkle with pecans, and garnish with orange slices, if desired.