- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour, or all-purpose flour
- 1 1/ 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/ 2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/ 4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 14 ounces canned pumpkin puree
- 1 1/ 3 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 4 large eggs
- 1/ 2 whole buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray the bottoms only of three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray.
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the butter, swirling occasionally, until nutty brown solids form on the bottom of the pan; remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, then whisk in the browned butter until smooth.
Divide the batter between the pans. Bake until the centers of the cakes spring back, and a toothpick comes out clean, about 22-26 minutes. Cool in the pans, on a wire rack, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder (optional)
- 1/ 4 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter for several minutes on medium speed. With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar, meringue powder (if using) and salt until combined. Add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium high; whip for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy, scraping the bowl several times.
Remove the cooled cakes from the pans. Set one of the cake layers on a cake board or cake pedestal, and spread the top with a layer of frosting. Repeat with the rest of the cake layers.
Note that although pictured here is a naked cake, this recipe makes plenty of buttercream to fill and frost the cake all over.