Fall has arrived at our house. Yes, it’s still ninety or more degrees outside, but I am sick of the heat and have decided that I’m going to pretend that it doesn’t exist. FALL BAKING COMMENCES!! Culinarily speaking, this is my favorite time of year. Sure, the rest of the year gives you bright, colorful dishes, but Fall gives you nothing but spice and earth and I love it. Apple season is right around the corner and I already have a few things planned out for that, but I do love pumpkin oh so much. I’m not a pumpkin spice person, but I know this cake is close to it. Fine, I can live with that because it’s excruciatingly good. You could call this the “Basic Bitch” cake and I’d be okay with it because it’s amazing. Call it what you will, you’ll definitely regret not trying this at home. The best part is the JIM BEAM CARAMEL, for obvious reasons! Fall and bourbon are synonymous. Pumpkin and cream cheese are made for each other. Let’s do this.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
For the cake, you’ll need:
(Oh yeah, it’s vegan, too!!)
- 1 (15 oz.) can of Pumpkin
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 4 Eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 cup Vegetable Oil
Before you do anything, make sure you spray a 9 x 13 pan (or pans, in my case) with a non-stick cooking spray. Set that aside. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Make sure to stir well.
Now, you have the option of doing this in a mixer. I, however, am stubborn and like doing everything by hand. In a large bowl, combine your eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin. Once mixed, add your flour mixture and stir until smooth. Spread your batter in your pan and place in the oven for 30 minutes, or until you’re able to pull a toothpick out of the center clean.
For the frosting, you’ll need:
(Definitely not vegan, but vegetarian!)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 cup White Sugar
- 1 (8 oz) package of Cream Cheese
- 1 1/2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
The frosting doesn’t even need a tutorial, but I’ll do it anyway. I’m not kidding, it’s so simple. Grab a large bowl and add everything but the last ingredient. As you’re mixing, gradually add the heavy cream. If you find your frosting thinner than you’d like, add more powdered sugar. Too thick? Add heavy cream. That is literally it.
Now onto the best part, the caramel. I admit, I’m rather pleased with how it turned out. I’ve never tried to make it before and I’ve heard that it can be very finicky, so you have to watch it closely. I didn’t move from the stove. Sure, I had 50 other things to do, but I was too afraid of the caramel turning. Also, I’ll use just about any excuse to incorporate alcohol into my cooking. I mean, I don’t really need one, but it’s good to have one just in case.
For the Caramel, you’ll need:
- 3 tbsp Bourbon (I used Jim Beam.)
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 cup Sugar
- 3/4 cup Heavy Cream
In a medium saucepan, add the sugar, honey, and bourbon.There’s really no need to stir this whatsoever. Make sure to have your heavy cream ready off to the side, at the ready. Place your saucepan over medium to medium high heat and bring to a boil. The sugar will gradually begin to darken. This is where you want to pay close attention because once it’s ready, it’ll burn quickly and you’d ideally like to avoid that. Once it’s reached a dark brown color, pour the heavy cream directly into the center of the mixture. It will boil, A LOT. Allow the mixture to calm for roughly 30 seconds, take it off direct heat, add your salt and begin to whisk it all together. You may feel small clumps begin form, just keep stirring and those will slowly dissolve into the caramel.
After cooling for 10 minutes, place in a glass container and store in the fridge. To re-use caramel, place the container under hot running water until it returns to former glory. This stuff is liquid gold, it’s perfect. I’m going to put it on everything.
This cake was truly a treat to make. It’ll be perfect for a tasting menu I have in the works for mid to late September. I had rave reviews from my coworkers, who asked for seconds (the aren’t many compliments better than that) and I have had far too much of it on my own. I still have half of this cake (pictured above) left and I’m probably going to bring it to work and allow them (and myself) to devour it with some coffee. As an added bonus, I have plenty of Jim Beam left, at least for now, to continue my culinary adventures.
Stay tuned for more fall favorites! Have some of your own? Want me to make you some pastries? Shoot me an email! Make sure to include your name, email, phone number and the items you’re curious about. I’ll send you back the rates (I’ll have a menu up soon) and we will go from there! I look forward to hearing from you and thank you to those that have already reached out! Your continued support means so much to me and is so encouraging. Thank you all so much. This was made, with love, from my heart to your table. ♥