Monday, November 25, 2013

Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

We stopped by to visit a cousin in California a few weeks we were traveling through.  It felt like summer...and we had lunch in the shade of an outdoor gazebo.  For dessert she brought out a moist and delicious frosted pumpkin layer cake.  I'm sharing it with you version of Linda's spiced pumpkin cake dessert!   It may still feel like summer where you are...or maybe winter has already hit hard...but the calendar still says autumn.  Let's enjoy the pumpkin!

Pumpkin Layer Cake:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 can 14 oz/398 ml pumpkin purée (remove two tablespoons to add to frosting if desired*)
  • 1 14 oz. can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
  2. In mixing bowl, beat together eggs, sugar and oil.  
  3. Add vanilla and pumpkin purée and mix until smooth.
  4. Add dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  5. Stir in pineapple, coconut and raisins.
  6. Pour into two 9-inch cake pans, sprayed with oil and lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes...or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 15 minutes.  Then remove from pans, invert onto cooling rack.
  9. Frost with cream cheese icing when cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 (250 gr) package cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée, optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

  1. Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
  2. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla.
  3. Add icing sugar one cup at a time, beating until smooth.
  4. Add milk as needed to get desired consistency.
*the pumpkin purée adds a creamy colour to the frosting


Friday, November 15, 2013

Spanish Rice

I always enjoyed eating at my mom-in-law's table...and Spanish Rice was a dish she served often.  I've made a few changes to her recipe over the years (adding salsa for some zip and using diced tomatoes instead of tomato soup)...but whenever I make Spanish Rice I am always reminded of 'mom'.  Serve with green salad and warm dinner rolls for the perfect fall meal.

  • 1 1/2 cup long-grain rice, white or brown...uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6-8 slices bacon*
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 398 ml can diced tomatoes (about 1 pound)
  •  1/2 cup hot salsa
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Cook rice according to directions...adding salt if desired.
  2. Fry bacon in large skillet until crisp.
  3. Remove bacon from skillet and pour off all but two tablespoons of drippings.
  4. Add chopped onion and green pepper to skillet; saute until tender.
  5. Stir in cooked rice, bacon, diced tomatoes, salsa and pepper.
  6. Cook uncovered on low heat for about 15 minutes.
Serves 4-6

*Variation: Omit bacon and add 2 cups of  cooked ham.