Saw these at my local Whole Foods. And bought them. Obviously. Most clever pumpkin decoration I ever saw. And the ghosties--I think their eyes are made out of chocolate covered sunflower seeds! They're so cute I almost don't care what they taste like. Almost. Lucky me--they are delicious. The chocolate cake is a little bitter, like a sour cream cake, which I love. And a good ratio of frosting to cake. And also, SPOOKY CATS! IN FRONT OF FULL MOONS! So cute!
She's not a particularly spooky kid, but the past few years she's embraced the fact that her birthday is in the same month as Halloween and she's asked for Halloween-themed cakes. This year was a little different--she was more interested in the flavor of the cake than the decorations. 12-year old brain waves, I'm saying. She likes the combination of pumpkin and chocolate, so I took components of two other recipes and mashed them together. The Pumpkin Cupcakes were really pretty delicious (that was me surprised, because this isn't one of my usual recipe sources--the only alteration I made to the recipe was in baking time, baked each batch of cupcakes for 20 minutes). Light tasting, not muffin-y at all. Which actually turned out to be a little bit of a problem because the Fudge Frosting (a recipe I've used before) was pretty rich and the cupcakes couldn't really compete. The pumpkin got...well...overpowered by the chocolate. Not always (or necessarily) a bad thing. But, I would have liked for them to have been evenly matched. If I were to make something like this again, I would make a milk chocolate frosting. I think that would match the pumpkin flavor without being too much.
TGIP Rating--Pumpkin Cupcakes--KEEPER. A super easy, but not heavy, fall treat. Probably also yummy with the cream cheese frosting in the recipe. Will have to try.
Next up: EVEN MORE pumpkin. One of the few recipes I never tried in the first BAKED book is the Pumpkin Whoopie Cookies. I'm on it.
This. Is the easiest "fancy" cake you'll ever make. Here's persuasion: I made it while drinking (which is also why there's only one photo...I...forgot to take pix). A lot. With friends who are awesomely distracting. So, if I can do that, you can make it while sober and undistracted. You can find the recipe here.
This. Is also about the best way to usher in Fall. Spicy, pumpkin-y, nutty. So so delicious. Before it's refrigerated (which it will have to be if you don't eat it all in one sitting), the cake is fluffy and light and has a perfect texture (it gets a little more dense BUT STILL DELICIOUS after refrigeration). The frosting is lovely. A little tangy, a little sweet. To tell you the truth I have no idea how much powdered sugar I added, I just kept adding until the consistency looked "right". So. But the best part. The candied hazelnuts. I didn't do them exactly right. Didn't let the sugar boil long enough to dissolve, so it was still a little grainy. And yet still amazing. Spicy and crunchy. And stayed crunchy after refrigeration. Amazingly good. Truly.
TGIP Rating--PCCw/CCF&CH (it's a long name for a recipe, right?!)--KEEPER. I will make this again. And probably often. Maybe even for our Thanksgiving dessert extravaganza. Notes for ME: a half recipe of frosting was perfect for 3-layers; next time do the candied hazelnuts RIGHT. A note for YOU: DO toast your spices. Even if only to make your house smell delicious for two days.
Next up: More pumpkin. Prima has requested Pumpkin Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting for her birthday (12!). So, I'm on the hunt for a good pumpkin cake (not pumpkin carrot) recipe. If you have one, fling it my way. And I want it to be cake-y, not muffin-y.