This Thanksgiving I'm giving you something pumpkin to bake... besides pie. I know, most of you probably don't want to hear this or listen. But, not everyone loves pie (believe it or not) and I am in that category. So, today I'm sharing this Pecan Caramel Pumpkin Spice Cake recipe. This will be the perfect dessert to your Thanksgiving table to satisfy those people out there that just aren't pie people. They will still get to enjoy something Pumpkin Spice and so will everyone else, even if they are eating pie. I mean that's what Thanksgiving is for right - indulging? Not to mention this cake is just so good looking that you'll want to bake it just to display it at your Thanksgiving dinner. And, the extra Candied Pecans make a perfect appetizer to have out to snack on while you're waiting for your turkey. Dessert, check... appetizer, check.
Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Spice Naked Cake
Makes 3 Layer 6-inch Cake
226 grams (1 cup) organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons organic cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 pound organic pecans
1 organic egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 stick (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
113 grams (1/2 cup) organic cane sugar
57 grams (1/4 cup) organic dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
85 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) organic pumpkin
2 organic large eggs eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup organic milk, room temperature
198 grams (1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) all natural cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons organic cinnamon
1 teaspoon organic ginger
1 teaspoon organic cloves
1/2 teaspoon organic nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 sticks (226 grams) organic salted butter, softened
454 grams (3 cups plus 3 tablespoons) organic powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
Caramel Sauce (find recipe here)
Method Make sure you have your Caramel Sauce made and ready.
To make the Candied Pecans: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, add the sugar, cinnamon and sea salt and whisk together.
In a separate bowl add the egg white and water and whisk together. Add the pecans to the egg white mixture and stir to coat completely. Coat with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Spread the pecans onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, opening the oven and stirring every 5 minutes.
To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease and flour the sides. I always say to grease and flour the sides if you are baking a naked cake because the cake will pull apart from the sides easier this way and since you’ll see the sides of the cake, it’s always better. You can do this when baking any cake, but I usually forget and just parchment paper regular cakes because you can cut around the sides to get them out no matter what.
To make the batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, sugar, dark brown sugar and vanilla extract. Mix on low until combined and there are no butter chunks. Add the eggs and pumpkin and mix just slightly.
In a separate bowl, add the cake flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder and sea salt and whisk together.
Add the milk and flour mixture to the mixing bowl and mix on low until combined into a smooth batter. Pour batter evenly into each cake pan, about 255 grams each. (If you usually use cake strips, do not put them on because naked cakes look better if the cakes are actually domed. So if they bake domed, it’s great and there’s no need to trim them because you’ll fill in the sides with frosting!)
Bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix on low until all ingredients are combined, then speed mixer up to high for 1 minute or until light and fluffy.
On a cake stand, cake round or spinner start frosting the cake. Place the first cake layer and put a generous amount of frosting, then the second and repeat. Frost the outside of the cake by filling in the sides with frosting (this is what I was talking about why domed cakes are good for naked cakes), and scraping the cake so you have a naked cake look.
Pour caramel sauce over the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. Place a cluster of Candied Pecans on top.
Store in a cake dome for up to 3 days.
Gluten Free - Substitute the cake flour for 198 grams (1 1/4 cups) organic gluten free flour blend. Our favorite is Namaste Organic Perfect Flour Blend.
High Altitude – For the Candied Pecans, follow the recipe as noted. For the cake, bake at 350°F for 17 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean