Double Caramel Cake with Pumpkin-Walnut Butter Cream

 Alright, this one goes out to the Rachels in my life.

  My dearest Rachel G. turns 20 this fine day in October. TWENTY. As in, the word “teen” no longer follows her age. She’s old. I  feel for her. Bring on the artheritis. Wooooooo.

Rachel has been my faithful friend since our Valdosta High School days. We used to look at “This is Why You’re Fat”. com during class and fantasize about bacon together. We drew highly insulting cartoons of one another. I called her a whale and a hag. She stole my hairbrush and then physically attacked my scalp until I was brought to tears.

Jealous? You should be.

Now, Rachel’s off in the adorable land of Savannah being artsy and adorable. She makes homemade pumpkin pies, from scratch, from actual pumpkins. She deserves a medal for autumn appreciation. She understands bacon…she understands Darcy.

Thus, I dedicate this cake to her. Happy Birfday Rachyyyyy, you old hag. If we were anywhere near one another, I would present this fall-tastic baked good to you as birthday homage.

But we’re not, so..

I’ll be dinning on it with my dollface roommate, Rachel T, in celebration of her getting into both her major and co-major programs! OwwOwwwww! A hearty congrats to Rachel #2, she is successfully entering the world of business and finance.

Just saying that makes my brain melt.

So kudos to you & your stellar noggin, Rachel. You rock. I’m sorry I wouldn’t pick that bug up for you last night. Let’s eat cake please.

 I’m heartbroken that this cake’s exterior doesn’t accurately convey the beauty of its soul.

There’s a couple reasons for that. Unfortunately, they can all be blamed on me.

I hate it when that happens.

Reason # 1: Along with cooling racks, a rolling-pin, and I’m sure numerous other necessary baking utensils…my kitchen is void of layer cake pans. You would think that someone who enjoys flour and butter and sugar and putting them all together as much as I do would own these things. 

I had to make do. Creativity people.

In my defense, I just moved out on my own forreals this August and simply have yet to accumulate these types of things.

That was so weak. I’m going to Target tomorrow. I’ll try to remedy my kitchen tool shortcomings to the best of my ability.

Ugh I wish I could change the preceding sentence to, “I’m going to Williams-Sonoma tomorrow and will more than likely buy everything, because my name is Mrs. Darcy Deen.”  One can dream.

Reason # 2: I was assembling this cake rather late last night after putting my already shleepy brain through capital punishment. AKA studying for plant biology…the bane of my existence. You will never be able to comprehend its horrors. I won’t try to make you. Too scary for Halloween even.

That would also be why there’s no illustration of making the caramel frosting. I’m a doofus, sorry.

On a more uplifting note, pumpkin butter cream is a revelation. A velvety, pumpkin-infused, revelation…with a hint of cinnamon. Next time I make this cake, you best believe I will be doubling the pumpkin butter cream and blanketing the entire conglomeration.

It’s just such a pity that she’s not as visually stunning as she might be. I invite you to bring her to full potential. Geeze, I sound like a stage mom. But that’s not the point. The point is…

A.) caramel, pumpkin, and walnuts belong together. Especially in October. Who are you to keep them apart?

B.) I know some crazy cool Rachels. Shout out to Rachel G and Rachel T. Hollaaaaa.

Double Caramel Cake with Pumpkin-Walnut Butter Cream

For the Cake

Adapted from Sweet Magnolias Farm

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  •  1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

CAKE
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) round or square cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment-paper rounds. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat  sugar and eggs at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until smooth, approximately 3 minutes. Add oil and beat until combined. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, and extracts.
Add flour mixture to brown-sugar mixture, alternating with milk mixture in 3 batches and beating well between additions. Pour batter into prepared pans, smoothing tops.
Bake until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans for 20 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. While you make the frostings.

For the Pumpkin-Walnut Butter Cream

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1-2 tbsp  milk

In a medium bowl, beat the pumpkin puree with the softened butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the cinnamon and vanilla. Beat in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Adjust consistency to your liking with the addition of milk. Fold in the walnuts. Spread the frosting in an even layer between the cake layers.

For the Caramel Frosting

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp heavy cream

In a small pot, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the brown sugar, salt, and corn syrup. Allow the mixture to come to a slow boil. Turn off the heat and mix in the powdered sugar and cream. immediately pour the caramel mixture over cooled cake, allowing it to run down the sides. Smoothe the frosting over top layer with a rubber spatula before it hardens. 

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