Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving... Piece of Cake!

The holidays make me do crazy things. Shopping at midnight to save $30 is one of those things. Yeah, that's not as hardcore as I used to be... Breaking night on the same night every year, standing in line for 7 or 8 hours in the bitter cold... Florida is always hot, their winters are fairly mild for the most part. But that one night that I spend outside is always in the 40's. 

But I digress. 

I'm not here to talk about shopping and the way retailers are missing the whole concept of Black Friday by opening doors for sales at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night. 

Even though I could totally talk about that for hours.

Shopping... That is. 

No, I'm here to talk about Thanksgiving! Which coincidentally, is (checks calendar) TODAY

Holy crap I am slacking! You should have had this recipe days ago! Oh well, it's here now. I hope you have the ingredients or a Wally World nearby because this is the dessert to have after a Thanksgiving feast.

Matter of fact, I take that back and replace it with a public statement not condoning the action of going to Walmart on Thanksgiving Day. Odds are if you don't trip over sad Black Friday shoppers camping out, you'll probably get swung at by a mother as you reach for the last bag of pecans. 

Praline Pumpkin Cake: (adapted from here)

                          1/2 cup ~ Butter
                          1/3 cup ~ Heavy/Whipping Cream
                             1 cup ~ Brown Sugar
                       1 1/2 cup ~ Pecans, roughly chopped
                             1 box ~ Moist Yellow Cake Mix
                       1 1/4 cup ~ Pumpkin Puree
                          1/2 cup ~ Milk
                          1/3 cup ~ Vegetable Oil
                           4 each ~ Eggs
              1 1/4 teaspoon ~ Pumpkin Pie Spice
                 1/4 teaspoon ~ Cinnamon
                 1/4 teaspoon ~ Nutmeg, freshly grated
                    1 container ~ Cream Cheese Frosting
                 3/4 teaspoon ~ Pumpkin Pie Spice
                 1/4 teaspoon ~ Cinnamon
                                          Caramel Topping to drizzle 


  • Confucius say: You gonna need some cake pans if you gonna wanna make some cake.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You don't even have to say it even though you probably already did. I mean, it's not a secret, it's right there in black and white: a box of cake mix. 

No, you're right. I always try to stay away from ready made or easy boxed stuff and try to show you how you can harness your inner chef. But let's be real. It's freaking Thanksgiving. You got a ton of other stuff to do and if you'll be able to make something like this cake out of a box, I think we can all turn our heads as we open said box and pour its mysterious contents inside of our mixers. 

Besides, I really don't care if you judge me about this. Have you seen that cake?! That Betty Crocker broad knows what the heck she's doing:

  • Firstly as most of the time sometimes, turn on your oven to 325. Then spray two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Next, in sauce pot put in the butter, heavy cream,  extract and brown sugar. Set it on low heat and stir until the butter melts. But don't just sit there watching the butter melt. I know how cool it looks but you got stuff to do. 

  • Go and give your pecans a rough chop, setting aside about 1/4 cup for the top of the cake. 

  • When you're done with that and the butter is melted and everything is incorporated, split the mixture evenly between the two cake pans and sprinkle the pecans over it. You want to get a nice even layer so make sure you split your pecans evenly.

  • Next, dust off your mixer. Add everything in the bowl: pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs, spices and the (shudders) cake mix. Set it on low-medium-ish and let it do what a mixer does for about 2 minutes. 

  • Once the batter is ready, caaaaarefully spoon it or just let it glide into the cake pans. You want to make sure you go nice and slow because you don't want it disturbing the brown sugar and pecan mixture. Divide the batter evenly among the two pans, and then pop them into the oven for about 43 minutes. When you lightly touch the center and it springs back (instead of breaking through and coating your finger in magma-like cake batter), then it's done. 

  • Set the pans to cool on a cooling rack for about 4 or 5 minutes. After that, it's safe to carefully pull the cake away from the edges of the pan and then flip it over to your hands where you can transfer it back to the cooling rack. Was that confusing? Tough cookies, read it again slowly.

While the cake is cooling for the hour that it should cool, take the... Oh, I forgot to tell you. I don't know if you noticed, but we're also using store bought cream cheese frosting. 

Look, whoever you're baking this for isn't going to give two pumpkin seeds about how you made it or if it was from scratch. So I'd appreciate it if you eased up off my back about it. 

  • Anyway, take your container of cream cheese frosting and add the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice directly to it. Stir it until it's incorporated

  • Once the cakes are cooled, put one pecan side up onto wherever you're going to want to keep it. Take half the cream cheese mixture and plop it onto the cooled cake and spread it around. Once you did that, take the other cake and place it on top pecan side up. Plop the other half of the cream cheese onto that one and spread it out evenly..

  • Drizzle some caramel sauce on top and sprinkle the 1/4 of a cup of pecans you set aside earlier, then stand back and remember to wipe your drool.

So there it is. What could possibly be my favorite cake ever. Everything about it is spectacular and I don't think there is a better way to welcome the holiday season.

Speaking of holiday's... Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

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