I suck at cake assembly and decoration. I will NEVER be a pastry chef. If I ever became a professional baker, they would stick me in production and not let me NEAR a finished cake for decorating. I keep thinking I’ll improve but it’s a slow, painful curve so far and I can just hear Ramsey barking at me on some reality cooking show about how ugly it is. So I’ll apologize for my bad example of torte technique and happily let you know the recipe is rock-solid and delicious no matter how badly I make it look!
As for baking the cake, it’s not difficult at all and really delicious– but do yourself a favor and grind your own cinnamon and fresh ginger. Cinnamon is hard so I use a marble mortar and pestle to break the sticks into small chips and then finish them in a cheap electric coffee grinder. You really have to shake it while your grind until you stop hearing big chunks rattling around. It makes a huge difference in flavor, especially in the icing; the cinnamon will literally tingle on your tongue (and that’s magical).
Pumpkin-Ginger Torte/Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream Frosting
Ingredients for the Cake:
1 C White Sugar
1 C Dark Brown Sugar, Packed
3/4 C Vegetable Oil
1/2 C Applesauce
2 C Pumpkin Puree
2 t Vanilla
1 3/4 C All-Purpose Flour
1/4 C Cornstarch
3 t Baking Powder
2 t Baking Soda
1/2 t salt
2 t Ground Cinnamon, Fresh
1 t Ground Ginger, Fresh
Preheat Oven to 350F
Grease and flour two 9″ round layer-pans
In a medium bowl sift together flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda then set aside.
In a large bowl combine sugars, and oil. Blend in vanilla, pumpkin puree, applesauce and ginger. Beat in eggs one at a time until mixture is smooth and glossy. Gradually mix in flour mixture until smooth.
Ladle batter evenly between two, prepared layer-pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes from the center clean. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before turning out on wire racks to cool completely. Can be left as two layers or you can slice each layer in half, thickness wise to make four thin torte layers. I use a serrated knife (badly) to achieve this but I’ve seen other bloggers recommend this tool (maybe I’ll break down and get it then I can let you know whether it works).
Ingredients for the Frosting:
12 oz. Cream Cheese (1 1/2 pkg), Softened
3/4 C White Sugar
1 1/2 t Vanilla Extract
3 C Heavy Cream
1 1/2 t Cinnamon, Freshly Ground
While the cakes are baking combine cheese, sugar, and extract and beat with whisk attachment in a stand or electric mixer on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Add cinnamon and then slowly pour in heavy cream and continue to beat, scraping down occasionally until mixture holds stiff peaks. Makes enough frosting for 4 layers, use 2/3 recipe for 2 layers.
Total Servings: 24
Calories per Serving: 339
Nutrition Totals per Serving: Fat 19g– Sat. Fat 7g Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 199mg, Sodium 134 mg, Total Carb 36g– Fiber 1g Sugars 25g, Protein 8g.