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Pumpkin Cake w/ Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and Pepita Brittle

YO YO YO, is it pumpkin time again?! I love pumpkin spiced latte (#PSL) like a basic white girl and I'm always super excited for the fall. Mostly because I can eat cans and cans of pumpkin and hide all the carb loading I'm doing all winter under a heavy jacket. I'm posting something I made two years ago, that I never got the chance post! I don't ever have an excuse for not posting often other than surgical residency life/  lack of sleep getting in the way. I just finished my transplant rotation and I kid you not...  I've only slept 6 hours in the past 4 days. Even though the surgeries and patients are amazing, the lifestyle is just not :\  And I pity the fellows, who must really be into suffering haha.
Anyhoo, back to pumpkin cake! This makes for a very moist cake due to the pumpkin puree and the cream cheese frosting with a hint of maple syrup really tops it off. The brittle adds some crunch and savory flavor. The brittle will melt into the frosting, so just stick it into the slices of cake or lay on top right before serving.

Pumpkin Cake w/ Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and Pepita Brittle

makes a 8x8" cake

Pumpkin Cake
1-2/3 cup flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/4 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1.5 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used lighter flavor olive oil)
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs, separated

Maple cream cheese frosting
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp maple syrup
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
6 tbsp butter, room temp
  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare pan with parchment paper and butter. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour to pumpkin puree). In a smaller bowl, mix oil, sugar, salt (I know these are dry too :P) and egg yolks in a smaller bowl.
  2. Whisk up egg whites until it is foamy and slightly bubbly. I added a tbsp of sugar to help it going
  3. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold in egg whites until no whites remains (some streaking is fine!)
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-50mins or until a knife stuck in the middle just comes out clean (little moisture is fine!). It'll keep cooking outside so don't leave it in too long. Let it cool for 10 mins until taking it out to cool completely
  5. For the frosting, beat softened cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in brown sugar and maple syrup until the brown sugar isn't grainy in it. Then beat in powdered sugar. 
  6. Spread on frosting to cooled cake. Serve immediately, or you can keep it in the fridge and let it sit on the counter for at least an hour before serving.
Pepita seed brittle
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp butter, room temp

  1. Prepare a pan with a silicone mat or that pan has to be real buttered up
  2. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar, vanilla extract and then water. Bring to boil and cook WITHOUT stirring until lightly amber
  3. Stir in pumpkin seeds and once medium/dark amber, pour onto prepared baking sheet
  4. Cool completely and then break into pieces


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