Monday, November 2, 2009

M&M Pumpkin Cake by Terri

On the cover of the November 1, 2009 Family Circle magazine was the cutest m&m pumpkin cake I've ever seen.  As soon as I saw it I knew I had to make one for my October Crop.  On Thursday night before the crop I made the cake - baking it in my Pyrex mixing bowls.  After both layers had cooled I put them in the freezer to firm up before decorating it.  (A former neighbor who is a professional cake decorating instructor for Kroger Stores told me she always freezes her cake before decorating them, so I thought I'd give that a try.) On Friday night, after letting the cake thaw a bit, I iced and decorated it. It didn't look quite like the one on the magazine cover, but it was still quite a hit with my scrapbooking friends. I couldn't resist sharing the process with you.

M & M Pumpkin Cake
From the kitchen of: Family Circle Magazine

Cake Ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (15oz.) pumpkin puree
1/2 can milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 eggs

1 can (16oz.) vanilla frosting (Next time I'll use Cream Cheese flavored frosting)
Orange gel food coloring
2 bags(7oz. each) orange m&m's candies (about 2 cups)
34 yellow or brown m&m's
1 chocolate-covered candy bar (such as Snickers)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour two 1.5-liter Pyrex bowls; set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon & salt.  Mix the pumpkin, milk and vanilla in a small bowl to blend.

Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.  Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the pumpkin mixture, ending with the flour mixture.  Beat just until smooth.

Note:  I was tired on Thursday after work when I was making my cake so I just dumped all ingredients in my Kitchen Aid mixer and blended at relatively high speed until light and fluffy.  The cake was delicious despite my laziness!

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared bowls.  Bake at 350 degrees in the center of the oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of cakes comes out clean.

Trim the top of the cakes with a serrated knife to make level.  Tint the frosting orange with the food coloring. Place one cake layer, cut-side up, on a serving platter. Spread the cut side with 1/2 cup of the frosting.  Place the other cake layer on top, cut-side-down.  Trim any excess to make round.

Place a thin layer of frosting all over the cake.  Gently press orange m&m's onto frosting.  Use yellow or brown m&m's to form eyes, nose and mouth.  Continue covering the pumpkin with orange m&m's until the entire cake is covered.

Cut the candy bar in half crosswise on the diagonal to fashion a stem.  Make a small hole in the top of the cake and press the candy bar half, cut-side down, into the top of the cake, for the stem. Refrigerate to firm the frosting.


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