Secret Recipe Club time! I'm really glad I signed up for this because right now obligation is what is getting me in the kitchen. Still busy, still almost walking. BUT I do have almost full rotation back, can walk without a limp (with shoes on when I'm concentrating, eep), and had my first impact workout at therapy last week. I'm working hard, people!
Today's recipe comes from Ashley at Cheese Curd in Paradise. A new mom with a flair for the recipe redo, I was drawn to her improv cooking challenges. In particular, I tried out the Heath Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake because the combination sounded heavenly! Instead of a large cake with the swirls of cream cheese, I made another one of my tiny desserts with my new brownie bite pan. Which shows you are never too old for toys at Christmas, they just grow up with you...
This was also one of the first times finally getting to break out my beautiful aqua blue stand mixer, which has improved my baking a million fold. I am an impatient person, so the option to leave butter and sugar to cream for five minutes while I take care of everything else I need to do for the recipe is my favorite. Creaming with the butter this time was a combo of regular and brown sugar that gives the cake a moist, light base while cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg spice the batter. For the canned pumpkin, I have to give a full endorsement to the 365 brand Pumpkin from Whole Foods. As a person who doesn't love pumpkin, I have never been disappointed by the brand. Go for the good stuff here, please.
Once the tiny cakes were baked up and cooled, I whipped cream cheese and lightly sweetened it to act as a quick frosting. I sliced the cakes in half and layered cake, cream cheese, and then toffee bits. They were cute little bites filled with flavor! Thanks, Ashley, for the inspiration!
Pumpkin Toffee Cake Bites
1/2 cup of butter (room temperature)
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups of AP flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
toffee bits as a garnish
Whipped Cream Cheese
8 oz of cream cheese
1-2 tablespoons of milk
2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F and butter your baking vessel. I used a square 2 bite molds, but cupcake pans would also work.
Whisk or sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt.
Cream the butter and sugars together for 3-5 minutes. Add the oil and combine thoroughly. Add the eggs one at a time.
Incorporate the flour in 3 batches until just combined. Add the pumpkin puree and combine.
This cake will rise, so fill your baking vessel about half to 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the pan and let cool.
While cooling, prepare the whipped cream cheese. With a whisk attachment, beat for a few minutes until the cream cheese begins to retain air. Add the milk a little at a time until the cream cheese is just thinned a little bit. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt, and finish whipping.
To assemble, slice the cakes in half with a serrated knife. Add a dollop of cream cheese to the bottom half of the cake, top with some toffee bits, and repeat with the top piece of cake. Enjoy!