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Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake

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Weeks ago, I made this layer cake. Too bad it was so long ago, because I really could eat a large piece right now! This cake was three layers, with chocolate buttercream frosting and caramel sauce on top.

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I used two yellow cakes (this is a moist recipe) and a fudge chocolate cake (I found a delicious fudge cake recipe here and I also used the frosting from here) Oh, and the caramel sauce was from The Sister’s Cafe, it is seriously “the best caramel sauce eva”!

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I put the chocolate cake (in case you’re wondering, I made two chocolate layers, but one never made it to the cake because we ate it) on the bottom and covered it in chocolate buttercream frosting. Then I set one of the yellow cakes on next, gave it a crumb coat around the edges, and put a layer of caramel sauce on top. I put the last layer on, crumb coated it, and went to check on my chickens. When I returned, I smothered the whole cake in the remaining frosting and let that dry for a bit.

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Then I poured the remaining caramel sauce over the cake. It dribbled down the sides and hardened there beautifully.

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We cut the cake in the evening, so the photo quality wasn’t superb. But the cake was! And really, it wouldn’t have been worth it to wait until the next morning to cut it just so ya’ll could see a perfect picture of it!

 

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The cakes were moist, the frosting rich, and the caramel sauce smooth and delicate. Next time I’m going to put caramel sauce between each layer 🙂

 

 

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Elisabeth

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Day Six: Best Pumpkin Cupcakes (with Dreamy Cinnamon Frosting)

This is Day Six in a 8 part series featuring yummy pumpkin recipes. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.DSCN1974

We never let an autumn slip past without one of us girls making pumpkin cupcakes. This is a recipe that Kerstin found several years ago. She made them once, and they were immediately voted into our recipe book. The cupcake itself has the perfect amount of sweetness, and a rich balanced spice from the pumpkin pie spice. The frosting is a dream! With cream cheese to make it (you guessed it) creamy, and butter to make it smooth and light (not in the healthy sense of the word, just the fluffy sense), it simply melts in your mouth. Some powdered sugar for sweetness, a big splash of vanilla extract, and a large dose of cinnamon all take it over the top.

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Make them for Thanksgiving! Or make them for the weekend! Make them for your dad’s birthday! Or shucks, just make them for Thursday.

I promise you won’t regret it. Ever.

Here we go:

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Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

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This is gorgeous!

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Add the eggs one at a time, and beat the mixture well after each addition.

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You can see how creamy the butter mixture is! Add the pumpkin.

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And beat it in.

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Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl.

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Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk alternately. I usually do three additions of each, but it doesn’t matter too much. Just be sure to beat in each addition thoroughly.

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Here the batter is perfect!

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Prepare the cupcake pans. I love using miniature cupcake liners! These pumpkin ones are so cute, and they are perfect for pumpkin cupcakes!!

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Fill the cupcake liners three-fourths full with batter. I like to fill a Ziplock bag with batter, cut off one corner, and squeeze the batter into each cup. It keeps the cupcakes even and the pan clean.

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For miniature cupcakes, bake at 350 degrees F. for about 15-18 minutes, or until they test done with a toothpick. Bake standard-sized cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until they test done.

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I also filled some standard-sized cupcake liners. They’re really cute, too!

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For the frosting, beat softened cream cheese and softened butter until it’s smooth and fluffy.

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Add the powdered sugar in two additions, beating the mixture well between additions.

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Yum! You can almost feel how silky smooth it is.

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Add a bunch of cinnamon. This really makes the frosting special!

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Pour in about a teaspoon of vanilla extract. It’s rare that I measure this stuff!

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Mix it together and you are ready to smother some cupcakes!

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Hmm, this is a challenge. 😉

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Pipe it on, spoon it on, or slather it on with a knife.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes:
3/4 cup butter, softened
2   1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin
2   1/3 cups flour
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup buttermilk
Cinnamon Frosting:
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin. Combine dry ingredients; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes for standard-sized cupcakes or 15-18 minutes for miniature cupcakes, or until cupcakes test done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

For frosting, in a large bowl beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon; beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: about 2 dozen standard-size or 6 dozen miniature.

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Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle

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Day Nine: William Tell’s Never-Miss Apple Cake

This is Day Nine in a 9 day series featuring apples. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.IMG_0617

The recipe for this delicious moist apple cake, with a cream cheese center and an easy caramel topping, is one of our favorites to pull out each fall. The cake itself is full of apple, shredded carrot, and pecans in every bite. All of the best autumn flavors! Several times this cake has been the birthday cake choice, and it is always a gorgeous presentation. Here are more detailed directions, with the full recipe at the end of the post.

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For the cheesecake ribbon, beat a brick of cream cheese until fluffy.

 

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Add 1/4 cup sugar.

 

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And 1 egg.

 

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Beat until smooth and creamy.

 

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Perfect! Set it aside.

 

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For the cake: beat together the oil (or use half oil, half applesauce), 1  3/4 cup sugar, and 3 eggs.

 

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Beat it until it’s good an’ frothy!

 

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In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

 

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Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture.

 

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And beat it until it’s combined.

 

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Lovely!

 

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Add the chopped apple, shredded carrots, and pecans!

 

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Fold it together!

 

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Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan. Time to put this cake together!

 

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Spoon most of the batter into the pan.

 

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Then scoop the cream cheese filling by little spoonfuls around the center of the cake, being careful that it doesn’t touch the pan.

 

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Spoon the rest of the batter over the cream cheese filling.

 

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Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50-60 minutes or until it tests done with a toothpick.

 

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Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before inverting it onto a wire rack to cool completely.

 

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Absolutely lovely!

 

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For the caramel icing, combine the brown sugar, butter, and milk in a saucepan.

 

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Stir it until it’s smooth.

 

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Let it come to a boil, stirring it occasionally. When it’s boiling, cook and stir it for 1 minute.

 

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Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar and vanilla until the icing is smooth.

 

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Gorgeous!

 

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Drizzle over the cake. The icing will cool and harden quickly, so be sure to work fast!

 

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Scatter pecan pieces across the icing, and press them in gently, so they stay put.

 

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William Tell’s Never-Miss Apple Cake

Cream cheese Filling:
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
Apple Cake:
1 cup oil (may reduce to 1/2 cup and substitute applesauce for the amount you leave out)
1  3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups chopped peeled tart apples
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Caramel Icing:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 Tbsp. 2% milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans

For cream cheese filling, in a small bowl beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in egg; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat oil, 1  3/4 cup sugar, and 3 eggs until well blended. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients; gradually beat into oil mixture until blended. Stir in apples, carrots, and pecans.

Transfer half of the apple batter to a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan; layer with cream cheese mixture and remaining apple batter. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50-60 minutes or until cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing, in a large saucepan bring the brown sugar, butter, and milk to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over cake. (Icing will cool and harden quickly.) Sprinkle with pecans.

Yield:   12 servings

 

Let us know how this cake turns out for you!! 🙂

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle

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Orange Fanta Cake

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We interrupt the series with a Orange Fanta Cake…which looks like a flop, and sort of was one, but tasted really delicious and rich! I saw this cake over at The Pioneer Woman and decided to try it…

Haha, yes, mine was far different. Hers is perfect, just like I want my next try at this cake to be!

I didn’t use Ree’s complete recipe because I found a pound cake mix in the cupboard and decided, since it was almost out-dated, to use it. I think it would have worked, but the mistake I made was not substituting the orange soda for the water, I just added them both. So it ended up really dense and rich; almost like a chess pie filling but with the orange soda taste! If it wasn’t for the rather tough sides, you could pop a piece in your mouth and it would just melt. Mmmmm….

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And about the glaze. When I tipped it out of the pan and saw it, I said something like “It looks bad, but we’re gonna put so much glaze on it that all we’ll taste is sugar!” That’s why it looks like something from Halloween….kind of reminds me of the pumpkin that the Headless Horseman threw at Ichabod Crane from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow!

Anyway, next time, I’ll use the pound cake mix and use orange soda INSTEAD of water.

But then, the texture was so unusual in this “flop” that I might just repeat it.

So keep your eyes open for a re-do on this cake! 🙂

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Elisabeth

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Pumpkin Coffee Cake

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We made this delicious pumpkin coffee cake last week. Originally we planned to enjoy it for breakfast, but when we heard that some friends were passing through the area, we decided to save it for a mid-morning snack!

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Assemble ingredients. For the batter, you will need a pound cake mix, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin, water and two eggs.

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Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.

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Add eggs, pumpkin and water…Image

… and mix together.

For the topping, you will need walnuts (or pecans), brown sugar, flour, and butter. Image

In a small bowl, combine ingredients.

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Pour half the batter into a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Add half the walnut topping. Repeat layers.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Let cool slightly before cutting.

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Delicious served with coffee or milk.

Here is the full recipe:

Pumpkin Coffee Cake                                                     

1 package (16 ounces) pound cake mix

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

¾ cup canned pumpkin

6 Tablespoons water

2 eggs

Topping:

½ cup chopped walnuts

½ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup all purpose flour

1 Tablespoon butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine first six ingredients; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for two minutes. Pour half of the pumpkin mixture into a greased 9 inch square baking pan. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients; sprinkle half over the batter. Carefully spread with remaining batter. Sprinkle with remaining topping (pan will be full). Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 9 servings.

Hope you enjoy this yummy autumn recipe!

                                 Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~ Kerstin and Elisabeth

Check back soon for a post featuring snapshots of autumn in our little corner of Wisconsin.