Fall Has Arrived – Pumpkin Style!

Well it is officially Fall! Get ready for holiday foods, winter boots, family get togethers and…. of course pumpkin products at almost every grocery store! I’ve never baked pumpkin bread before and decided to give it a go the other day since I remembered I had a can of pumpkin purée in my pantry from the time I attempted (but did not execute very well) pumpkin cinnamon rolls. All the other ingredients in pumpkin bread are pretty much staple products most frequent bakers would have. You can find this original recipe at: cupcakesforbreakfast.com


I’m happy to report that my first attempt at pumpkin bread turned out amazing. I heard great reviews from family members and coworkers. I baked two loaves and 6 muffins. The only thing I’d do differently next time is to wait a little longer for the bread to cool so the powdered sugar doesn’t melt. I sprinkled it on the top of the bread and muffins a bit too early, so next time I’ll be more patient, and wait a bit longer. I really love this recipe because the bread is not too sweet, it’s subtle and so it the pumpkin flavor. You know it’s pumpkin bread but the taste is not overwhelming artificial (you know what I’m talking about). Also, this bread came out so moist! Oh my goodness, it taste so delicious. It was hard for me to give it away, but it’s important to share the wealth (and get others peoples opinions). Here is the recipe, enjoy and share it with the people you love.

Pumpkin Bread
Makes 2 loaves
Bake time 60 min
Oven Temp 350 degrees

3 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (or a mixture of nutmeg & cinnamon)
1 (16oz) can of pumpkin purée
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs

Line both pans with parchment paper or coat with cookie spray or butter. I greased the bottom of the loaf pans with butter and then put parchment paper on top. With the muffins I just greased it with butter.
First in a bowl combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and pie spice). If you don’t have a sifter you can always use a whisk to get the lumps out. Set this bowl aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Then in a large mixing bowl add in all the wet ingredients. In no specific order. I think I added the purée first and the eggs last. Mix together with mixer or use spoon however if you use a spoon make sure all the ingredients marry together. Once all the wet ingredients are fully mixed together, go ahead and add in the dry ingredients 1/2 a cup at a time. You don’t want to overwhelm the mixture with too much flour too quickly. Once you have added in all dry ingredients, and mixture is well combined you can pour into two separate loaf pans. Or in my case 2 loaf pans and a 6 tray muffin pan. I made muffins for myself because it’s quicker in the morning to grab a muffin rather than cut into a loaf. Not much quicker but when you wake up at 5am and have to be out the door by 6:15-6:30am it’s just easier to grab and go rather than cut, grab and go… You get my drift. 🙂

Anyways, bake loaves for 60 min, check on it 45 min to see the progress. After 60 min stick fork in the middle of the loaf and if it comes out clean, it’s done! The muffins only took 15-20 minutes. Let cool for 25-30 minutes then sprinkle powdered sugar on top… So delicious. Eat and enjoy my friend, watch out though because this is a crowd pleaser!photo 2

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Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes & Birthday Cake

June is a month filled with birthdays of my close friends. Saturday June 7th, is my dear friend Hosana’s 25th birthday. I decided to bake her a cake from scratch. She is amazing, but also super indecisive, so it seemed natural to bake a funfetti birthday cake! This was my first attempt, and boy, I can’t lie this recipe was time consuming. I was browsing Pinterest for recipes when I found a funfetti birthday cake recipe from blogger Brooklyn Homemaker. He went into SO much detail in his blog post that I could nowhere near try and explain each step as well as he did.

Here is the link to the Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe, which I followed word for word.

Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe by BrooklynHomemaker.com

http://brooklynhomemaker.com/2014/05/22/funfetti-birthday-cake/?blogsub=confirmed#subscribe-blog

A few things I did differently than Brooklyn Homemaker included, this cake was a 2 layer rather than 3. I did not have 3 round pans to create a 3 layer so I ended up baking a dozen cupcakes as well as the cake. It was suggested that if you only have 2 pans, to create a 2 layer, since there is leavening agents in the cake mix, it would not be recommended to bake 2 layers then bake the 3rd layer. Everything should go in the oven at once. Also, I did not have parchment paper so I buttered both pans and dusted them with flour. This technique worked okay, but since butter burns, certain of the bottom parts of the cake stuck to the pan. Next time I will definitely use parchment paper. Also, next time I will try and bake a 3 layer. I think Brooklyn Homemaker is right, 3 layers looks more impressive.

Funfetti Cake Hosana

After I took cakes out of the oven, I let them cool for a few hours. Mixed up the frosting, put it in a piping bag and started piping the middle filling. Once the middle layer of filling was complete, I evenly stacked the 2nd layer of cake on top. Then, like Brooklyn Homemaker, I put a thin layer of frosting on top of the cake and around the sides, this is called the crumb coat. Put the cake in the fridge for an hour, then removed and did my final layer of frosting. Reminder – this was my first attempt at baking a birthday cake from scratch and I still need to work on my frosting technique. I started from the top and then worked the frosting around the sides of the cake. With my spatula, I rotated the cake plate as I used the tip of the spatula to get an smooth even layer of frosting around the cake. I decorated the top with hearts, using a cookie stencil, and wrote in red glitter icing, some fun words that my friend Hosana and I use often. This was a fun cake to make, and I definitely know I will be making it again. Who doesn’t love funfetti birthday cake from scratch?!