Fall = Pumpkin Cake

It was such a sweet, sweet Summer, I'm already missing the lazy days on the River and not caring what in the world my children dressed themselves in.  Fall came quickly in Fredericksburg this year, before I even blinked leaves are turning and there is a chill in the air. It's that chill that has me craving my favorite fall desserts. Pumpkin cake always falls at that top of that list.

Normally, when I make pumpkin cake I make a simple sheet cake with cream cheese icing. This year I fancied it up a little bit and tried my hand at the popular drip cakes. Always fun to mix up a simple recipe into something new.

I have so many variations of this recipe, I'll include a few below.

Pumpkin Cake Recipe:

4 eggs, beaten
1 15oz. can pumpkin
2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
2 c, flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Beat eggs, pumpkin, sugar and oil in large bowl. Add in remaining ingredients, do not over mix. Pour into prepared pans and bake on 350 for 25-35 minutes. 

Drip Cake Frosting & Assembly

Whipped Frosting
Jar of Caramel Sauce (Topping)
Gingersnap cookies, 1/2 c. crushed and 12 cookies left whole.
Prepare cake in 2 8" or 9" round cake pans. Remove when slightly cooled. Prepare Frosting:

12 ounces Cool Whip, thawed
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 Tbs. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Set Aside. Heat Caramel for 20 seconds in microwave. With a fork poke holes all over the top of the first layer of cake,  brush on a light layer of caramel. Cover with whipped frosting, place 2nd layer and frost entire cake. Be sure to reserve about 1/2 c. frosting to decorate the top layer.

Pour about 1/2 c. caramel into a piping bag. Pipe a line of caramel around the edge of cake so it begins to drip down the sides of the cake. Place the reserved frosting into a piping bag and create small mounds around the edge of the cake. Sprinkle the interior with crushed gingersnaps and arrange whole gingersnaps around the edge of the cake. Keep cake chilled.

Sheet Cake Icing:

For this variation, you'll want to prepare the cake in a 9x13" pan.

3 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 c. butter, softened
3/4 tsp. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar

Mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla until combined. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and beat for 1 minute. Ice the cake while warm.