Pumpkin Cake with Date Caramel and Honey Cream Cheese Frosting (and a Blog Birthday)

A year ago today I wrote a rambley introduction and welcome to my blog. It was my first post. I had started blogs before and abandoned them not long after but I knew for the first time I was beginning a blog about something I loved. For a while it often seemed like I was talking to myself but I was pretty happy to carry on, the whole of the last year has been a massive learning curve and I'm so stupidly grateful to everyone that has stopped by or left a comment, I really appreciate it...big THANK YOU!
 
One of my favourite things about blogging has been the awesome people I've gotten to know and I'm so excited about meeting Claire, Lulu, Hannah and many others this year at the Blog Summits and Food Blogger Connect.
 
I won't get too cheesy, instead I'll talk about this cake. This cake is definitely one of my new favourites. I had never heard of date caramel until I read it over on Top With Cinnamon's Banana Parfait post and I was intrigued. I had this feeling it would be great with pumpkin and so this cake began development. Being my blog birthday and all I knew today's recipe needed to be a pretty good cake and pumpkin has been one of my favourite ingredients from the last year.
 
The pumpkin cake is incredibly light and moist, the date caramel is stunning and the honey cream cheese frosting finishes it off perfectly. I took this cake to work and it got polished off pretty quickly. I can always rely on my floor to clear up a plate of cake.
 
Pumpkin Cake with Date Caramel and Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
(Pumpkin Cake adapted from Bon Appetit and Date Caramel from Top With Cinnamon)
 
For the Pumpkin Cake:
390g plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1x 425g can pumpkin puree
300g caster sugar
300ml vegetable oil
4 large eggs
 
For the Date Caramel:
180g soft pitted dates, chopped
235ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 
For the Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:
125g unsalted butter, softened
200g full fat cream cheese
300g icing sugar
3 tablespoons of honey
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and flour 3x 6-inch (or 2x 9-inch for a two layer cake) cake tins. Whisk the flour, bicarb, baking powder and spices in a large bowl. Beat the pumpkin, sugar, and oil in a separate large bowl.
  2. Add the eggs to the pumpkin mix one at a time, beating inbetween each addition. Add the flour and spices mixture and mix until smooth. Divide between the prepared tins.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Let cool in the tins for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
  4. Whilst the cakes are baking, make the date caramel. Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Transfer to a pan and simmer for 5-10 minutes to reduce and thicken. Set the pan to one side and let cool completely.
  5. Make a square out of strips of baking paper and arrange on a plate (this will make it easier to ice in a moment). Place the bottom layer on top of the paper. Spread half of the cooled date caramel over the cake and place the second layer on top. Spread the other half of the caramel over and put the final cake layer on.
  6. To make frosting, beat the butter for 4-5 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat for another 2-3 minutes. Add the honey, mix to combing and then add in the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
  7. Crumb coat the cake and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the cake from the fridge and spread the rest of the icing around the top and sides with a palette knife. Remove the strips of baking paper and decorate on top however you wish.