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it is officially october, my favorite month of the year! i love october, the weather starts to get cooler so sweaters and cute boots can be worn, leaves turn colors and start falling to decorate the ground, pumpkins can be carved and the seeds roasted for a snack. but you can’t forget the obvious though! all the candy and the scary movies; my favorite part! but the best part? this vanilla cake with pumpkin spice white chocolate ganache!
every year my uncle has this huge garden with tomatoes, corn, beans, and pumpkins. it’s always fun to go to his garden and to pick through the pumpkins to find one of the best ones to carve. and also to be tempted to take one of the gigantic ones that you need a forklift to carry. it was really upsetting to learn that my uncle didn’t do a garden this year. *sigh* was really looking forward to going home one weekend just to get a pumpkin or two to carve. guess i’m gonna have to find some alternative this year for my pumpkin carving.
now on to this cake! i don’t know where this flavor idea came from for this cake, but i’m super glad it did. it’s super easy to make and really delicious. the flavors really remind me of fall and it’s perfect for either october or november as the pumpkin spice ganache filling reminds me of pumpkin pie! for real. it tastes exactly like pumpkin pie and i had to resist real hard to not eat it by the spoonful. it is that delicious. and i’m not even a pie person! i know, shame on me dissing pie.
it’s a really simple cake. that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have lots of flavor to it though. it has sweetness from the white chocolate, flavor from the pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and the chocolate buttercream ties it all together! now i wanted this cake to say halloween, so i added some black food coloring into the frosting. this isn’t necessary though, as it would be just as pretty and non-halloween like without the food coloring. if you think about it without the food coloring the colors would be great for thanksgiving. or just because. who said you couldn’t have a just because cake. i’m guilty of that all the time.
but if you want it to really say halloween, you could add in some orange food coloring into the ganache to really make the orange from the pumpkin puree pop! add some orange and black sprinkles and maybe even some of those candy corn pumpkins on top.
vanilla cake with pumpkin spice white chocolate ganache and chocolate buttercream
makes one 3-layer 6-inch cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper. in a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. make sure that the brown sugar isn’t in clumps. in another bowl, combine the oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk and whisk together. pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until fully combined. divide the batter evenly among the cake pans and bake for 30-32 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. let the cakes cool for 10 minutes then carefully remove them from the pans to continue cooling. wrap in cling wrap until ready to use.
pumpkin spice white chocolate ganache
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
12 oz bag white chocolate chips
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
place the white chocolate and all of the spices into a heat proof bowl. in a small pot, combine the heavy cream and pumpkin puree and place over low heat (i use a gas burner, so if you are using an electric one you can increase the heat to medium-low). constantly whisk the mixture until it starts to simmer or creates steam. when the pumpkin mixture is hot enough, pour over the white chocolate. constantly whisk the mixture until all of the chocolate is melted. put cling wrap over the bowl and place into the fridge to chill.
4 sticks unsalted butter
5 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup black cocoa powder
6 oz melted dark chocolate
2 tsp vanilla extract
3-5 tbsp heavy cream
black food coloring (optional)
melt the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl. put the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and vanilla into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. whip on low and gradually increase speed, whipping for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. add in the heavy cream and continue whipping, about a minute. add in some black food coloring if desired.