I just barely managed to survive my first week back at work. Even though I’m doing the same job as I was in London I wanted to make a good impression with my new office mates in Connecticut. Last Monday I got up nice and early and had Alex drop me off at the train station. I had studied the train schedule the day before and bought my ticket in advance. So I get on the train at the right time and it’s only 2 stops and about 15 minutes to Stamford. After about 20 minutes has elapsed I start to panic! We haven’t made any stops! I whip out my phone and check Google Maps. The little blue dot shows that we’re all the way to Greenwich, which is already way past my stop. I ask the guy standing next to me where is the train going and he said, “oh this is the express to Grand Central”.
I could not believe that on my first day back at work I had gotten on the wrong train. Not only the wrong train, but a train that was going about 40 miles in the wrong direction before the next stop. As soon as we got to Grand Central I had to make a mad dash to another platform and catch a train back. So instead of being early for my first 8.45am meeting with HR I arrived at 10.15am, which is embarrassing. I’m supposed to be a smart reliable accountant!
Besides that little snafu there were no other incidents. We spent our first “real” weekend in our house. It was the first weekend I could get back into my routine and get some baking done! When we moved in the oven was missing the knob that controlled the temperature. A bakers worst nightmare come true! Luckily, the property manager was able to order a replacement. I’ll be lucky if all of my baking tins, cupcake liners, whisks and spatulas arrive by Thanksgiving so I’ve had to make due with a few pans that a friend’s mom gifted to me when we moved in. Two of the pans were 8 inch cake rounds so I’ll be able to get plenty of baking done until the rest of our belongings arrive.
To celebrate being back in America and it’s delicious pumpkin season I decided to make a pumpkin cake. I’ve made some many pumpkin variations over the years that I was on the lookout for something extra special. The Pumpkin Mocha Cupcakes from My Baking Addiction caught my eye. The cake is a delicious and easy one bowl recipe that incorporates pumpkin spice coffee and chocolate. I was looking for something not purely pumpkin based. The frosting incorporates pumpkin puree. This recipe is definitely for pumpkin and spice lovers. Instead of making cupcakes I went for a simple two layer sandwich cake.
2 cups AP flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups pumpkin spice coffee, hot
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C and grease two 8 inch cake tins. In the large bowl of an electric mixer combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spice and cocoa powder). Mix on low for 30 seconds.
- Add in all the wet ingredients (coffee, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla). Beat until all the ingredients are combined. Check that all the flour at the bottom of the bowl is mixed.
- Pour the batter evenly between the two cake tins (I left a small amount of batter in my bowl). Bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Leave to completely cool. Since the cake is oil based it is fairly delicate. Remove from the tin and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours until firm.
- While the cake cools make the frosting. Beat the butter on medium high speed for 5 minutes until light and creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar in batches. Add in the spice, pumpkin puree and vanilla. Beat a few minutes more until light and fluffy.
- Place one round on a cake plate. Spread half of the frosting on top. Place the other round on top and spread the rest of the frosting on top.
adapted from My Baking Addiction