This year we took her to the zoo for her birthday. As we walked across the parking lot, bundled up in coats, scarves, and gloves, she pointed out that as members in the non-summer, we got to park for free. Score! A savings of $4 right there just for having her birthday in November.
Another bonus of having a November birthday is this cake. When considering the options for her birthday cake there was the usual chocolate versus white debate. Then I happened upon a this wonderful cake on Peabody's site. Pumpkin spice cake? Oh yes!
And then I saw these beautiful cupcakes on Nook and Pantry. Maple cream cheese frosting? Oh, drool!
Combine the two fabulous fall flavor sensations and we had the perfect November birthday cake. I doubled the recipe that Peabody used so I had two 9-inch layers. I slathered the butterscotch walnut filling between them (yum, yum). For the frosting I wanted to be sure I had enough for a large cake so I cobbled together a recipe from various cookbooks.
Next time I make the frosting I think I'll leave out the butter. It didn't need it for taste, quantity, or consistency. I wanted a full maple flavor to the frosting and as I added the maple syrup (real maple syrup, so it was rather runny), it got softer and softer. I stopped adding maple syrup and dumped in some maple flavoring. If you wanted to play with amounts, you could probably make it wonderfully without the maple flavoring. I'll give you the recipe as I made it.
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
1- 8 oz brick of cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 lb (1 stick) of unsalted butter at room temp.
16 oz (about 4 cups) of confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp maple flavoring
With an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the sugar and carefully beat it in so you don't get a cloud of powdered sugar. I like to start this with a wooden spoon and once the sugar is mostly incorporated, use the mixer to cream it together. Add maple syrup and / or flavoring to taste. To achieve desired consistency, you may need to add a bit more powdered sugar. The frosting will firm up when it's chilled.
To assemble the cake, spread filling over the bottom layer, place the other layer on top, then frost the top and sides. I finished it with fall sprinkles and piped an edge around the top. The frosting was quite soft, though, so I had to hastily pop it into the fridge to chill before the piping slid off the edge.