Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

Spiced pumpkin chocolate chip layer cake

The October 2007 Bon Appétit had an awesome-sounding cake recipe I wanted to test drive for a party, but I wanted Dad to get some too. While the original recipe is a good start, it needed a few personal touches--mini chips in lieu of raisins, and eh, the coconut? No, thanks. I'd rather use some excellent dulce de leche I just made instead of the orange peel. I wondered if I could reduce the fats by adding less oil, and make up for the loss of liquid with brandy (we're out of rum.) I also jettisoned 2 T of butter in the frosting; the result is plenty rich as is. I topped it all off with toasted pecan halves. Just like the original Bon Appétit cake, right?

Ok, maybe not, but it was a real hit with my friends who never guessed they were eating GF cake until we spilled the beans and used it as a teaching opportunity (med student present among the friends). A cake as moist and flavorful as this hardly raises gluten-less suspicions!

Jessica Jessica

Amount Measure Ingredient
2-2/3 Cups Gluten free flour - I used Carol Fenster's because it is a family favorite
3 teaspoons Baking powder - I used Rumford's aluminum-free from Trader Joe's
1-1/2 teaspoons Baking soda
1 teaspoon Xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon Guar gum (1-1/2 teaspoons guar gum. Guar gum adds springiness.)
1 Tablespoon Ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons Ground ginger
1-3/4 teaspoon Ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon Ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
1 or 2 shakes Cayenne (optional)
1 teaspoon Salt
1-1/2 Cups White sugar
1 Cup Packed Dark brown sugar
2/3 Cup Canola oil
1/3 Cup Brandy or rum or apple cider
4 Large Eggs
1 15 Oz Can Pure pumpkin
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
1/2 Bag Mini chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon Carmel sauce or Dulce de leche (optional)
Filling and frosting
Amount Measure Ingredient
1 8 Ounce package Neufchatel cheese (light cream cheese)
1 Stick Unsalted or salted butter at room temperature
1 Tablespoon Brandy or rum
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
4 -1/2 Cups Powdered sugar (measured as it comes out of the box). This is less than 1 box of sugar
    Fancy pecan halves toasted in a 350° oven for 10 minutes or until the pecan halves smell a bit toasty