Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Harvest Pumpkin Apricot Cake

Makes one 2-layer cake



For cake:
Cooking Spray
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup apricot purée (recipe follows)
3/4 cup roasted pumpkin purée
   (or you can use canned solid pack pumpkin)
1/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tbsp. vanilla extract

For frosting:
1-1/4 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup apricot purée 1/3 cup roasted pumpkin purée
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Dried apricots for garnishing



For cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 9-inch cake pans well with cooking spray.

Sift cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Blend apricot purée, pumpkin and buttermilk in a small bowl. Using electric mixer beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with pumpkin mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Smooth tops.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes (cakes will not rise to tops of pans).

For frosting:
Using electric mixer beat cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl until fluffy. Add apricot purée, pumpkin and spices and beat until blended.

Cut around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn out cakes. Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread 1-cup frosting over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 1-cup frosting over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over sides and top of cake. Garnish with dried apricots, if desired. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)


Apricot purée

Makes about 1-1/2 cups


1-1/4 cups apricot nectar
1 (6-oz) package dried apricots
6 tbsp. sugar



Stir all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture simmers. Cover and cook until apricots soften, about 6 minutes, cool. Transfer mixture to processor and purée until almost smooth (Some apricot bits will remain). Refrigerate. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead.)

Any leftover purée would make a great topping for pancakes, waffles or corn muffins. Also great cookie filling.


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This page created November 2000