As a teacher, I am thankful that they use the schools for polling places. My guilty mom voice only scolded me once for sending the children to preschool while I stayed home and tried new recipes.
I was in a mini kind of mood. I made Mini-Chocolate Pumpkin Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Mini-Almond Coconut Cheesecakes.
The recipe for Chocolate Pumpkin Cakes came from Country Living. My friend's birthday was today and I wanted a little something to send to her. I made the recipe and used my Pampered Chef mini fluted pan. It made six perfect little cakes that popped right out. This recipe is a little more involved than I usually make. But with the children away and the extra time, it was relaxing to concentrate on a cake truly from scratch.
I frosted the cakes and placed them on little plates. I wrapped each one with parchment paper and tied them with a pretty ribbon. If I had my camera, I would have taken a picture to share the love with you.
Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
1 1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk (I substituted plain yogurt)
1 c. canned pumpkin
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 c. sugar
3 large eggs, plus one yolk
The recipe calls to prepare two 8" cake pans, but I just sprayed my mini-fluted pans. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Stir the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Beat the butter and sugars together using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and yolk one at a time. Reduce mixer speed to low and alternate mixing in the flour mixture and the pumpkin mixture. Bake about 35 minutes in a 375 degree oven. (I baked the mini cakes for about 30 minutes)
Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat 6 oz. softened cream cheese using a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add 1 1/2 c. of confectioners' sugar, 2 1/4 tsp. cocoa, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and 3/4 tsp. vanilla and beat until well combined on low speed. In a separate bowl, beat 1 1/2 c. heavy cream with 3/4 c. confectioners' sugar on medium-high speed to soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until well combined.