Today I turn 25. I have officially lived a quarter of a century. In dog years, I’m like 405234 years old.

In these past 25 years, I have found myself. I may not know everything, but then again I probably never will. But I do know who I am and I know what I like, and it feels great!

I know that Polka Dots were predestined to be my signature pattern. It’s not my fault if half of my clothing is covered in them.

I know that writing cookbooks is HARD work, but also super fulfilling! This week I got to hold my first book in my hands for the first time this week and I sent in my manuscript for the second on Monday. I feel so happy and proud!

I know that Family is the most important thing. I don’t know where I would be without mine.

I know that I found my soul mate at 19 years old. He makes me laugh daily and puts up with all my crap. He’s a keeper.

I know that getting married the day before my birthday was the smartest thing I ever did. Not only did I get to have the biggest party ever thrown for my birthday, but every year I get to have cake for dinner on October 11th for our anniversary. And then cake for breakfast on October 12th for my birthday. It was BRILLIANT planning on my part.

This years anniversary/birthday cake was a Pumpkin Dream Cake. I was so excited for this one that I was posting photos of it on facebook while it was still being put together!

If you have been reading along for a while, you will remember the Banana Dream Cake. It was the best cake I had ever made. Just read the reviews, everyone loved it! I get emails almost weekly about people making and loving that cake.

And it really was the greatest cake, ever…until now. Now we have the Pumpkin Dream Cake. It is pumpkin-y, but not too pumpkin-y. It is both moist & crumbly! It is so incredibly tender that you just want to use it as a pillow. Seriously, no excuses, make this cake.

 

UPDATE: I have made these as cupcakes! If you do the recipe below as stated, it will make 3o standard sized cupcakes. They will need to bake at 300°F for 18-20 minutes and do not need to go into the freezer.

Pumpkin Dream Cake with Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 3 layer cake

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk

12 oz (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease 3, 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl/stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla, pumpkin and vegetable oil. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and immediately place in freezer for 45 minutes. (This keeps the cake moist by immediately stopping the baking so the cake does not continue to bake when you remove it form the oven.)

For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Add confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth.

Assemble the 3 layers with a thick layer of frosting in between each layer. Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top and sides. Pop back in the freezer to harden the crumb coat for about 10 minutes.

Apply one final thick and even layer around the outside of the cake. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.