i keep doing this thing lately where i wake up at 4 in the morning feeling this extreme urge to cook. it started with 4 a.m. lemon bars last month, and then there were 4 a.m. noodles and 4 a.m. potstickers and now a whole 4 a.m. cake. brown butter pumpkin cake, it's called. doesn't that sound delicious?
the recipe is from adventures in cooking, although i did something different for the frosting. i'm not so into cream cheese frosting, especially in large quantities, so i made kind of a buttery honey-flavored whipped cream sort of frosting. i don't have an electric mixer, so making any kind of frosting is kind of an ordeal. i usually manage okay, but i always wake up with sore forearms the next day. and i also started yoga classes for the first time on the day before the cake baking, so i woke up (after going back to bed at 7) with sore arms and shoulders and thighs. but you know. i just made my first successful cake, so i'm cool with a little soreness.
i actually made two cakes, because i didn't have three 8" round cake pans, but i did have one 9"x12" rectangular cake pan, so i cut it into fourths and made two double-layer cakes. (triple layer cakes have always seemed just a bit too tall to be safe, gravity-wise, to me.) i brought one in to work and split the other with my sister. originally, i'd just planned to frost the top and middle, but then i realized that since i cut the cake into fourths, not all the sides were the same color, depending on whether it was an original side or a cut side, so i frosted the sides as well on the work cake. i ended up not having enough frosting to do the sides of the home cake, so i just piled the rest on the top.
i cannot express in words how pleased i am that this turned out well. i've tried to bake stuff before, but anything cakey or bready or that needs to rise has never gone right. or rather, something always went horribly wrong. there was the time i accidentally forgot the sugar...and the time the pizza crust turned hard as a rock instead of rising...and the time the whole cake just collapsed into a pile of disaster...yeah. but with this pumpkin cake, i turn over a new page! i'm so excited—i've got all these recipes just waiting to be made.