Stun Your Family Christmas Cake
2-1/2 cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
one 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
cream-cheese frosting (see recipe below)
1/4 cup caramel sundae topping
1 cup pecan halves, toasted
Heat oven to 350 degrees, with the racks in middle of oven. Use
solid vegetable shortening to grease three 8 x 1-1/2-inch round cake
pans. Dust with flour, tapping out the excess, and set aside.
In a small mixer bowl, stir together the cake flour, soda, baking
powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. Using a large bowl and an
electric mixer, beat the vanilla-wafer crumbs, chopped pecans and
one-and-a-half sticks of butter, softened. Use medium speed,
scraping bowl often, until the mixture is crumbly. Divide evenly
among prepared cake pans and press evenly on bottoms of the pans.
In the same large mixer bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs and canned
pumpkin on medium speed for one minute, scraping the bowl
constantly. Gradually beat in the flour mixture and beat on medium
speed for two minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Pour over the
pressed-in pecan mixture in pans and spread the batter evenly.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the center of a 350-degree oven, using
two racks if necessary to spread the pans out and allow for even
heat distribution. A cake tester stuck in the center of each layer
should come out clean. Cool for 10 minute, then remove from the pans
to a wire rack to completely cool the cake layers.
Top each cake layer with 1/3 cup of the frosting, placing layers on
a serving plate with pecan sides down. Frost the side of the cake,
if desired. Drizzle caramel sundae topping around the edge of the
cake and let it dribble over the edge. Arrange pecan halves around
the edge of the cake. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.
2/3 cup butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Beat softened butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on low
speed. When smooth, beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat at
low speed until smooth and spreadable.