Holiday Red Velvet Cupcakes

I know what you're thinking, I already have posted about red velvet cupcakes.   I made some for the 4th of July  and earlier this month I highlighted some mini red velvet cupcakes I have previously made for Christmas.

As I have mentioned before this particular baking season was rather busy.  In addition to holiday baking I had birthdays, baby showers and engagement parties to bake for.   So, when I was trying to plan what to make for my office holiday party I was a little stressed about time. The night before the party I had dinner plans with my girlfriends, so I did not have a lot time to bake.

One of these reasons why I wanted to show my red velvet cupcakes is that the ones with the little green trees (above photo) reminded me of the movie White Christmas and the Snow Song.  I did not plan this.  But when I finnished decorate this thought about occured to me.  For those of you unfamiliar, during the song, they make a little snow scene sprinkes mini trees, and I thought it looked just like that. 

Maybe its all in my head, and its only a quick part of the song, but I wanted to share it with you.

Here's the Snow Song from White Christmas.

What do you think? Do my cupcakes look anything like that?

Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Source: Food Network

Eggnog Rum Cake

Eggnog and rum, two of my favorite flavors.  Since eggnog cookies were such a hit, when I was trying to decide what to make for Christmas Eve, I thought this would be a fun cake to try when I found this recipe. It was very light and moist.  It had the subtle taste of eggnog with a hint of nutmeg.  The rum taste wasn't too strong at all. I actually prefer it stronger. 

The original recipe didn't have a glaze, but I felt like it needed something on top.  I used a rum glaze similar to the one I make for the eggnog cookies, which I think gave it the extra kick it needed. 

I must make a confession: this cake is semi-homemade. Semi-homemade is not my preferred baking method. I really do think that baking items from scratch is worth the time and energy, but when its Christmas Eve and there is not a lot of time and the to do list is long, tough decisions have to be made! As it is, I ended up making this cake at 5:30 AM, so I do not even want to think about what time I would have had to get up if I made something from scratch.

Even though it isn't a made from scratch cake I would make this again.  I have a mini bundt pan, and I think individual cakes would be very festive, especially with lots of holiday sprinkles!  

Eggnog Rum Bundt Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons rum
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups eggnog
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease bundt pan well. Using a hand mixer, mix other ingredients well, for five minutes. Pour into pan. Bake at 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes and then invert onto a plate.

Adapted from

Rum Glaze
¼ cup butter, softened
3 tbsp. eggnog
1 tbsp. rum
pinch of nutmeg
2 (or more) cups confectioners’ sugar

Cream together the butter, eggnog, rum, nutmeg and confectioners’ sugar.   If too thick, add more egg nog (or rum depending on your tastes) to thin out so it will easily drizzle over cake. Using a ladle drizzle over cake, allowing it to run down the sides. Add holiday sprinkles if desired.

Christmas Cookie Wrap Up

I originally intended to have a seperate post for each of the Christmas cookies I made this year.  However, New Years is quickly approaching and I still haven't posted any of the non-cookie baking from the Holidays. So I've made the executive decision to highlight the two remaining cookies and give an overview of the Pink Apron's  2010 cookie packages in one final post.  

Egg Nog Cookies was made throughout the month of December and they are such a favorite that I made more dough to include in my cookie packages.  These were also made for Mr. Apron's cookie swap at work and my sister's engagement party which was held a few days before Christmas.  

Candy Canes ended up being the other sugar cookie shape of the holidays.  I knew the trees were going to take a while, so I picked the candy canes thinking they would be less time consuming.  I honestly didn't love the way they came out. Maybe because the Christmas Trees came out so well, these didn't seem as spectacular. 

For the past three years I have made Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies.  I have never found working with a cookie press to be what I would describe as enjoyable, but this year I fought the cookie press and lost!  The entire time I made them I struggled to get the cookies to stick to the pan. I had to put my cookie sheets in the freezer to get the press to remotely work.  Then toward the end of the red cookies my press broke. 

I had already made the green dough and I was able to get another press but the cookies still did not want to stick to the pan. Finally Mr. Apron pointed out that I was spending more time on the spritz cookies than they were worth and to just leave out the green this year.   The decision was made and it was the right decision.  Only red cookies this year.

I'm not 100 percent sure why the cooke press gave me such a hard time this year. The cookie press can be fussy.  The cookie sheet needs to be cold and you can't use parchment paper.  Maybe it was too hot in my kitchen.  Maybe my cookie sheets are too non-stick.  Anyways, no one seemed to miss them.  Next year, may be an off-year for the sprtiz cookie.  

This is the recipe I normally use.  

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 egg yolk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add sugar and mix well until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, vanilla and lemon peel. Mix well. Gradually add flour and salt to cream mixture. Shape dough in small logs and place in cookie press. Press cookies onto cool ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

To make colored cookies add a small amount of food coloring to dough before shaping into logs. I like to make half red and half green. Store in airtight container at cool room temperature for several weeks or freeze for two months. Recipe makes 4 dozen cookies.

Source: Fancys Flours

Meltaway rum snow balls was another new cookie this year.  I liked having a spice cookie in the mix.  Though some peope said they would have preferred Linzer Cookie again this year.   I think the Linzer Cookie was the one cookie I heard about missing the most.

Peanut Butter Truffles and Oreo Truffles are my chocolate cookies for the holidays!  What is great about these cookies is they last awhile!  I can make them well before Christmas put them in the refridgerator or freezer, then pull them out as I'm giving out my cookie tin.  I also found some great snowmen glass jars that were perfect for filling with truffles and giving as gifts.  As I am writing this I really wish I took a photo.

And finally, my favorite cookie of the season,  the Christmas Tree sugar cookies.   The tins I used were actually so full of the "non-sugar cookie" cookies (is that gramatically correct?) that i packaged the trees and candy canes in favor bags and had them seperate from the tins when I gave them to friends and family.  

Here is a look inside this year's cookie tins.  That's it for the cookies!  Tomorrow I'll start posting what I baked for Christmas Eve, Christmas, and my office Holiday Pary!  

Peanut Butter and Oreo Truffles

I love Oreo truffles.   They are always a hit in my family around Christmas.  Even though I was trying to change some of my cookies this holiday season, I couldn't eliminate Oreo Truffles.  Instead I decided to add a new truffle into the mix: peanut butter truffles.  

Like many other people, the closer I get to Christmas it seems my to do list gets bigger.  To help relieve the stress, I am always looking for ways to start my baking early so that I am not trying to make 500 cookies in one weekend.   Next year, I want to try making the Oreo truffle filling well a head of Christmas and freezing the filling shaped as balls, so that they can be dipped easily and quickly closer to Christmas. 

Oreo Truffles
one package oreo cookies
one 8oz. package cream cheese (softened)

16 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips

Finely crush cookies in a food processor or place them in a ziploc bag and crush into a fine consistency. Mix in softened cream cheese. Roll the mixture into 1″ balls and place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
 Refrigerate for at least one hour.  ( I do it overnight). Melt chocolate in a double boiler and then dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra and set aside on paper covered cookie sheet to dry. You can sprinkle the tops with colored icing or sprinkles for decoration. Refrigerate to set. 

The peanut butter truffles are super easy and chocolate  with peanut butter is one of the best flavor combinations.  The peanut butter mixture does get messy when you are balling them, so I recommend using a mellon baller.

Peanut Butter Truffles
2 cups whipping cream
2 pounds white chocolate, melted
2 cups peanut butter
1 pound dark bittersweet chocolate
Crushed peanuts, for decoration

Scald cream in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and chill. Combine white chocolate and peanut butter together in a mixing bowl and blend together. Add chilled whipping cream and continue blending at high speed until a smooth consistency is achieved. Pour mixture into a suitable container and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours, to allow mixture to set.

Using a melon baller, form the mixture into balls. Place balls on a sheet pan and into the refrigerator to firm up.

Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler. Gently dip each ball in the melted chocolate so that it's fully coated. Decorate with crushed peanuts. Keep truffles in the refrigerator until required.

Source: Food Network

Meltaway Rum Snowballs

I love picking out which Christmas cookies I am going to make every December.   There are so many choices that it can be hard to decide. I'm always worried I am going to pick a cookie that does not live up to my expectations.  And I really want to have different types of cookies, not ones that are similar in texture and taste.  These meltaway rum snowballs did not disappoint.   The combination of spices blended perfectly with the powered sugar.  I love the spices, these cookies were totally different than any other cookies I made this year.  The kitchen smelt amazing when these were baking.

These were also a great cookie to make ahead.  I made the dough in early December and froze it.   Then the week before Christmas when I was preparing my cookie tins, I defrosted and baked the dough.  Super easy! These are going into my permanent recipe book.  

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
¼  teaspoon ground cloves
¾  teaspoon coarse salt
¾  cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
¼  cup dark rum
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whisk flour, cornstarch, spices, and salt in a bowl. Put butter and 1/3 cup sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in rum and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and gradually mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half. Place each on a piece of parchment paper. Wrap in parchment. Chill in freezer 30 minutes (up to 1 month).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap dough.  Shape into one inch balls; space 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until just golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool 10 minutes. Gently toss warm cookies with remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Cookies can be refrigerated in airtight containers up to 2 weeks.

Adapted From Martha Stewart

O' Christmas Tree Cookies

Christmas cookies are baked, decorated, and packaged!   Here is the first several cookies that I made this holiday season.  And I know that people like to save the best for last, but these are definitely my favorite this year, and one of the best I have ever made.   I love the vibrant colors and how festive they look.  When first made them I couldn't stop looking at them or taking photos.  Mr. Apron kindly reminded me that they will be eaten and not to get too attached. 

I think what why I love these cookie so much is because I really can see such an improvement on my decorating skills since last christmas.  I find looking at a beautiful batch of cookies that I decorated incredibly rewarding.  

I made the ornanments using wet on wet icing.  I have tried this technique before, but I hadn't quite prefected it.  But this time, I know I got it right!  

Once the icing was dry I made the garland and the star using a # 2 tip. I was originally going to make the garland and star sparkle with sanding sugar, but it did not come out well on the practice tree . It took away from the ornanments, so I decided to stick with just the icing. 
The sugar cookie and royal icing recipe is the same one that I normally use.  You can get it here.
Okay, one last photo!  Lots more cookies and other holiday deserts to come!

Eggnog Cookies with Rum Frosting

Eggnog cookies with rum frosting are a favorite in the Pink Apron family. These are a yummy cake-like cookie.  They do not look fancy, but they taste amazing.  They are also super easy to make.  They are probably my most requested cookies My sister starts asking me to make them well before Thanksgiving.  Last year she asked me to make them for her for her birthday...her birthday is in May.  I can't find eggnog in May.    I brought a batch into work last week, and numerous co-workers have asked when I was posting the recipe.  

You can premake the dough and freeze it.  I like to do that in early December to help save time closer to the holidays.  I'll buy a half gallon of eggnog and make four batches of dough to bake throughout Decmember.  I think this year, I'll buy another half gallon around New Years, and freeze some dough so I can make these cookies after the holidays.

Eggnog Cookies
1 cup butter (softened)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup Eggnog
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets. Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg and eggnog. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden. Allow cookies to cool completely.

The rum frosting is my own creation.  I cannot tell you the exact measurements since I just toss everything together and make everything based on consistency and taste, but here is what you need:

Some Butter (softened)
Some Confectioners Sugar
Some Rum (preferrably dark)
Some Nutmeg

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add the rum. (I like rum, so I normally add a lot but you can always just add a splash) and sprinkle in some nutmeg.  It's that easy! 

Happy  Baking!

Chocolate Cream Pie

Christmas baking can be stressful, but with a little organization and planning it is easily manageable.  However the Pink Apron family has numerous December birthdays adding an additional challenge to my planning.  Normally I can easily handle making birthday cakes along with all my holiday baking, but this year I had to help plan and bake for one of my best friend's baby shower (onesie cookies coming soon) the same week as two of my family members birthdays.

This required some thinking on my part.   I could not make two birthday cakes and bake and decorate sugar cookies all in the same fours days.  I'm good, but I'm not a magician.  Luckily for me both people celebrating birthdays are big chocolate fans so I decided that chocolate cream pie was the way to go with the time constraints.  It's classic, it's chocolately, it was a hit!

To make things easier I pre-made the pie dough earlier in the month and froze it.   I actually made several batches of pie dough to have handy in the future.  I was able to bake the pie crust while I was making the filling, so I really only spend less an hour making this, giving me plenty of time to finish the onesie cookies and continue my holiday baking.

Chocolate Cream Pie
2 eggs
¼ cup (1 ounce) unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
3 Tbl. (1 ounce) cornstarch
3 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
6 ounces fine quality semi sweet chocolate bars (broken up) or chips
2 Tbl. (1 ounce) butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pre-bake a 9 inch pie shell. (Recipe here)  In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, cocoa powder cornstarch and ¼ cup of milk until the mixture is smooth.

In a medium sized saucepan, add the remaining 3-3/4 cup of milk and sugar. Wisk until no lumps of sugar remain, and turn the heat to medium high.  When the milk starts to bubble, turn off the heat. Ladle small amount of hot milk into the egg mixture while constantly whisking the egg mixture.

Ladle about half of the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking. Now pour the egg mixture into the pot of hot milk while whisking the milk. Return the heat to medium high. While constantly whisking, heat the mixture until it thickened and little bubbles start to form. Turn off the heat. 

Immediately add the chopped chocolate, butter and vanilla extract. Stir until all is melted. Pour this into the prepared pie shell. Cover the top with plastic wrap to keep a “skin” from forming on the custard. Cool in the  refrigerator. Top with whipped cream.

Ghosts of Christmas Baking Past

Its that time of year again!   Every year after Thanksgiving I start planning out my December baking.  Between holiday parties, cookie gift boxes and family events, I am usually baking all month long and need to organize and plan my baking so that I do not stress out or go crazy. I've already done some baking (posts to follow), but for me things will really pick up next week.  I'm doing my big shop this weekend for baking supplies and I need to make all final decisions on what to make in the next few days to make sure I have all the ingredients.  Mr. Apron hates it when I have to send him back to the store to pick up items I missed.  

I was not blogging last December, but I did take some photos of my previous holiday desserts and I wanted to share some Christmas baking inspiration and some of my favorite items from Chirstmas baking past. 

Red Velvet Cupcakes can be made year round, but they are always fun at the holidays since they already look festive.   I also like making red velvet cupcakes around the holidays because they are easy, and sometimes when I have a lot of baking project I need something simple and quick to bring to a party and I can whip these up quickly and they are always a crowd pleaser.  Add just add some holiday sprinkles for a little extra holiday cheer!

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing is a staple item at most holidays in my house and of course Christmas is no exception.  Last year I made snow flakes and ornanments.  I love picking out new holiday cookie cutters and deciding on what design. My biggest problem is that there are so many options I usually have a hard time deciding.

I have made Linzer Cookies the past few years and they have been a big crowd pleaser.  But I want to change things up this year, so I have decided that Linzer Cookies will take this year off.  They do contain nuts, so if you are giving them as a gift, make sure that the receiver knows that there are nuts in them. 

Linzer Cookies
Linzer Cookies are two cookies sandwiched together with a layer of preserves or jam. Traditionally these cookies are filled with black currant preserves but can be filled with your favorite flavored preserves. The top cookie, dusted with confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, has a cutout so the preserves are visible. When cut into a round shape with a round cutout they are known as Linzer "Eyes" (Linzer Augen). Variations now exist for this cookie using ground hazelnuts, pecans, or even walnuts in place of the traditional ground almonds.

There are two types of Linzer Cookie dough; White and Brown. For the white Linzer Cookie dough, blanched almonds are used which keeps the dough white in color. For the brown Linzer Cookie dough, the nuts are toasted. To prevent the toasted nuts from turning into a paste when ground, some of the sugar from the recipe is added during processing. The sugar absorbs the oil from the nuts and prevents the nuts from turning into a paste.

1 cup blanched or sliced almonds, toasted and ground
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
Zest of 1 lemon
Confectioners' (Icing or Powdered) Sugar for dusting
1/2 cup flavored preserves or jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven.  Toast the nuts on a baking sheet for about 8-10 minutes (or until lightly browned and fragrant). Remove from oven and place the hot nuts in a dish towel. Roll up the towel and let the nuts sit (steam) for five minutes then rub the nuts in the towel briskly to remove the skins. Once the nuts have cooled, place in a food processor and process with 1/4 cup of the sugar from the recipe until finely ground. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy (approximately 3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract, egg yolks, and lemon zest. Beat in the ground nuts. Add the flour mixture beating just until incorporated. Divide the dough in half and shape into two rectangles about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap the two rectangles of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least one hour and up to several days). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Remove one rectangle of dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2 to 3 inch cookie cutter (round, square, heart, etc.) cut out the dough. Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Use a smaller cookie cutter (3/4 - 1 inch)) to cut out the centers of half of the cookies on the baking sheet. (You will be sandwiching two cookies together and there will be a small 'window or cut out' in the top cookie so you can see the jam underneath.)

Reroll any scraps and cut out the cookies. Remove the other half of the dough from the refrigerator and roll and cut out the rest of the cookies. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until they are very lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. While the cookies are cooling place the jam in a small saucepan and heat gently until it has thickened slightly. Strain if there are any lumps in the jam. Let cool.

To Assemble Cookies: Place the cookies with the cut-outs on a wire rack and lightly dust the tops with the confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar. On the bottom surface of the full cookie (top of cookie will face out) spread with about a 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Place the cut-out cookie on top and gently sandwich them together, making sure not to smug the confectioners' sugar. Using a small spoon, fill the cut-out with a little more jam. Note: You can store the unassembled cookies in the refrigerator for several days in an airtight container. It is best, though, to assemble the cookies the same day as serving in order to keep the cookies crisp.. Makes about 20 - 2 inch sandwiched cookies.

I am normally not a big coconut fan, but I love macroons.  And when I saw these on the Food Network I knew I had to make them.  The combination of macroons, chocolate and macdemia nuts is so good. I normally have to make more of these because my family eats them so quickly.

Paradise Macaroons

2 (7 to 8-ounce) packages sweetened shredded coconut
2 ounces sweetened condensed milk
Pinch kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg whites at room temperature
5 ounces granulated sugar
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 ounce vegetable shortening
2 ounces finely chopped dry-roasted macadamia nuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the coconut with the sweetened condensed milk, salt and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whip the whites until medium peaks form, 6 to 7 minutes. Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. Scoop tablespoon-sized mounds onto a parchment-lined half sheet pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately transfer the parchment with the macaroons to a cooling rack. Cool completely before topping. Fill a 4-quart pot with enough water to come 2 inches up the side, set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a small metal or glass mixing bowl and set over the simmering pot. Stir occasionally until melted, then remove from the heat.

Dip the cooled cookies in the chocolate mixture, sprinkle with the chopped macadamia nuts and place on parchment paper to set, about 30 minutes.

Source: Food Network


Pumpkin Crunch Cake

I love this cake!   Regular Pink Apron readers know how much I love using pumpkin in the fall and soon as I saw this cake I was dying to make it and it did not disappoint. Pumpkin and cream cheese frosting always work well together, but the added crunch factor added completely new level of texture and flavor.

I was already planning cookies and apple pie for Thanksgiving, so I thought this would be perfect for my mother's birthday, which happens to be at the end of the November.  I'm always looking for something special to bake for her since her birthday is often so close to Thanksgiving it can get overshadowed.  Since I made it I already have numerous requests for the recipe.   This cake is definitely going into my permanent fall baking rotation. 

Crunch Topping
3 Cups Walnuts, finely chopped

3 Cups Vanilla Wafers (about 75 cookies)

3 Cups Brown Sugar

3 Sticks Butter

Melt Butter; In a food processor, pulse cookies to a fine crumb, then Pulse walnuts to a fine chop. Add in Brown Sugar and mix well. Add in Melted Butter and blend together. Divide mixture into 4 Cake Coated Cake Pans, pressing into bottom and spreading it evenly into the cake pans. Reserve about 2 cups of the mixture which will be baked to use on the sides of the cake. Set pans aside and begin cake.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake
1 1/4 Cup Sugar

1 1/2 sticks of Softened Butter

1 16 oz can Solid Pack Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

2 1/2 Cups Flour

1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt

1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla

1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

2 1/4 Teaspoons Baking Powder

3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

3 Large Eggs

Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees. In your mixer beat sugar and butter for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy, scrapping down the bowl frequently. Add in Pumpkin and all the rest of the ingredients, except the eggs. Mix just until blended. Add in the Eggs, one at a time just until blended. Divide batter equally into your 4 prepared cake pans, smooth it out and make it as even as possible in the pan. Place remaining crunch mixture in another cake pan or pie dish and allow to bake for the same amount of time as the cakes. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow pans to cool about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire racks and allow to completely cool. Break up the extra crunch mix to very small bits to use to decorate the cake with. (I used a knife)

Cream Cheese Frosting
5 8 oz packs Cream cheese

2 sticks Softened Butter

1 lb Confectioners Sugar

1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla

Whip the cream cheese and butter until very smooth and creamy; Slowly add in the 10x sugar while mixer is on low setting. Add in Vanilla and mix well. Set aside till needed.

After your cake is completely cooled begin frosting the layers and putting the cake together. After you have assembled all the layers with some frosting between them, start to spread the remaining frosting on the sides and top. When finished frosting, coat sides and top with your extra crunch mixture.

Source: More Than A Mountfull