Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Cake ft. Cinnamon Whipped Cream + Coffee Syrup

Alright, fall has officially arrived, though Starbucks (wisely) started rolling out their fall drinks immediately after Labor Day. (but we're still waiting on the Pumpkin Smash smoothie from Jamba Juice - trust me, you won't be sorry). This is the first of several autumn cakes and even the first of several pumpkin cakes. So whether you choose to puree the innards of the real thing or simply go with the can of pumpkin filling (as I did), 'tis the season of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin itself can be a bit on the bland side so it's the spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves) that add the flavor to the coffee drink, and this cake. The easy and convenient thing is start with a spice cake mix, though you can also start with another mix and add in all the other spices. You'll also need to brew a super-strong pot of coffee (or espresso) to be used in the cake and the syrup topping, so get that going right about now.

This was the first time I've made whipped cream, and I highly recommend timing this part of the process to the glorious one-hot wonder: Whip It, by Devo. Seriously, put on some headphones and blast it directly into your eardrums while you're beating away - mix the cream on low speed for the first minute but once you hit this part, switch over to high speed until the song finishes. Voila! You have whipped it, whipped it good (Energy Cone optional).

And what would a latte be without the fanciful latte art on that foamy canvas you just prepared? You can make a coffee syrup by reducing coffee in a saucepan on the stovetop, mixing it with corn syrup, and then transferring that into a squeeze bottle of sorts (preferably with a small tip or opening) to decorate the top of the cake. I went with a simple spiral, but you can tackle anything from dragons to Potters to bears (oh my!)


pumpkin spice cake
1 box spice cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 can (8 oz) pumpkin pie filling or pureed pumpkin
1 c. strongly brewed coffee
1/4 c. vegetable oil or butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease pan with butter or a non-stick spray like PAM, and brew a pot of strong coffee to make at least 2 cups worth.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil, pumpkin,and coffee until smooth. Slowly add in cake mix, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into greased 8โ€ round pans and bake according to times on the back of the box.

cinnamon whipped cream
2 c. heavy cream
2 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
Pour heavy cream, powdered sugar, and cinnamon into small medium mixing bowl. With beaters or an electric mixer, beat mixture for 1 minute on low and then 1 minute on high. Whip for another 10-30 seconds until desired texture is reached.

coffee syrup
1/2 c. strongly brewed coffee
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. corn syrup
On the stovetop, mix coffee and sugar in a small saucepan, and stir for 5 minutes until the sugar dissolves and a syrup forms. Let mixture cool for a few seconds without hardening. Pour into candy bottle or squeezable bottle with a small tip, add in corn syrup and shake well until syrups mix. Drizzle decoratively onto cake.