Perfect cake for a Starbucks Fan, birthday celebration or just because.
Prepare giant cupcake baking pans. Spray them generously with a non-stick spray. Or butter and flour both pans. To ensure even baking of the bottom cake layer (taller pan) place a greased flower nail in the center. It acts as heating core.
In a large bowl sift together flour (3cups), cinnamon (1tsp and 1/2tsp), ginger (1/4tsp), freshly zested nutmeg (1/2tsp), cloves(1/4tsp), baking powder (1tsp), baking soda (1tsp), salt(1tsp) and instant espresso powder ( 1 to 2tbsp, use 2tbsp if you like stronger coffee flavor). Set aside.
In a large bowl combine granulated sugar (2cups) and brown sugar (1cup).
Into the sugar beat eggs (3eggs at room temperature. Beat in one egg at a time. Beat until creamy and pale in color, 5 minutes or so. Beat in oil (1cup). Then beat in Vanilla Extract (2tsp)
On low speed, beat in flour mixture alternating with pumpkin puree (15oz).
Give the cake batter a last stir with a spatula and divide between the 2 prepared cake pan.
Make sure to place the baking pans on a flat baking sheet, for easier handling. Silicone molds are flexible and handling them too much can be difficult especially when they are filled with the cake batter.
Bake in the preheat oven at 350F for an 50 -60 minutes. Check the smaller pan at 40 minute mark. If done remove from the oven. Continue baking large pan until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cover cake loosely with a foil sprayed with a nonstick spray to prevent over-browning
Boil the sugar (2/3cup) and water (1cup), until sugar is dissolved, boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in instant espresso powder (1tbsp). Let cool.
Beat cream cheese with a wire beaters (1pkg, 8oz) until creamy, 30 seconds. Then gradually in 4 additions add whipping cream (2cups), beating well until combined. Then beat in powdered sugar (3/4 cup to 1 cup) and Vanilla extract (1tsp), until stiff peaks are formed.
Fill the cake and crumb-coat the top cake later.
Stir gelatin (2tsp) and cold water (3tbsp). Let bloom for 5 minutes. Then microwave for 8 seconds until gelatin is completely dissolved and no longer grainy when mixture is rubbed between fingers. Let cool to room temperature, stirring frequently.
In a clean bowl beat chilled heavy cream (2cups) until soft peaks are formed. Gradually beating on high speed pour in dissolved and cooled gelatin. Then beat in powdered sugar (2/3cup) and Vanilla Extract (1tsp).
Fit the piping bag with a large star tip. Fill it with stabilized whipped cream and decorate the cake.
Refrigerate cake for 4 hours before serving.
Measure 2 cups powdered sugar into a medium size bowl. Sift sugar if it appears too lumpy.
Grease a small glass, microwave safe bowl with 1/4 tbsp of crisco. Coat a wooden spoon with little bit of crisco. Set aside.
Measure mini marshmallows (4oz, 115 grams) into the greased bowl. Pour 1/2 tbsp water into the bowl. Microwave on high for 30 second. At this point marshmallows should be melted. Stir with wooden spoon. Stir in vanilla extract (1/4tsp).
Pour mixture into a bowl with powdered sugar. Stir with wooden spoon until most of the melted marshmallows are coated with sugar and mixture is starting to resemble dough.
Coat your hands with remaining crisco and knead fondant until smooth and stretchable. Coat it with little bit of crisco. Wrap in a food wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes. It firms up when rested.
When rolling out fondant dust work surface with corn starch.
Color with gel food colors.
Cake can be made up to 3 days ahead, stored in the refrigerator.
Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy.
I use a fine zester tool. It works great. Freshly zested nutmeg has much for flavor. However if ground is all you have use it instead.