2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (optional-didn't use this time, but sounds good)
1 envelope of unflavored gelatin
2 tbsp. cold water
1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
3 tbsp. Bourbon or rum
1 2/3 cups heavy cream
Maple Whipped Cream:
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp. maple syrup
For the Cake:
1. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans, shaking out any excess flour. Line bottoms of the pans with parchment paper cut into circles to fit.
2. Measure dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together well with a whisk.
3. In a measuring cup or bowl, whisk together well the vegetable oil, pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla extract. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. If using pecans, add them at this time.
4. Preheat oven to 350F. Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes in the pan on a rack then unmold the cakes and let them cool completely on a rack.
For the Mousse:
1. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tbsp. of cold water, stir and then let soften about 3 minutes.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup of the pumpkin puree, sugar & salt, and heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the softened gelatin and let cool to room temperature.
3. Stir in remaining 1-1/4 cups of pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and bourbon to the above (cooled) pumpkin mixture.
4. Using a hand mixer, whip the 1 2/3 cups of heavy cream to soft peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold pumpkin mixture into the puree.
For the Maple Whipped Cream Topping:
1. In a large chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Gradually add the maple syrup. Continue beating until stiff (but not to the point it becomes like butter!).
1. Line the sides of a 9" springform pan with parchment paper (make sure parchment extends at least an inch above the rim).
2. Fit one of the cake layers into the bottom of the springform pan. Top with the pumpkin mousse mixture. Place the 2nd cake layer gently on top of the mousse. OR, you can cut each cake layer in half with a serrated bread knife and make a 3 or 4 layer cake, topping each (except for the very top of the cake) with some of the mousse. If you have an extra layer left, just cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate and snack on it.
3. Pipe maple whipped cream decoratively on top of cake. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate overnight before serving. To serve, release cake from springform pan and gently peel off the parchment paper from the sides of the cake.
When cakes are cooled, you can make either a two-layer cake (place filling between the two cakes) or a 3-4 layer cake by cutting each baked cake layer in half, lining them in a springform pan and topping each layer (except for the very top one) with equal parts of the filling.