Each year, my office holds a back sale to raise money for United Way.  And each year, there is a bidding war over the chocolate cakes.




Now, I appreciate a chocolate dessert as much as anyone, but there are SO many desserts better than chocolate cake.  And I set out to prove it.  With a Pumpkin Cake with Butterscotch filling. Which turned into a classic example of biting off more than I could chew.

First, this cake called for 5 stick of butter.  2 in the cake, 1 in the butterscotch filling, and the other 2 for a brown sugar buttercream.  But, it’s better with butter, right?

Yes, I know, 4 1/2 sticks. And of course, I realized that I need more halfway through the darn cake!



  When you are forced to bake after the hour of 9 pm, you learn that a cake is a two-night ordeal.  And the first night is always deceptively simple, as all you need to do is bake the cake!  


So far, so good. Little did I know...

So, the first night, I go to bed happy.  Cake is baked, house smells like pumpkin, and I’m a happy camper. 

 Until the next night.  When I don’t get home until 9:30 from work, and I have a butterscotch filing and a brown sugar buttercream to make.  And cold Thai take-out for dinner (is this a theme!?!)

 So I make the butterscoth filing, which first starts by boiling sugar, then adding warm cream. all while whisking your freakin’ arm off to keep the sugar from cooling and forming a ball (which, of course, it did).  Thus, leading me to put it back on the heat to warm it ever so gently so that the sugar dissolved once more.  But, it turned out…


There's one stick of butter down

Then came the buttercream.  And it involved making a caramel sauce, which I think had to beat to holy heaven prior to adding the last 2 sticks of butter (my arteries are starting to clog up just think about it!).  And supposedly, whipping the caramel sauce, heavy cream, and butter was supposed to make a night buttercream that I could pipe onto the cake.


Even after sticking the stuff in my deep freeze, the frosting never quite set up.  Forget about piping rosettes.  I was just happy to get the darn stuff on the cake!

The results?  Brought it into work, where it proceeded to melt.  AND, only brought in a tiny fraction of the money that the chocolate went for. 

Melted brown sugar buttercream. Next year I'll just stick with the chocolate!


The cake was delicious, BTW.   I’m just an artist ahead of my time (who needs to learn to master buttercream).