Makes 12 to 16 servings
Pomegranate juice may be incredibly healthy, but I think pomegranate liqueur is much more fun. The most widely available brand, Pama, is a potent blend of pomegranate juice, vodka, and tequila. Its ruby red color makes for exotic cocktails—and festive frostings. Pomegranate season runs from September to January, so this cake is perfect for the holidays.
For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)
For the frosting:
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup pomegranate liqueur, such as Pama
1 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 medium pomegranate)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans with butter or nonstick spray. Dust them with flour and tap out the excess.
To make the cake, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, and oil. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then beat in the pumpkin purée.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the oil mixture and beat until just combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cakes for 10 minutes in the pans, and then remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Add 6 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, the milk, and the pomegranate liqueur. Beat on low speed until creamy. Gradually add the remaining confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, until it reaches desired consistency.
Place one cake layer on a plate and spread it with about one-third of the frosting. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds. Top with the remaining cake layer and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Sprinkle with the remaining pomegranate seeds.
Shake It Up: Substitute hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico, for the pomegranate liqueur, and chopped toasted hazelnuts for the pomegranate seeds.
TD&N Nutrient Analysis (based on 16 servings): Calories: 519; Total Fat: 18 g; Saturated Fat: 7 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g; Cholesterol: 66 mg; Sodium: 196 mg; Carbohydrates: 87 g; Fiber: 2 g; Protein: 4 gRecipe and photo used with permission from The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets by Lucy Baker, published by Running Press, copyright 2010, www.runningpresscooks.com