Tag Archives: fall parties

Handmade Charlotte & The Great Pumpkin Layer Cake


As many of you know, I love a great fall party. When I asked creative guru Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte if I could document her fall themed soiree for Atlanta Magazine’s HOME, she quickly said of course, and we were off and running. Creating a fall party can be fun and mostly easy peasy. Here is one of my favorite recipes from the party:


The Great Pumpkin Layer Cake
Serves 12

For the cake, you will need: 

– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
– 2 teaspoons ground ginger
– 1 3/4 teaspoons ground allspice
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1 1/2 cups sugar
– 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
– 1 cup canola oil
– 4 large eggs
– 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
– 1 tablespoon grated orange peel

Note: 2 fluted bundt pans.

To prepare the cake:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch-diameter bundt pans; Butter and dust pans with flour. Sift 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients into medium bowl. In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat both sugars and oil until combined (mixture will look grainy). Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and orange peel; beat until well blended. Add flour mixture; beat just until incorporatedDivide batter between prepared pans. Smooth tops.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool cakes completely in pans on rack. Run knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto racks, then turn cakes over on to a platter.

For the frosting, you will need:

– 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
– 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
– 1 tablespoon dark rum
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
– 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

To prepare the frosting: 

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in dark rum and vanilla. Add powdered sugar in 3 additions, beating just until frosting is smooth after each addition (do not overbeat or frosting may become too soft to spread).

For the chocolate icing, you will need:

– 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
– ½ cup cream

To prepare the chocolate icing:

In a small sauce pan heat chips and cream whisk until smooth.

To assemble the cake: 

Place 1 pumpkin cake layer, rounded side down, on platter. Spread the of cream cheese frosting over top of cake to edges. Top with second pumpkin half. Drizzle with Chocolate icing using a fork in a zig zag splatter pattern.

  • Note – Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

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For the full feature Atlanta Magazine’s HOME  is on newstands now.

Photos: Raftermen




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Bake Sale Themed Party Favorites

With my cookbook (Picture Perfect Parties by Rizzoli) only weeks away from launching, I thought it would be fun to showcase some of my favorite “picture perfect” party accessories for different themes. This week is all about the bake sale. Fall brings with it such amazing flavors for baking… cinnamon, apple, pumpkin, nutmeg. You could easily throw a party focused on your favorite bake sale goods. Think wax paper wrapped treats tied with simple string (or even this beautiful felt leaf ribbon), stripes, metal trays and cake stands, simple rustic details, and kraft paper lined tables. You could throw a bake sale themed wedding shower or birthday party for the budding baker. Thanksgiving is on the horizon, why not incorporate some of these elements into your dessert table?

1. I love these IceMilk Aprons so much that I featured one in my book. The heirloom quality and classic good looks make the apron look like it’s part of your outfit. Perfect for any hostess!

2. This bark bowl comes in a variety of shapes and would make a great vessel for folded cloth napkins or to fill with baker’s twine as a centerpiece.

3. Pumpkin Pie sauce. Need I say more? I love the old fashioned packaging and this would be perfect for drizzling over pie a la mode.

4. This bake sale kit from Shop Sweet Lulu has everything you need to get started: cellophane bags, tags, cake toppers, and plenty of striped twine.

5. Last but not least, this beautiful felt leaf garland could be used for a number of things… packaging, tied as a napkin holder, part of your gift wrap. Screams fall!

Here’s a free printable for a pie box that you can make out of heavy card stock. The project comes from my book. Have fun party planning!

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