Spiced and Iced – Book 2 Updates! Plus, a Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Recipe


Hello, friends! I’ve been super-busy getting SPICED AND ICED, book 2 in The Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries ready for publication. There have been a few minor and unavoidable delays, but the upshot is I will have this new culinary cozy mystery up for pre-order very soon — hopefully before the beginning of next week. If this changes, I will let you all know. My cover reveal is coming SOON and my newsletter subscribers will be the first to see it and get pre-order info. Click here to sign up if you haven’t already.

My wonderful cover artist is finalizing a spectacular cover that I think you will love. I have a few more post-production things to finish. I’m looking at a release date at the end of November — just in time for Christmas! Again, I will give you the exact date as soon as I have it. Bottom line, is that SPICED AND ICED will be here for the holidays, as planned. Hooray!

In SPICED AND ICED, Callie is providing some special Greek holiday sweets to a December bridal shower luncheon at a beautiful waterfront inn with stunning views and seasonal decor. Unfortunately, the season doesn’t stay bright for long — a murder shakes up the community once again and Callie finds herself right in the middle of it.

I’ve got some fun new characters and festive recipes to share. You might want to try some of the recipes out on your holiday guests.

Also — I will be participating in some wonderful online holiday parties and blog events in November and December! Please check my News and Events page often for updates (you can find it on the menu in the right corner).

Now for the cake recipe: True, it’s a good Halloween cake (especially if you tint the icing orange) but is equally good for your fall and Thanksgiving gatherings – just skip the orange tint if you like.

The picture above shows the cake in a 9-inch square pan, but I also tried it in a Bundt pan and I liked it even more. However, if you go with the Bundt, I suggest using a simple glaze, not the brown butter icing.

I had never made brown butter icing before and it is really good! It takes away some of the overly sweet aspect of a regular buttercream and adds a unique flavor note.

This is adapted from a recipe in Good Housekeeping magazine. Here you go! I hope you enjoy it.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Serves  12


2 c. all-purpose flour, ¾ c. unsweetened cocoa, 1½ tsp. baking soda, ¼ tsp. salt

1 c. lowfat buttermilk, ¾ c. canned pure pumpkin

½ cup unsalted butter, softened, 2 c. granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 batch Brown Butter Frosting (see below) or Simple Glaze


For cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray either a 9-inch  square pan or a Bundt pan with Pam spray with flour. Set aside.

In large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla.

In large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat butter and sugar until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until pale and fluffy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.

Reduce speed to medium-low. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until batter is smooth, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.

Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake 38 – 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Don’t over bake. A few crumbs clinging to the toothpick is OK. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. With small knife, loosen cake from sides of pan; invert onto wire rack. Cool completely before using icing or glaze.

Brown Butter Frosting

½ c. unsalted butter

2 c. confectioners’ sugar

1 pinch salt

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

To make the frosting: In a small saucepan, cook butter on medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until dark golden and very fragrant, swirling frequently. Transfer to small bowl and refrigerate until just starting to set, about 30 minutes.

In medium bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat brown butter, confectioners’ sugar, and pinch salt until smooth.

Spread on top and sides of cake.

Simple Glaze

2 cups confectioners sugar

A few tbsp milk

Pinch salt

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Stir all ingredients together, adding milk gradually, just until you have a pourable icing. Drizzle evenly over cake once completely cool (I put waxed paper under the wire rack to catch the overflow).

Back at you soon with more SPICED AND ICED details. Please visit me on Facebook at @JennyKalesMysteryAuthor and be the first to find out about news and giveaways by joining my email list. I’m also on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!







2 thoughts on “Spiced and Iced – Book 2 Updates! Plus, a Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Recipe

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