Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Buttercream

My sister and her husband asked me to make a cake for their son's 2nd birthday.  Of course, I'm happy to oblige.  It's always fun to make birthday desserts for them because they know what they like in terms of flavors, but give me some room for artistic license.  

In this case, they were thinking about a pumpkin cake.  We came up with the idea for a pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting and here is the result. 

I adapted this awesome recipe for the cake.

I figure one tier for every year of life.  I may have to discontinue this when he turns five.

Cake making can be therapeutic; it's nice to have a project with lots of steps that all come together for one show-piece of a product.

First things first, I whipped up a double batch of pumpkin cake batter.

Then I baked the cakes...

This cake is very moist, but it never hurts to add a little vanilla-steeped syrup.

Cream cheese frosting should just be the standard cake frosting, right?

Once I had my buttercream made, it was time to assemble.

Confessions: I had a little leftover cake.

Props to my nephew for having a birthday so I can exercise my cake muscles.

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