With a rather ambitious ingredient list and a whopping 15 steps it was a good thing I left work early on the day before Thanksgiving to get started on this. The first problem I encountered was that I did not own three round cake pans. In fact I had zero. Off to the store went my wonderful husband to bring back the necessary baking items.
Once the appropriate equipment was procured I started mixing the ingredients for the cake. The instructions regularly refer to a stand mixing bowl, and its various attachments. In our house we have only hands, arms, and muscles for mixing. Mostly it wasn't a problem, but I will admit that in making the buttercream frosting it did present a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, my wonderful husband is also a rower and has Popeye-the-Sailor-man-type biceps and forearms (sans anchor tattoo). Ultimately I did have to pick out some biggish chunks of butter from the frosting so that I could more evenly spread the buttercream. Our college child was home for the holiday and suggested using store bought caramel sauce and/or frosting. I explained that was not an option because "on Thanksgiving we go all in". Said child also made a comment along the lines of "what, no pie!" which the New York Times Cooking page actually indicated was a possibility. Fortunately, there is always more than one dessert at Thanksgiving, and a pie was offered by one of the other families with whom we spent the holiday.
In the end the entire family had some hand in preparing this delicious dessert, and it was a hit on Thanksgiving day.
See directions below. This is not a quick one!