This is a delicious cake which is wonderful served plain, with some lightly whipped cream, or frosted with a nice maple syrup sweetened frosting. Alternatively, reduce the honey if you plan to eat it for breakfast or at tea time.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter and flour two - 8 inch (20 cm) cake pans. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and honey until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla, and beat until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Divide the batter in half and then pour the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert and remove the cakes from their pans.
* If you decide to use less honey, remember to increase the buttermilk slightly to compensate (honey is about 20% water).
** To make the pumpkin puree, first cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, remove seeds and stringy fibers, and then place cut-side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) for approximately 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours (depending on size) or until easily pierced with a knife. Scoop out the pulp and puree in a food processor until smooth. To extract all the liquid, strain through a cheesecloth lined strainer. Cool the puree before using.
** To make your own buttermilk combine 1/4 cup (120 ml) of milk with 1/2 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes before using.
These make great muffins/cupcakes too -- fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake them for 15-20 minutes (be sure to fill empty muffin cups with water so that the heat is evenly distributed).