Total time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Active time: 45 minutes
Don’t get me wrong; my favorite season is summer. I love the warm weather and lazy beach days, but nothing beats the flavors of fall. With today marking the official start to the fall season, I am ready to move on to everything apple and pumpkin.
The original version of this recipe was shared with me by a coworker at the Black Whale last year. She had made the pumpkin cake and brought it to work in celebration of the start of fall. I loved it so much, I had to ask for the recipe. Come to find out it’s actually a Betty Crocker recipe! My version does not include raisins in the batter nor a walnut topping but adds some extra cinnamon on top; the more cinnamon the better!
Either way, this pumpkin cake will immediately become one of your fall staples. The undertones of ginger and cloves add a cozy fall dynamic to the dessert. Ultimately, the star of the show lies in the pairing of the cream cheese frosting with the incredibly moist cake, resulting in your soon-to-be-favorite fall dessert.
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1-15oz can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for decorating
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1-8oz package of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup salted butter, softened
2 to 3 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
15x10x1 inch pan
Electric stand mixer, not required
Preheat the oven to 350o F and prepare the pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and oil with a wire whisk until completely smooth. Fold in the remaining ingredients. (1)
Spread the batter in the pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Check the cake; the cake is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.(2) Let the cake completely cool, about two hours.
While the cake is cooling, make the frosting. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla extract with an electric mixer or by hand until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Mix until smooth and spreadable. Store the frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator until the cake is completely cool and ready to frost.(3)
Spread the frosting over the cooled cake and decorate with cinnamon.
Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.
In baking, folding means to gently turn, or fold, the ingredients until just combined. You do not want to overmix when the recipe calls for folding.
Many recipes will call for a metal cake tester or fork to test if the cake is cooked through. However, I have found that toothpicks work best because they are made of wood. The cake may slide off the metal prongs, but the wood accurately captures a reading of how cooked a cake is.
Two hours may seem like a long time, but cooling is one of the most important steps. If you try to spread the frosting on a warm cake, it will melt all over the cake and make a soggy mess. To speed up the cooling process you can refrigerate the cake until completely cooled.
After much experimenting and testing, I have found that the frosting takes on the smoothest consistency after being refrigerated with the cake overnight. When the frosting is first made, it often has a light texture and grits of sugar that are still whole. However, after chilling the frosted cake overnight, or longer, the sugar crystals fully dissolve in the frosting. The cooler temperatures result in a denser, thicker frosting. To achieve this consistency, after frosting the cake, store it in the refrigerator and wait until the next day to cut into the cake. This is optional and the frosting will still behave in the same manner even if you take a slice out to taste test before chilling overnight.
This recipe was inspired by Betty Crocker.
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