I love a nice pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting! After making this autumnal dessert every year from different recipes, I have finally found my favorite one. This keeper is from the October/November 2007 issue of Cook's Country. I've had it flagged with a neatly labelled post-it note for the past three years, but I didn't actually bake it until last week. The recipe creator Greg Case says that a good pumpkin cake ". . . should be moist and velvety, with just the right balance of pumpkin and spice. . . " He achieves this with his culinary instructions and also includes directions for a cream cheese frosting that is both tangy and sweet.
I baked my Cook's Country pumpkin cake in my favorite 9 x 13 pan from William Sonoma. I love that this baking pan is heavy duty, dishwasher safe, and attractive enough that I can frost and serve the cake directly from it.
A few days after my family had devoured our pumpkin cake, I was grocery shopping and spotted a set of disposable foil pans with lids that are in the shape of a pumpkin. My very ambitious self quickly placed a few of them in my cart with great intentions. Right there in the middle of the Kroger Halloween candy aisle with Tears for Fears muzak playing gently in the background, I could clearly visualize myself baking multiple Pumpkin Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, embellishing them with candy corns, labeling them with adorable hand-made thank you cards, and delivering them to all of my children's teachers. My more realistic self is a bit exhausted just imagining all of that, but hopefully this task will happen next week or perhaps closer to Thanksgiving.
Thank you, Greg from Cook's Country, for baking this cake countless times so I don't have to. Instead I can focus on making Pumpkin Spice Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting every year for my family, my kids' teachers, and the local bake sale. It's Fall on a plate!
Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
from Cook's Country October/November 2007
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 (15-ounce) can plain pumpkin pure
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces and softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs, oil, and granulated sugar until thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add pumpkin, and mix until incorporated. Slowly add flour mixture and mix until only a few small lumps of flour remain, about 1 minute. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool completely.
- For the Frosting: With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and confectioners' sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese 1 piece at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until smooth. Frost cooled cake.
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