Yes the pumpkin spice thing is really popular this time of year and probably getting a bit played, but don’t front like you don’t want to put this in your mouth. Also, let’s not pretend you don’t have more than one can of pumpkin in your pantry right now dying to come out and make your house smell good. I made it for my brothers family and they felt strongly that this was a cake you could easily eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, it didn’t last long. It’s the perfect cake for Fall, all warm and cozy and tucked in nicely with a magical sweet/sour/touch of cinnamony cream cheese sweater.
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if you have it)
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
(if you don’t have all of these spices don’t get stressed out, just use a little more or less of something you do have until it tastes good. I think clove is such a strong flavor that I used less of that and added cardamon which I love in baked goods, you could even use a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice instead of those last 3 if you’d like)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable or coconut
1 1/3 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature, yolks and whites seperated
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup (or one stick) butter at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (but keep some extra on hand to make sure you get the right consistency)
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of cinnamon
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 325 and position a rack in the center. Butter a 9 inch round cake pan (if yours is 9.5 or 10 that’s okay, just start checking for doneness 10 minutes earlier). Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and butter that too. If you’re making the frosting same day you might want to take out your butter and cream cheese so they can come up to room temp before it’s time to make frosting.
- Sift (if you’re really concerned about lumps, but I didn’t sift the first time and it was just as good) the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a bowl and set aside
- In a large bowl mix pumpkin, oil, sugar and salt for a good 3-4 minutes until it’s all combined. Remember to periodically scrape down the sides of your bowl.
- Mix in egg yolks one at a time then add the dry ingredients but stop mixing as soon as the flour mixture is just combined.
- Whisk the three egg whites until they are frothy and white. Fold them into the batter using a rubber spatula until they are no longer visible, but just barely, you want your whites to stay fluffy so your cake is springy.
- Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake on the center rack in the oven. Begin checking the cake after 40 minutes, could take up to 45 – the center will continue to set as the cake cools in the pan, but still don’t take it out until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool at least 20 minutes before inverting it to a wire rack to completely cool.
For the Frosting:
- Beat together the butter and the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until the frosting is smooth with no dry traces of sugar. You can use a little extra powdered sugar if you like your frosting thicker and sweeter, but I like the sourness of the cream cheese to come out as much as possible. Add a pinch of cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla and beat until incorporated.
I liked it best served with chopped walnuts, but the original recipe (link below) made carmalized pumpkin seeds, which would probably be boss, but I don’t usually have those lying around and nuts can be somewhat polarizing in a family with kids so I usually add them at serving time for grown ups and littles who have refined taste. Let us know how you like it
Recipe adapted from Food 52 Sarah Jampel’s Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Icing and Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds