Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

November 20, 2012 | By andrea | Filed in: Autumn, Baking, Cakes, Christmas, Comfort Food, Cookies & Bars, Dessert, Holidays, Recipes, Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin admirers will love this moist pumpkin cake. It’s easy to make, not too sweet, and tastes pumpkin pie-ish (only better)!

The cake took longer to bake than the recipe states. I had to turn my oven down a bit so it wouldn’t brown too much. Check the cake at 30 minutes and if it’s still wet in the middle, turn the oven down about 25 degrees and check in 10 more minutes (repeat as needed until toothpick inserted in middle of cake comes out clean). Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
-recipe from Cook’s Country Magazine (October/November 2007)

Why this recipe works:
Pumpkin cake recipes should be easy, but the pumpkin cake recipes we tried made damp cakes with a harsh burn of spice. And the cream cheese frosting was way too sweet and rich. To avoid these pitfalls, we made the cake with packed pumpkin puree (without spices or sugar) instead of canned pumpkin pie filling (with spices and sugar). The cake made with the puree actually tasted like pumpkin, which was one of the features we wanted for our Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Using puree also allowed us to control the spices ourselves, and we opted to use just a bit of ginger, cinnamon, and allspice to give the cake a subtle spiciness. And to solve the problem of heavy and cloyingly sweet frosting, we lessened the amounts of butter and confectioners’ sugar and increased the amount of cream cheese. The result was a tangy frosting that perfectly complemented the spiced cake and gave us our ideal Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Serves 16.

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 pumpkin puree

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: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in bowl. With 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 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. Turn cooled cake out onto wire rack, then invert onto serving platter. Frost cake and serve. (Cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.) 

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