In honor of my husband’s favorite holiday, and for everyone who is looking for a festive Halloween treat, I decided to bake something with pumpkin. My latest issue of Cooking Light included a recipe for pumpkin cake with a cream cheese frosting. My favorite pumpkin treat will be posted later in November, but I do love the combination of a cream cheese frosting with pumpkin.
I had my Kitchen Aid stand mixer out ready to go when I realized that I had less brown sugar than I thought I did. I only had one-half of a cup of brown sugar, and was in need of the other half to make this recipe. Instead of making friends with a neighbor, I drove the 20+ miles (one-way) to my sister’s house to get ½ cup of brown sugar. (Okay, I also really wanted to borrow a dress from her, and my excursion lent it’s way to a little playtime with my equally adorable nephew and niece.)
A while later, I was back in my kitchen with my ½ cup of brown sugar in a plastic baggy and I was ready to bake cake! My cake batter seemed really thick. It was difficult to spread out in the pan, so you can either take your time and really work at smoothing it out, or just let it bake unevenly (which I’ll shamelessly admit that I did). While it was baking I wondered if I’d need to do it over with less flour, but it turned out very dense and moist.
I decorated the cake with some Halloween candies. While I did this recipe in celebration of Halloween, it would also work for Thanksgiving. You could garnish with some chopped pecans (or even toss some pecans in the batter for a little crunch).
Frosted Pumpkin Cake
(From Cooking Light; November, 2009)
* 10.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 ¼ cups)
* 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* ¼ teaspoon salt
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* ½ cup butter, softened
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
* 2 tablespoons butter, softened
* ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 (8-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
*2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
To prepare cake, weight or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Combine brown sugar, ¼ cup butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, to sugar mixture; beat well after each addition. Add pumpkin; mix well. Fold in flour mixture. Spread batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in a pan on a wire rack.
To prepare the frosting, combine 2 tablespoons butter, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and cream cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until well combined. Spread frosting evenly over top of cake.