This Thanksgiving I was asked to make dessert for our holiday meal at a family friend's. I couldn't wait to come up with a new Fall-inspired dessert recipe to bring, along with a classic favourite, homemade apple pie. I knew I wanted to make something with pumpkin, but didn't want to go with the traditional pumpkin pie, so this spice cake with the most amazing cream cheese icing was born! The pumpkin cake is incredibly moist and full of warm cinnamon and spice flavours. It pairs perfectly with the tangy cream cheese icing, which also has a hint of pumpkin, studded with toasted pecans for some crunch and even more rich flavour. This is definitely a decadent celebration cake that combines the signature flavours and colours of fall. It was a welcome addition to our Thanksgiving table!
Pumpkin Spice Cake Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 and 2/3 cups white sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 14-15oz. can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pecan halves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottoms of 2 9" round cake pans with a circle of parchment paper, and spray with non-stick cooking spray. You could also grease and flour the pans instead.
In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate large bowl, combine the eggs, white sugar, vegetable oil, pumpkin puree, and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and continue to mix with the electric mixer until just combined. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans, smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. You can place the cakes in the fridge or freezer after about 20 minutes to speed up the cooling process. Allow the cake layers to cool completely before frosting with pumpkin pecan cream cheese icing, and garnish with the pecan halves.
Pumpkin Pecan Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients:
1 8oz. block cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp. milk or almond milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups icing sugar
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Finely chop the pecans and toast them in a skillet over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and fragrant. Watch them closely so that they don't burn. Once toasted, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the pumpkin puree, milk, and vanilla and mix until combined. Beat in one cup of icing sugar at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with each addition. Stir in the toasted pecans. Cover and refrigerate the icing for about 20-30 minutes, so it has a chance to stiffen up. Frost the cooled cake.