pumpkin spice layer cake

by ALLISSA on October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

Did you really think I’d let the month of October pass without sharing some sort of pumpkin recipe? Hardly. But I came close, didn’t I? Apologies for that. I’m not entirely sure what I’ve been doing and you don’t even want to know what I’ve been eating, but here we are, closing in on October, and I’ve nearly missed it entirely. So now seems as good a time as any to talk about pumpkin spice cake. I was initially set to make pumpkin bread with hazelnuts, my new-old quick bread stand-by, but then I spotted this pumpkin cake and, well, I couldn’t think about anything else. Unfortunately, the gorgeous photo isn’t accompanied by a recipe, so I went on the hunt and found my way to another stand-by that offered a version of pumpkin spice cake.

A Slice of Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

I presumed the cake would be, essentially, pumpkin bread in a baking pan. OK, not quite, considering the addition of buttermilk, but close enough. I was wrong. Dare I say it? I think it’s kinda, sorta better than the pumpkin bread I’ve been making for the past couple of years. The flavor, of course, is delightful pumpkin, but the flow of spices truly makes this cake marvelous and the buttermilk prevents it from being dry and unpleasant. A little of this, some of that, and ta-da, you’ve got yourself a nice little cake that, at least in my house, might well double as breakfast and lunch this week. I paired the cake with homemade cream cheese frosting, though a glaze would be perfect next time for a Bundt pan-baked cake. (Of course I’m already craving that.)

Dry Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

Butter and Shortening for Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

Buttermilk-Pumpkin Mixture for Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake Mixture

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake Batter

Cream Cheese for Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Cake Layers

Cream Cheese Frosting for Pumpkin Spiced Layer Cake

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake (with homemade cream cheese frosting)

(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens’ New Cook Book and the Joy of Cooking, 75th anniversary edition)

Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Cake:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour (Note: I used 1 cup of white flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour because I ran out of white flour.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup of softened butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup of shortening
  • 1  1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1  cup of buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin

Ingredients for cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 ounces of cold cream cheese, cut into fifths
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar (Note: The original recipe calls for 1 pound of sugar, but it’s all about preference. The 1/2 cup I added did not overwhelm my sweet tooth and allowed the frosting to retain a bit of tarty flavor.)

Directions for pumpkin spice cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and lightly flour two 8×1 1/2-inch round baking pans. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a medium-sized bowl and stir together. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening on low speed for 30 seconds.
  5. Add sugar and vanilla and beat on low speed until combined.
  6. Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
  7. [pIn a small bowl, combine buttermilk and pumpkin and stir well.
  8. Back to the large bowl, add dry mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately, beating on low speed until just combined.
  9. Pour into baking pans and bake for 30 minutes to 35 minutes.
  10. Cool cakes on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool thoroughly.

Directions for cream cheese frosting (using an electric mixer):

  1. Beat cream cheese and vanilla on low speed until just blended.
  2. Add one-third of sugar to mixture and beat until just blended.
  3. Spread between cake layers and decorate with remaining frosting as you wish. (Note: If you plan to add frosting between layers and cover the entire cake with frosting, you make need to double this recipe.)

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