This past weekend was my boyfriend's birthday, he spent the weekend away for a bachelor party, so I decided to surprise him when he got home with a massive birthday cake. Typically his favorite dessert is Pecan Pie, but we made that for Labor Day weekend, so I decided to change it up (talked about here).
The weather has started to get colder already (I am not mentally prepared for it), so I decided to go full fledged fall with a pumpkin cake topped with cream cheese frosting.
The cake came out wonderful and fluffy, perfect for cold fall nights and holiday parties. It would taste delicious paired with a warm bourbon (boyfriends suggestion) or hot chocolate. The spiced cake is balanced out by the fluffy cream cheese frosting.
The original recipe I used was made for cupcakes but I adapted it to create two 8" cakes. If you would like to change up the filling (I just used plain cream cheese frosting) you could do a cinnamon or maple cream cheese frosting, which would taste amazing. The other thought I had for filling was dulce de leche, the sweet caramel flavor would go great with the spiced cake.
This cake was a hit with the birthday boy and friends, I definitely think I will make it again over the holidays.
Yield: 2 8” cakes - Prep time: 30 minutes - Cook time: 40-50 minutes
- 4 cups Cake Flour (not self-rising), sifted
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsps ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prep cake pans by coating them with butter then flour.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and beating until just combined. Add pumpkin; beat until just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between two 8" cake pans, filling each halfway full. Smooth over the top to even out the batter. Bake, rotating cake pans halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, 40-50 minutes.
- Transfer to wire racks to cool for 20 minutes. If the top is not level, lightly press the top of the cake using a paper town to even out the top. When cool use a knife to loosen the edge then flip over onto wax paper to release.
- To finish, use an offset spatula or pastry bag fitted with a decorated tip to top the cake with cream cheese frosting (recipe below).
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
- 16 oz (2 packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- With an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, add vanilla. Mix until smooth and combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Before using bring to room temperature and beat on a low speed until smooth again.