November is finally here and I am so excited about cooler weather and my favorite holiday is coming up, Thanksgiving!! Now, you might be a bit sick of pumpkin spice everything at this point but I just couldn’t resist sharing this delicious cake with you. I’m a bit traditional when it comes to pumpkin as an ingredient. I love pumpkin pie and pumpkin cake. Not so much a fan of pumpkin drinks, pumpkin candy, pumpkin chocolate and the list goes on and on and on. My local grocery only offers canned pumpkin during the winter months so I enjoy stocking up so I have it year round. If you aren’t a fan of canned pumpkin and prefer using fresh, I highly recommend getting your pumpkins the first week of November. Chances are, every school or church who had a Fall Festival/Halloween function will have a ton of pumpkins they are willing to sell cheap or give away to anyone who will take them off their hands.
With that said, let’s dig into this recipe a bit. The recipe itself is very easy and pretty cut and dry so I want to walk you through the assembly.
This cake makes 2 (9 inch) round cakes. I like to put strips of wax paper just under the edge of the cake, overlapping them so the bottom edge of the cake is not touching the cake plate or platter. This allows you to be a bit messy while icing and then gently remove the paper strips after you’ve iced the cake and your platter will be completely clean. A tip on stacking cakes, the bottom layer should have the top facing up. You want the perfectly level side (the bottom side) sitting on the plate/platter. Then when you put the second layer on, you will invert it so the bottom of the cake is facing up, giving you a perfectly level surface to ice.
I always put my cake in the refrigerator before icing. This will help cut down on the amount of crumbs and give you a cleaner iced cake. Once the cake has chilled, ice the bottom layer and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips if you desire. The chocolate chips are completely optional but I really enjoyed the texture they added to the moist cake and creamy icing. Next, you will position your top layer, top facing down, so you have a level surface facing up. Spread a very thin layer of icing over the entire cake and put cake back in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes. This will help the icing set up and will prevent any crumbs from coming off the cake and showing through the icing once the final layer is put on.
The icing for this cake is a very basic butter cream frosting recipe. I have given you the option of flavoring the heavy cream before adding it to the recipe. I steeped pumpkin spice black tea in my heavy cream for about 30-45 minutes. I used loose tea but if you have a favorite cinnamon tea or pumpkin tea already in tea bags, those are super easy to use. Either way, after the cream has had time to absorb the tea flavor, strain the loose tea out or remove the tea bags and proceed with the icing recipe. If you use the flavored tea option, the icing will get stronger in flavor as it sits so make it a few days ahead and store in the refrigerator. This cake was delicious the first day and 10 times better the second day! Enjoy!
3 cups all purpose flour*
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 2/3 cup sugar**
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup pumpkin, mashed
1 1/3 cup water
Spray 2 (9 inch) round cake pans and preheat oven to 350º.
In a medium bowl combine first five ingredients and set aside.
Position Double Whisk Bowl onto the Ankarsrum base, using the single wire batter whips. Click here for a refresher on assembly. Place sugar, eggs and vanilla in the double whisk bowl. Starting on the lowest speed (speed knob set to 12 o’clock) turn the machine on. Increase speed to a medium/high (speed knob set to about 6 o’clock) and set the timer for 3 minutes. Whisk until the timer turns off, or until light and fluffy.
Return to lowest speed and add the mayonnaise and pumpkin. Still on the lowest speed, begin adding flour in three increments, alternating with the water. Mix until well combined. Evenly distribute between the two pans.
Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester (tooth pick) comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5-10 minutes and remove to cool on wire racks.
Once cooled, frost as desired.
Yield: 2 (9 inch) round cakes
*Cook’s note: For whole wheat or freshly milled flour, use equal amounts of pastry wheat or soft wheat flour.
*Gluten Free Version: Use 1 cup EACH sorghum, brown rice, and tapioca flour in place of the all purpose flour in this recipe.
**Cook’s note: Equal amount of Honey Granules (aka Sucanat w/ Honey) may also be used in place of white sugar.
Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting
8 Tbsp. butter (1 stick), softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar*
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream**
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips to sprinkle between layers (optional)
Position Double Whisk Bowl onto the Ankarsrum base using the single wire batter whips. Combine butter and cream cheese, starting on the lowest speed, (speed knob set to 12 o’clock) turn machine on, slowly increasing in speed until you reach about 4 o’clock on the speed knob. Whip until smooth and creamy. Turn speed back down to low and begin adding powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Once combined, slowly add the heavy whipping cream and increase speed back up to about 4 o’clock on the speed knob. Whip until light and fluffy. Refrigerate until you are ready to frost your cake. Frosting can be made several days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.
*Cook’s note: You may also use 1 lb of Honey Granules (aka Sucanat w/ Honey) in place of the powdered sugar. Place honey granules in the Ankarsrum Blender and blend on high until all is powdered. Once icing is made, let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow honey granules to completely dissolve. Re-whip right before frosting your cake.
**Cook’s note: A fun tip for the heavy whipping cream: Get a spiced tea such as cinnamon or pumpkin spice and steep 1-2 tea bags in the heavy cream for 30 minutes. Discard tea bags and resume with recipe. I found when using a pumpkin spice tea, the pumpkin flavor was stronger a day after making the frosting. This is great when you want to make the frosting several days ahead of time.
A huge thank you to my amazing Sister-in-law Amanda from The Tale Of An Ugly House. She is an amazing designer and photographer and she helps a lot with our photography. I love bouncing design and decorating ideas off her. Go check out her beautiful blog.