Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

We just had our fall Social Work department dinner last weekend. As we were signing up for what we would bring, I pleased to see that Debbie signed up for her Pumpkin Cake.  It wouldn’t be the fall supper without it.  It is a tradition.  It is so delicious.  It’s the most moist, perfectly pumpkin, slightly cinnamon-y cake with lick-your-fork cream cheese frosting.  I anticipate it every time.  I had never tried to make it myself…until this week. What was I thinking?

When I asked her for the recipe to the cake she recited the ingredients and proportions.  I was impressed.  When I asked her for specific directions for making the cake she replied, “You make it like you make a cake! You know: cream the first few ingredients, add the dry, just make a cake.”   Debbie is a no-nonsense woman.  She is practical, intentional, and wise.

She always brings the unfrosted cake, along with a container of cream cheese frosting already prepared and frosts it on location.  How smart is that? No worrying about the frosting getting messed up, or the cake getting smashed in transit. (This cake doesn’t require the “melding” time of having the frosting on for a day or so because this cake is so moist.)

After frosting the cake she handed the bowl to my husband for licking clean,  knowing his intense love for cream cheese frosting.  She just knows.  I’m telling you, the woman is wise. (This post was another day she spoke wisdom in my life that I wrote about.)

After eating a slice on Friday night, and wishing for another slice, I decided to make it as soon as I could buy a can of pumpkin at the store this week.  Lucy and I made it together and I told her my plan was to send a slice to each of the kids’ teachers.  That way I could bless the teachers and restrict my eating of it to a couple of slices!  I knew I would whittle away with a slice here, and a bite there, and a fork-full here all week if I didn’t ship it off.  
Lucy and I made the cake.  It is really fast to put together.  Yesterday I sliced pieces and put a “Happy Fall! We are thankful for you! love, The Hunts” post it notes on the containers.  My kids took them to their teachers.  Hopefully they felt the love and gratitude we tried to channel into the cake!
This recipe is so simple, it’s hard to believe.  It is so good.  
from Debbie Simpler
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 can pureed pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350˚.
Place oil, eggs, and sugar in mixing bowl.  Blend well.  Add pumpkin.  Blend well.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.
Grease and flour Bundt pan (or use my favorite- Baker’s Joy)
Pour batter into pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes depending on your oven.
Test for doneness with toothpick.  It should come out clean.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Using a table knife shimmy around the edges.
Turn cake out onto cooling rack.
Cool well.
In the meantime make the frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz. block cream cheese, softened
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
4 cups of powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix together the cream cheese and butter until thoroughly blended.
Add powdered sugar.  Mix until smooth.  Add vanilla.
When cake is cooled frost cake.
 If you are excited about Pumpkin season, check out these Pumpkin Muffins, or this Pumpkin Syrup for Coffee, or these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies that I wrote about in years past.  And if you have a Trader Joe’s in your city, just walk in the door and you will be inspired- pumpkin butter, and breakfast  bars, pumpkin bread mix, herbal tea, and pumpkin cranberry scone mix. Of course I couldn’t resist buying several of these items.
I hope you can find a reason to make a Pumpkin Cake (or two) this season!


6 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. KRISTIN says:

    Oh, that Debbie Simpler. That no-nonsense, practical, and wise woman who has been mentoring and inspiring me for the past 12 years. Love her! I sure do miss those social work suppers! 🙂


  2. Jennifer H. says:

    Do you think you could substitute half the oil with applesauce? I know, it's a cake, it's not supposed to be good for you, but a whole cup of oil seems like a lot! I am craving pumpkin baked goods!


  3. Julie Hunt says:

    When I was making the cake the first time I said to myself, “Oh my! This is not a low fat!” I love healthy food- in fact I prefer it most of the time. But when it comes to dessert, my philosophy is “Go for Broke”! I don't want to sacrifice taste.
    However, in honor of you, today I made the cake again, this time substituting 1/2 the oil with yogurt. I like to use Plain Non-fat Greek Yogurt as a substitute- it adds protein and is fat free. I like it better than applesauce as a substitute, as the applesauce sometimes makes things kinda mealy to me.

    The cake turned out really yummy. It is tasty and moist. The only difference is that it is more spongey. Dave goggled it up, but said, he would still choose the oil one.
    I think you could also substitute some of the eggs with egg whites. I just didn't want to try 2 substitutions at once.
    Let me know what you try!


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