Monday, November 22, 2010 / ... comments / ,

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


I needed a dessert to bring to a fabulous pre-Thanksgiving dinner we go to every year. And it couldn't be just any old dessert, it had to be a WOW dessert, as this party is made up of a group of serious foodies. So I knew I had to do a trial run. This cake from Bon Appetit was perfect... with a few alterations to make it extra special. First, I brushed a little bit of Bourbon on one of the layers after slicing the top off to even it out. It soaked in, made it extra moist, and gave it that extra kick of flavor. My other addition was to add candied pecans after the first layer of frosting. I loved the crunch it added. 

An offset spatula is the perfect tool for frosting a layer cake.

Practice cake. Not bad!

For the party I topped the cake with some shimmering chocolate leaves. See the previous post for the DIY on chocolate leaves.

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut plus additional for garnish

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar (measured, then sifted)

For cake:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper; dust pans with flour. Sift 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat both sugars and oil in large bowl until combined (mixture will look grainy). Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and orange peel; beat until well blended. Add flour mixture; beat just until incorporated. Stir in raisins and 3/4 cup coconut. Divide batter between prepared pans. Smooth tops.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool cakes completely in pans on rack. Run knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto racks; remove parchment paper. Turn cakes over, rounded side up. Using serrated knife, trim rounded tops of cakes to level.
For frosting:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in dark rum and vanilla. Add powdered sugar in 3 additions, beating just until frosting is smooth after each addition (do not overbeat or frosting may become too soft to spread). Place 1 pumpkin cake layer, flat side down, on platter. Spread half of cream cheese frosting over top of cake to edges. Top with second cake layer, trimmed side down. Spread remaining frosting over top (not sides) of cake. Sprinkle additional coconut over. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

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