Pumpkin Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

I know I don’t usually post on the weekends, but if your last-minute grocery lists look anything like mine, then you too might still be on the hunt for a Thanksgiving dessert recipe.  I present to you a rich, heady two-layer cake, chock-full of seasonal flavors and topped with a lush, creamy frosting.  Best of all?  It’s sinfully, absurdly simple.  I made mine in an electric stand mixer, because A) my mixer is green and it’s my baby and B) it’s faster, but you truly don’t need one, nor indeed, any special equipment at all.  Can you stir things in a bowl?  You can make this cake.  Which is good, because there may be one or two other dishes that require your attention this week.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cake:

2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 c. (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 15-oz. can pure pumpkin puree (such as Libby’s; NOT pumpkin pie filling)
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 c. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

For the frosting:

16 oz. cream cheese (2 8-oz. packages), room temperature
1 c. (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp. ground ginger
2-3 tbsp. finely chopped candied ginger (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease two 9″ round cake pans; line bottom of pans with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Add the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree, and mix on medium until thoroughly combined.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  At this point the mixture may look a little curdled, and you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, but don’t despair!  Everything’s going just fine.  With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the sifted dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl again to make sure everything’s thoroughly mixed in.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

Divide the batter (it will be thicker than some cake batters, more like brownie batter) between the two prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, until the tops are set and a tester inserted in the center of each cake comes out just barely clean.  Let cool in pans for ten minutes, then turn cakes out onto racks and peel off the parchment paper.  Let cool completely at room temperature.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

To make cream cheese frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a wire whip until smooth and thoroughly combined, pausing a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl, about 3 minutes.  Sift the confectioner’s sugar and ground ginger together directly onto the butter/cream cheese mixture, then mix on low speed until most of the sugar is mixed in.  Add the vanilla extract and beat the frosting on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes more.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

Spread about 1 1/2 c. frosting evenly on top of one cake layer; top with the second layer.  Frost the top and sides of cake with remaining frosting, garnishing with finely chopped candied ginger if desired.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

Serves about 15, possibly more depending on how thin your slices are.  Can be made 1-2 days ahead; keep refrigerated in an air-tight container until a few hours before serving, then bring to room temperature.  Enjoy!

0 comment on Pumpkin Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Tanya
    November 24, 2013 at 5:32 pm (7 years ago)

    It looks very delicious!

    Reply
    • Sweets
      November 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm (7 years ago)

      Thank you, Tanya!

      Reply
  2. Yesenia
    November 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm (7 years ago)

    It was DELICIOUS!!!

    Reply
    • Sweets
      November 26, 2013 at 5:17 pm (7 years ago)

      Haha, thank you!! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Julia Lambert
    December 1, 2013 at 12:21 am (7 years ago)

    Om nom nom. If you made this for Christmas, I would eat a lot of it and love you.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      December 1, 2013 at 12:27 am (7 years ago)

      I read this too quickly and thought it said you were going to eat me, and I was like “wait, that’s not fair, I just made you a cake . . . oh.”

      Reply

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