Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Cake

I wanted to share this pumpkin cake recipe because it's one of the easiest cakes I've ever made, and it was moist and tasty. It got great reviews from all the folks I served it to. You might end up baking this cake several times during the holidays.

Originally this recipe was meant to be pumpkin bars, and baked in an 11 1/2 by 16 1/2 pan. You could make them instead, just bake them for 20 minutes instead of 30 to 35. Of course they would be wonderful cupcakes, too.

Tips: I do recommend using freshly grated whole nutmeg if possible. If you haven't baked in a while, do be sure your baking soda and baking powder are fresh. If you are making the frosting, don't leave out the fresh orange peel. It's my "secret" ingredient. Enjoy!


Whisk together:
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
4 eggs (room temperature, as always when baking)
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon table salt (not Kosher)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 baking pan with non-stick spray. (If using a glass baking pan, bake at 325 degrees.)

Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until combined. Pour into baking pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cake is done in center.

Optional Frosting:

Beat together:
3/4 stick of pure butter, softened (about 3 oz.)
8 oz. pkg. of softened cream cheese

Beat in:
2 to 3 tablespoons half and half, cream, or milk
A pound of powdered sugar (add sugar gradually or it will fly all over the kitchen)
A few scrapes of freshly grated orange peel--orange part only (no white part under peel)
A tiny pinch of salt

Frost when cake is completely cool.

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