Pumpkin Cake w/ Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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One of my New Years resolutions was to try and use some of my free time to bake more so that I can try new recipes. I’m a big fan of pumpkin pie and most things fall, so I’ve always wanted to try a pumpkin cake. With Snowmageddon 2016 hitting Philadelphia with more than two feet of snow this weekend, I decided to bake a cake. Despite lacking gym time this weekend, we were able to use our snowshoes for the first time in Philadelphia on both Saturday and Sunday, which gave us ample exercise to gorge on cake!

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Despite a number of cake recipes with cream cheese frosting on this site, most of them are plain flavored (the exception being the chocolate cream cheese frosting). Here, the cream cheese frosting is flavored with maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla. It’s absolutely delicious, too.

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When I decided to bake this cake, I figured that my wife would not eat any of it. That is why I scaled down the original recipe, baking the cake in four 7″ cake pans (really, I could have used just three pans, but the pans I have are only 1″ tall, and I was concerned the cake would rise too much). However, to my surprise, she not only asked for a slice, but she even went so far as to say that this was one of the best cakes that I have made! The cake is soft and moist, kind of in between what you would expect from a cake and from a quick bread. My wife doesn’t really like pumpkin, either, and she noted that the cake doesn’t really taste like (what she thinks) pumpkin tastes like.

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I might try tweaking the recipe next time, adding some spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, though my wife thought that the frosting provided the spice that the cake may or may not be missing.

Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Based on this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

Cake:
2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (67 g) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 tbsp. vanilla extract
10 oz. pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup milk

Frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. cinnamon
6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease 4, 7″ round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one-at-a-time, then stir in the vanilla, pumpkin, and vegetable oil.
  5. Alternately add the flour mixture (thrice) and milk (twice).
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the four pans (I had a little over 300 g in each pan).
  7. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
  8. For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip cream cheese and butter together on high speed for a minute or two.
  9. Add maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon, beating until incorporated.
  10. Add powdered sugar on low speed until combined, then beat on high speed until frosting is smooth.
  11. Frost the cakes as desired.
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