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Spiced Pumpkin Swirl Cake


Spiced pumpkin cake with cream cheese swirl
pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese topping
pumpkin spice cake

The weather lately has been weird. It’s even supposed to hit in the high 80s tomorrow! Since the weather isn’t exactly putting me in a cozy, sweater-wearing mood, I decided some baking might do the trick. And what better ingredient to induce autumn comfort than pumpkin?

This pumpkin spice cake was really moist, light, and not too sweet. I wasn’t in the mood for frosting, so I opted instead for a cream cheese swirl top which was really good. The next time I make this, though, I think I will make a cream cheese frosting because the cake’s texture is so nice and fluffy. This also made our whole apartment smell wonderful, which is reason enough for me to bake this again 🙂

Spiced Pumpkin Swirl Cake
As adapted from Not So Humble Pie (original recipe by Bake!: Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking) and The Food Network

yields 2 8″ or 9″ cake rounds

3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg (I didn’t use freshly ground nutmeg, although I’m sure this cake would taste that much better with it)
1 cup golden brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups canned pumpkin puree (I used one 15 oz can)
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Cream cheese swirl:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare two 8″ or 9″ round cake pans with a light coating of non-stick spray and then line the bottoms with parchment.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Once sifted, give it a good mixing with a whisk to ensure everything is evenly distributed and then set aside.

In a second large bowl, add the brown sugar and a third of the pumpkin puree. Combine the two with a spatula, pressing firmly to ensure there are no rogue lumps of sugar.  Once lump free, add the remaining pumpkin and oil. Blend with a whisk and then add the eggs, one at a time, stirring with the whisk to incorporate after each addition.

Add the dry ingredients a third at a time, blending after each addition.

Divide the batter between your two pans, reserving 1/2 cup of batter.

For the cream cheese swirl, blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the cake batter in the pans. Dollop the remaining cake batter over the cream cheese layer. Using a skewer or the tip of a knife, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern.

Place pans into the oven on a lower-middle rack.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.

Let the cakes stand in the pans on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Then unmold onto the racks and turn right-side up to cool completely.

Last modified: January 10, 2019