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 🙂
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
1/8 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.