This Easy Pumpkin Snacking Cake Recipe Is a Great Alternative to Pie

There is so much to say about this moist, slightly spiced pumpkin snacking cake, frosted with a rich, deeply chocolate-y cream cheese buttercream, that I am honestly not sure where to begin. This cake is easy to assemble, as all the best snacking cakes are, a dynamite addition to the thanksgiving dessert table, freezes well – even after it is frosted! – and travels long distances like a champ. The combo of pumpkin and chocolate is really special (and underrated, I might add) and I for one like a little chocolate around turkey day – particularly when paired with everyone’s favorite orange gourd. The cake calls for oil, which contributes to the aforementioned “moistness” (sorry haters, I know that’s a controversial word . . .) and it’s tenderness (like melt-in-your-mouth tender), but if it’s butter or bust for you, by all means substitute melted butter for the oil. Same goes for the frosting: if you’re just not feeling chocolate, omit the cocoa powder and make yourself a straight up cream cheese buttercream. Truly, peeps, you can’t go wrong here – and I promise you that your friends and family will be thankful, no matter the route you take. 

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Pumpkin Snacking Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

There is so much to say about this moist, slightly spiced pumpkin snacking cake, frosted with a rich, deeply chocolate-y cream cheese buttercream, that I am honestly not sure where to begin. This cake is easy to assemble, as all the best snacking cakes are, a dynamite addition to the thanksgiving dessert table, freezes well – even after it is frosted! – and travels long distances like a champ. The combo of pumpkin and chocolate is really special (and underrated, I might add) and I for one like a little chocolate around turkey day – particularly when paired with everyone’s favorite orange gourd. The cake calls for oil, which contributes to the aforementioned “moistness” (sorry haters, I know that’s a controversial word . . .) and it’s tenderness (like melt-in-your-mouth tender), but if it’s butter or bust for you, by all means substitute melted butter for the oil. Same goes for the frosting: if you’re just not feeling chocolate, omit the cocoa powder and make yourself a straight up cream cheese buttercream. Truly, peeps, you can’t go wrong here – and I promise you that your friends and family will be thankful, no matter the route you take. 
Recipe Author Jessie Sheehan
Servings 12 slices

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg rounded
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 7.5 oz pumpkin puree half of a 15 oz can

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temp
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese room temp
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8x2-inch pan with cooking spay or softened butter. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease again. Set aside.
  • Whisk the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium-sized bowl, and set aside.
  • Place the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the eggs and yolks and continue whisking until smooth. Add the pumpkin and whisk again. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and using a rubber spatula, gently fold to combine. Do not over mix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or butter knife. 
  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, rotating at the halfway point, until a cake tester comes out with a moist crumb or two. Let cool until easy to handle before inverting the cake on to a cooling rack and then flipping it right side up to cool to room temperature
  • To make the frosting, combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and on medium high speed, beat the butter/cream cheese until smooth and uniform. Add the vanilla and beat again.
  • Sift the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder and salt into a large bowl and whisk until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add about a cup of the sugar at a time to the mixer bowl, beating after each addition until thoroughly until combined. Once all of the sugar has been added, increase the speed of the mixer to medium or medium high, and beat the mixture until smooth. Do not over mix, or the frosting will lose structure.
  • Generously spread the top of the  cake with the frosting. If you’d like to freeze the cake, do so after frosting it, covering it in plastic wrap only once it is frozen solid. Remove the plastic wrap and let come to room temperature before serving. 
  • The cake will keep wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and is even more delish on day two.

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