Baking can seem intimidating if you’re not a baker, as my sister always points out. The reality is, baking can be more foolproof than cooking.
With most recipes, you really can’t go wrong. For example, this pumpkin cake with maple frosting is a one-bowl kind of recipe that’s guaranteed to turn out.
The frosting is a simple cream cheese frosting that’s smeared onto the top of each cake layer. No fancy decorating skills or pastry bags required!
The pumpkin cake itself is incredibly moist with a tender crumb. It’s bursting with pumpkin flavor and all of your favorite fall spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
The recipe will yield 1 (6-inch, two-layered) pumpkin cake, but you could easily turn these into cupcakes as well if you wanted to.
The frosting is made up of cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and maple extract. While the original recipe called for maple syrup, I find that the maple extract provides a more distinct maple flavor that is just swoon-worthy.
To decorate this pumpkin cake, I used a mixture of chopped pecans and gold sprinkles. I went with a “naked” frosting look by opting to not frost the sides of the cake.
The chopped pecans add a lovely crunch, but more than that, they go along with the natural, rustic look of the cake. The gold sprinkles add a little sparkle, which I personally think is always welcome.
I made this pumpkin cake for my grandmother’s birthday, but this cake could be made for any occasion or just because. If you’re not a pie person, you could even make this cake for Thanksgiving!
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp softened butter, for greasing pans
for the frosting
- 6 oz cream cheese
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp maple extract
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 6-inch baking pans with softened butter. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugars, eggs, pumpkin purée, and vegetable oil together until combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Mix everything together on low speed until incorporated.
- Divide batter among the two prepared cake pans. Bake the cakes for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before flipping them out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the frosting by beating the cream cheese and unsalted butter together on medium speed until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and beat again until incorporated. Pour in the extract and mix just until it's blended in.
- Apply frosting to the top of each cake layer. Stack the cake layers on top of each other. Sprinkle pecans along the rim of the cake.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 8 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 547