This pumpkin cake is flavorful, light, delicious and has a perfect crumb to it. A special thanks to my dear friend Vicki, who first gifted me a recipe for “Pumpkin Bread”. After many years of making it, I’ve decided to call it “Pumpkin Cake” instead. I’m not sure where she originally got the recipe for this yummy wonder but my handwritten, edited version takes a prominent place taped to the inside of my baking cupboard.
If you are searching for something other than traditional pumpkin pie, but still want the traditional flavors, this recipe is for you. You will notice a bunch of freshly ground spices in the list of ingredients. If you don’t have them on hand, don’t worry – you can always use instead 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
My only warning is that this recipe makes 3 loaves of “bread”. Today, I actually did a bundt cake pan and a regular loaf pan out of one batch. Sweet deal, really – one to eat, one for Thanksgiving!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 ½ cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract plus a little vanilla bean seed if you have it
3 cups fresh or canned pumpkin puree (you can see my recipe for fresh pumpkin puree here)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
4 freshly ground whole allspice berries
6 freshly ground star anise seeds
4 freshly ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom seed
Sift together flour and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl with your mixer on medium speed, cream together butter, salt and sugar until light and fluffy (around 5 minutes). Mix in vanilla. With your mixer on low, add in eggs, one at a time, mixing until well-combined and scraping down sides of bowl in between additions. Mix in pumpkin puree ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice berries, cloves and cardamom. The mixture at this point will look curdled.
On low speed, incorporate flour, a little at a time, making sure to scrape down bowl from time to time. Once all of the flour is fully incorporated, mix on low speed for one minute, then scrape down sides of bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Pour batter in desired pans, prepared with butter and a light dusting of flour. Bake for around 40 minutes or until the top of your cakes are golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let rest 20 minutes before turning cakes out on to cooling rack.
This cake is great plain, with butter or whipped cream. If you want a little something extra special though, maybe put on a little of Amelia’s super easy cream cheese frosting.