Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cake w/ Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

I had a hankering for pumpkin bars this weekend. I made a batch about a year or so ago for a Bunko party that were simply delicious - moist, spicy, topped with a cream cheese frosting. While searching for that recipe I happened upon this one -- Pumpkin Spice Cake -- that sounded equally delicious and surprisingly simple to make. The ingredients are essentially the same, but instead of slicing into bars, you serve it as a slice of cake. What I also liked about the recipe was that you could mix up all the ingredients in a bowl with a whisk or wooden spoon. No need to pull out the Kitchen Aid or hand beater. Not that those appliances couldn't be used, but why add more items to wash unnecessarily.

The recipe comes from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food. I made the recipe as written, but added some golden raisins, which provided tiny bits of sweetness from an otherwise not overly sweet cake.  The cake is quite moist, but a bit more dense than I would have liked (in hindsight, perhaps the Kitchen Aid would have helped in that area). Flavor-wise, it was really good, delivering that full-bodied, warm, spicy flavor that so characterizes the season.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 can (15 oz) solid-pack pumpkin puree

for the Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
1 bar (8 oz.) regular cream cheese, very soft
1/4 c. mild honey (like clover)
1/4 c. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

 In a large bowl, whisk eggs, pumpkin and sugar.

 Gradually add cooled melted butter and mix till combined. 

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, one half the amount at a time, and mix till just combined. Fold in the raisins. 

Turn batter into the prepared pan, and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes.  Cool cake 10 minutes in pan, then turn out of pan and cool completely, right side up, on a rack. 

Make the frosting. In a medium bowl, whisk butter, cream cheese, honey and powdered sugar until smooth. Spread on cooled cake and serve. 


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