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Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Glazed Pecans

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I didn’t get nearly enough pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving so I came home full, but craving more sweet, spice pumpkin goodness. I thought a moist, decadent cake would be just the ticket and this one completely fit the bill. Delicate in flavor with a sublime texture, this scrumptious cake, paired with the citrus-y, tangy icing and crunchy pecans is a winner!

If you don’t have all the spices on hand, you could substitute one tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, with little flavor impact. You could also omit the cranberries, nuts and coconut if you prefer, but they had great texture, sweetness and some interest to the moist cake. This is a rich dish and needs no accompaniment, other than a good cup of coffee. Enjoy!


For the Cake:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1/3 cup dried cranberries or currants
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup flaked coconut

For the Frosting:

½ stick butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) block of reduced fat cream cheese
Zest of one orange
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp cream
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice
3 cups confectioners sugar

For the Glazed Pecans:

1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp salt
dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp butter
2 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8” baking pans with cooking spray and dust with some flour. Line the bottom of both pans with parchment, cut to size, and then spray again. Set aside. In a mixer, blend the oil and both sugars. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and then add the pumpkin, mixing well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and all the spices. Add into the wet mixture, beating until smooth. Add the cranberries, nuts and coconut and stir well. Pour batter evenly into both pans and bake for 35 minutes. Remove form oven and cook for 15 minutes before removing cakes from the pans.

Next, make the candied pecans. Start by changing the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and use the teaspoon of butter to grease the parchment. In a small saucepan, mix the water, sugar, salt and spices over medium heat and cook until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is simmering. Add the pecans and cook until candied, about 2 minutes. Spread out evenly on the prepared baking sheet, using a spatula to separate the nuts. Bake for about 10 minutes and allow the nuts to cool completely on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Set aside.

Finally, make the frosting by beating the butter and cream cheese together. Add the orange zest, juice and vanilla and mix well. Beat in the sugar and add the cream as needed until you achieve your desired texture.

Once the cake has thoroughly cooled, place one layer on a cake server and use half of the frosting to completely cover, leaving the sides unfrosted. Gently lay the other cake layer atop this and ice with the rest of the frosting, again leaving the sides unfrosted. Lay the pecans all around the top of the cake in concentric circles. Enjoy!

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About Daphne Wotherspoon

  • Bellaisa

    Oh my god! I wish I would have saw this at thanksgiving, but that’s the beauty of food – I can make this today if I want. My family just won’t get the benefit of it lol. Thanks for sharing!