A welcome addition to the holiday table, this simple frosted layer cake, from Unity Hall board member Becky, can also be made with homemade pureed pumpkin: just peel and seed your favorite variety of cooking pumpkin, cut it into large chunks, steam or boil it until soft, and mash it until smooth.
- 1 1⁄2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
- 2 cups cake flour, plus more for pan
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 3⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground mace
- 1 1⁄2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3⁄4 cup canned pumpkin purée, preferably Libby's
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
Heat oven to 375°. Grease and flour two 8" round cake pans lined with parchment paper cut to fit; set aside. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and mace; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat ½ cup butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until smooth, 1–2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until smooth. Add half the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add pumpkin and milk, and then add remaining dry ingredients; mix until smooth. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops with a rubber spatula; bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes; unmold cakes and let cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat remaining butter and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Increase speed to high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.
Place 1 cake on a cake stand and frost the top with ⅓ of the frosting; stack second cake on top and frost top and sides with remaining frosting. Refrigerate cake; let cake sit for 1 hour at room temperature before serving.