Spiced Pumpkin Cake

  • Serves

    serves 12


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 12 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
  • 34 tsp. kosher salt
  • 12 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 12 tsp. ground cloves
  • 12 tsp. ground mace
  • 1 12 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 34 cup canned pumpkin purée, preferably Libby's
  • 14 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted


Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.