The first time I ate this Pumpkin Cake, when I was visiting my home town in Ontario one day about fifteen years ago. My family and I had spent the afternoon in the park with my friend Heather and her kids. It was the same park where Heather and I had played together as children, and time seemed transient and ethereal as we watched the orange and crimson leaves falling off the trees.
When it began to feel like a cold front was blowing in, Heather invited us back to her house for a cup of tea and a slice of Pumpkin Cake. I hadn’t had pumpkin cake in years and this one really was extra special. I asked Heather for the recipe, and I still have the note card she wrote it on for me. It was waiting for me in the mail when I got home to England. I’ve made the cake often since then, and I enjoy warm memories of that autumn day every time.
Easy Pumpkin Cake
This Easy Pumpkin Cake recipe is delicately spiced, with a gorgeous nutmeg flavour. It’s as easy to make as muffins. You just mix together the wet ingredients in one bowl, the dry ingredients in another, and then beat them together.
The cakes are delicious served plain, or you can sprinkle them with icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) just before serving. You can also frost the cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting when completely cool.
A Recipe Made For Sharing
This Pumpkin Cake recipe makes two 13 x 9 inch cakes. That means there is one to keep and one to give away, or you can keep them both to serve a crowd. Please note, the cake batter is thick and it may appear there isn’t enough to fill a two 13 x 9 inch cake pans, but this cake really rises. Simply spread the batter into the corners of the pans with a knife so that it reaches the edges and it will be fine.
Of course there is no reason that you could not bake this cake in two round layer cake pans and frost it to make one big celebration cake; you just need to adjust the baking time a little bit. I’d start with baking the layers for 25 minutes and then watch them carefully. The cakes are done when a skewer inserted in the centre of each layer comes out clean.
A Flexible Recipe
I like Pumpkin Cake best when it is studded with raisins and walnuts, but the recipe is flexible. If you don’t like nuts, just add raisins, or vice versa. You can also make the cake plain or with another dried fruit/nut combination.
Heather’s recipe originally called for 2 cups of sugar, but I’ve reduced it a bit. I also increased the amount of cinnamon in the recipe, just because I like it. By all means just use one teaspoon if you are not as enthusiastic about cinnamon as I am!
Keeping and Serving Pumpkin Cake
A plain pumpkin cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days. If you frost it with cream cheese icing you will need to keep it in the fridge, but it will keep for about the same amount of time.
Serve pumpkin cake with a cup of tea or coffee as a snack, or add a scoop of ice cream to make it into dessert.
Pumpkin Cake – Printable Recipe
- 4 eggs free range, pastured or organic if possible
- 1¾ cups white sugar
- 1 cup oil I use sunflower or mild olive oil
- 1¾ cups pureed pumpkin
- I use Libby’s; please make sure you do not use pumpkin pie filling
- 3 cups all purpose plain flour
- 1 generous teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups raisins or chopped nuts or a mixture of the two
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (170ºC or 160ºC for a fan oven).
- Grease and flour two 13 x 9 inch pans.
- Mix the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder into a large bowl.
- Stir in the raisins or nuts, if using.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Divide the mixture between prepared pans.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cakes comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool before slicing.
- If desired, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting when completely cool.
(about 9 to 12 servings each)