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Classic Pumpkin Cake

Classic Pumpkin Cake

We were shopping last weekend and I spotted pumpkin spice Life cereal on the shelf from the other side of the store. Without even reacting, I threw it in my cart, because that’s it, fall is here. I’ll take any excuse. Give me the cool breeze, the crisp air and crunchy leaves; the spiced breads coming out of the oven, the warm soups and cozy sweaters and snuggly blankets.

Classic Pumpkin Cake

I’m so ready for fall that I’m going to jump right in with pumpkin this week. It’s going to take a lot of restraint to not pumpkin you out in the premier autumn of my blog. Because I really do love it so much that I could have an entire blog devoted entirely to pumpkin creations. I have so many pumpkiny recipes that Dear Husband complains that I don’t make enough basic pumpkin pies (his favorite)…because I’m too busy baking other pumpkin things. I know. He has it so hard.

Classic Pumpkin Cake

So I’m going to do you a solid and hook you up with your first and best classic pumpkin cake recipe of the season. With cream cheese icing. Because summer is days from being over and you need a piece of this cake.

Now, I love to read recipes. And I have read a lot of pumpkin cake ones. I’ve baked a lot of different types of pumpkin cake and bread and could never find exactly what I want. Too oily, too sweet, too heavy, too dry, unbalanced, I could bark about it all day. So I made my own. And, like Goldilocks, it’s just right.

Classic Pumpkin Cake

This pumpkin cake is baked to comforting perfection with a harmonious balance of sweet and spice. It’s moist but not wet, light but not delicate. It can hold a cream cheese icing and act as dessert or hang out by itself for breakfast. In fact, it’s even better the day after you make it.

Classic Pumpkin Cake

You will start by sifting dry ingredients in one bowl, and in another, whisking together the sugars, coconut oil, and yogurt. Then you add a whole can of pumpkin and mix it until it becomes that gorgeous familiar shade of orange creamy goodness. Next, add the dry ingredients to the bowl, pour it into the bundt or tube pan of choice, and slide into the oven for about an hour. Pull it out, let cool and frost.


Classic Pumpkin Cake

A couple of notes. First, I like to use coconut oil in baked goods, because it adds a nice fruity note to them. You can use vegetable or canola oil, or even substitute applesauce. If you use coconut, scoop it out of the jar, zap it in the microwave for about 30 seconds until it’s liquid, then pour it in the bowl. Second, you will note that I don’t pack the brown sugar in this recipe. I do this because we prefer this cake less sweet and because I always measure by weight (here it is 400 grams of sugar total, 200 granulated, 200 brown). If you like your goodies a bit more sweet, by all means pack the cup.

Classic Pumpkin Cake

My house smelled like a fall festival. I was so happy I just wanted to hug and kiss everyone. I purposely stayed in the kitchen and did all the dishes just so I could bask in the aroma for a few extra (omg forty) minutes.

Classic Pumpkin Cake

That, my friends, is how you know it’s good, because dishes are the worst.

But this pumpkin cake is the best.

Classic Pumpkin Cake

Classic Pumpkin Cake
Classic Pumpkin Cake (with Cream Cheese Icing)
You will need:
For the Cake:
  • 3 c flour
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1/2 c coconut oil (liquid state)
  • 1/2 c plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
For the Icing:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp milk
For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 10 cup bundt pan (or tube pan of choice) with nonstick spray.

  2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, add granulated and brown sugars, oil, greek yogurt, and vanilla. Whisk by hand until well combined.

  4. Add eggs, one at a time, and whisk until combined.

  5. Add pumpkin, and whisk until blended.

  6. Add dry ingredients, and use a spatula to mix until no traces of white appear.

  7. Pour into prepared pan, and bake 55-65 min or until toothpick comes out clean.

  8. Cool for 15 min, then turn out onto wire rack. Cool completely before icing.

For the Icing:
  1. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.

  2. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined.

  3. Add vanilla and milk, then beat on medium for 2 min.

  4. If the icing seems to thick, add a bit more milk. If it seems too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency.

  5. Spoon or pipe over the cake, slice, and serve.