Cake

Don't Wait Till the Holidays to Make Vermont Spice Cake

October 11, 2015

Posie Harwood, who finds the best back-of-the-box recipes in the grocery store, uncovers the recipe for the one cake you should make this fall.

My job requires spending part of my time in Vermont, which is lucky for me: At this time of year, it's the only place I want to be. The leaves are changing, turning the hills and forest into bright swaths of color. It's starting to smell like wood smoke outside and the air has a crisp snap to it. The seasons come harder and faster here than in New York City, and I'm starting to think about cold weather comfort food: apple pie and pumpkin bread and spiced cookies.

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This cake, an old Land O'Lakes recipe, satisfies all my seasonal baking cravings. It's got a hefty dose of spices and a tender crumb from canned pumpkin and evaporated milk. The cream cheese frosting tastes lightly of maple, but if you choose to eat the cake plain and unfrosted, you won't be sorry.

Make it in any shape you like. The recipe calls for two 9-inch cakes, which you can then split into two layers each. Or, bake the cake in a large sheet pan, then frost it and cut it into squares. (I used a sheet cake pan and punched out my layers using a ring mold, hence the many layers in the photo.)

The texture of the finished cake is fantastic. It's wonderfully moist but delicate enough to not be dense. Put it on your list for holiday baking: This is comfort food at it's very finest.

Vermont Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Adapted from Land O'Lakes

Makes two 9-inch layers

For the cake:

3
 cups flour

1 
teaspoon salt

1/4 
teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 
teaspoon nutmeg

2 
teaspoons cinnamon

1 
teaspoon ground ginger

3 
teaspoons baking powder

1 
teaspoon baking soda

3/4 
cup butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 
cups sugar

3 
eggs

1 1/2 
cups canned pumpkin

1/2 
cup evaporated milk

1/4 
cup water

2 
teaspoons vanilla extract


For the frosting:

3 1/2 
cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1/3 
cup butter, softened

11 
ounces cream cheese, softened

2 
teaspoons maple syrup


See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Posie Harwood

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2 Comments

Frances P. October 28, 2015
Made this scrumptious, light, flavourful cake tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it. Made my own pumpkin puree by roasting a small size pumpkin. My husband helped and I shared half with my neighbour. Will definitely make it again. Did not make four layers and made a 1/3 of the icing using 250g of cream cheese.
 
Catherine L. October 12, 2015
I WILL NOT WAIT, POSIE! I WILL NOT!