Vermont Spice Pumpkin Cake

October  9, 2015
Photo by Posie Harwood
Author Notes

Adapted from an old Land O'Lakes recipe, this tender and moist cake is exactly what I want to eat in fall weather. Pumpkin and evaporated milk give it a delicate crumb, and lots of warm spices add layers of flavor. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

  • 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
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Butter and flour two round 9-inch cake pans (I used a sheet cake pan and punched out my layers using a ring mold, hence the many layers in the photo).
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, spices, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl or in a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  4. Add the pumpkin, evaporated milk, water, and vanilla, mixing after each addition.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake springs back to the touch and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack to cool fully. It's best to chill the cakes in the refrigerators before frosting them.
  7. For the frosting: Beat together all the ingredients in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy.
  8. If you want a cake with more layers, slice your two layers in half horizontally. Frost between each layer and top with more frosting. Leave the sides unfrosted if you like, or cover them with a thin layer of frosting.

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I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.