I love one-layer cakes and a spicy Carrot Pumpkin Cake….what could go wrong? Ok, you could burn it or drop it upside down on a dirty kitchen floor (and really, is there any other kind of kitchen floor?) but otherwise, this cake is a quick to make winner. And it does not need to be round. You can bake it in your standard square brownie pan, adjusting the baking time for the size of the pan.
To start you want to beat the eggs, sugars, and oil until very light. This will ensure a lighter texture. The pumpkin puree and buttermilk need to be mixed well and added alternately with the sifted flour and spices. As for the spices you can use what I’ve suggested or add some extras. I once put in an extra teaspoon of cardamom and it was great.
Raisins, Nuts, & Cointreau
The recipe calls for sultana raisins which are fat and juicy and are my favorites but you could substitute small black raisins or even chopped dates in equal amounts. Soaking the raisins before folding them into the cake makes them even juicier and if you pass on the bourbon soak, try some orange juice or water with a little vanilla in it, or some orange liqueur like Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Be creative!
When it comes to the walnuts you may put some in the batter but I prefer a rough chop and then an application to the sides. Another option would be to ice only the top of the cake and then cover that completely with the nuts. And although it doesn’t call for it in the recipe I splashed out and bought some gold lustre powder and glitter bombed the nuts before adding them to the cake. Very festive.
I can’t close this without mentioning my special love for this icing. It’s buttercream and cream cheese – not too sweet – and with the vanilla and orange flavoring it’s very good. I ate fingerfuls of the leftovers so there’s that for proof.
And other pumpkin-themed eats for fall
Since this year’s Halloween is likely to be a low-key affair with little to no gatherings or trick or treaters try gathering the family to taste this delicious cake. And if you’re looking for something else pumpkin try my Pumpkin Spice Bread.
- For the Cake:
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup toasted walnut oil (or other neutral oil)
- ½ cup pumpkin puree*
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tsps. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsps. pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups grated carrots (on a box or hand grater, not food processor)
- ½ cup white sultana raisins, soaked in bourbon
- For the Icing:
- 6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (or orange juice)
- 1¼ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- ½ cup roughly chopped walnuts
- For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
- Grease a 9" springform pan & line with parchment; set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla, beat well to combine, about 4 minutes. Mixture should be light.
- Whisk together the pumpkin and buttermilk.
- Sift together the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir into the wet ingredients in three parts alternating with the pumpkin buttermilk mixture; stir until just combined. Batter will be thick. Add in the carrots and raisins; gently fold together until incorporated.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake cake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and set, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool.
- For the icing:
- Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium-high speed until completely smooth. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sifted confectioners' sugar. Once all of the sugar has been added beat on high-speed for 1-2 minutes.
- Once the cake has completely cooled, spread the frosting over the cake, decorate with nuts, then slice and serve. Store this cake in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days.
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