The colorful leaves of fall are best represented by an equally dynamic dessert. My Pumpkin Spice cake with homemade brown sugar icing mixes the cornucopia of fall scents and tastes into the perfect seasonal treat.
In New England we celebrate Autumn with gusto, like the strong winds creating whirlpools of falling leaves on front lawns, before whisking the colorful leaves away to decompose in the woods. Fall is a glorious season, inviting all of us to partake in the cornucopia of scents and tastes indicative of the time of year. Nothing speaks to this more than my Pumpkin Spice Cake with homemade brown sugar icing.
I love to bake aromatic cakes, pies and cookies, filling my home with spicy fragrances. They are a perfect companion to falling temperatures, complimenting the change from summer to fall. On a brisk fall day, what could be more appealing than a piece of pumpkin spice cake? Sit me by the fire with my cake and a cup of tea and I’m in heaven, watching the changing jewel-tone leaves float quietly to the ground.
Great recipes start with great equipment, and I highly recommend this KitchenAid Professional Stand Mixer. It comes in so many great colors!
Pumpkin Spice Cake
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing Bundt pan
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting pan
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin (from a 15-ounce can; not pie filling)*
- 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
* I use Libby’s canned Pumpkin
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Special Equipment: 10-inch nonstick Bundt pan (3 quarts)
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter Bundt pan generously, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.
- Whisk together flour (2 1/4 cups), baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and salt in a bowl.
- Whisk together pumpkin, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl.
- Beat butter (1 1/2 sticks) and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Then add eggs and beat 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth.
- Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, then bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.
- Cool cake in pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then invert onto severing plate. Cool 10 minutes more.
- Bring light brown sugar, heavy cream, and salted butter to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan over medium, stirring often.
- Boil, stirring often, for 1 minute. Then remove from heat. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Drizzle icing over warm cake, then cool cake completely. Icing will harden slightly.
Note: Cake can be made 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container.
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