Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pumpkin Cake

“To everything – turn, turn, turn.  There is a season – turn, turn, turn.” And if I could continue: A time for holiday music.  A time for lights…  As Elizabeth and I left Whole Foods yesterday, the music piped into the parking lot was “The First Noel.”  There is nothing wrong with that song – just not on November 16.  By the time Christmas actually comes around, I am a scrooge because I have been listening to the music for weeks.  “Why can’t they at least wait until after Thanksgiving to start playing Christmas music?” to which Elizabeth replies “maybe when it’s Christmas, they will play love songs?” (get it? – for Valentine’s Day).  I love a child’s thought process.

Seasons bring flavor favorites.  A great addition to our recipe repertoire last year was Julie’s pumpkin bread.  This recipe (originally called Pumpkin Bars but this is fluffy like a cake) adds a new dimension with a cream cheese frosting.  I’ll start singing Christmas carols all year round if it means eating pumpkin cake and bread 12 months a year. 

Pumpkin Cake
1.      4 eggs
2.      1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3.      1 cup vegetable oil
4.      15-ounce can pumpkin
5.      2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
6.      2 t baking powder
7.      2 t ground cinnamon
8.      1 t salt
9.      1 t baking soda

1.      8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2.      1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3.      2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
4.      1 t vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into squares.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin cake squares.

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