Holiday Pumpkin Cake

Holiday Pumpkin Cake

12 to 16 slices

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes

Total Time: 55 to 60 minutes

I baked this yummy cake in two 9-inch layers, but you can easily turn this into a 13- by 9-inch pan or make cupcakes. For a more festive cake, add 1 teaspoon grated fresh orange zest or 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the frosting. Add a tiny dollop of cranberry sauce or a few red raspberries to the center of the cake after frosting. Surround the cake stand with greenery, if desired.

  • 1 package (21.6 ounces) yellow cake mix (see Note)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, and set the pans aside.
  2. Place the cake mix, pumpkin, oil, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a large mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until smooth, 1 to 1½ minutes. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans, and place the pans in the oven side by side.
  3. Bake until the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven to cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around the outside edges of the pan, shake the pans gently to loosen the cake, and invert the cake once then again onto a rack to cool right-side up. Let the cake layers cool 1 hour before frosting.
  4. For the frosting, place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until creamy. Add the vanilla and the confectioners’ sugar, a cup at a time, beating on low until just combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high to whip the frosting and incorporate air.
  5. To assemble the cake, place one cooled cake layer onto a serving platter or cake stand. Cover with ¾ cup frosting, spreading it evenly to the edges. Place the second layer on top, and cover with ¾ cup frosting. Frost the sides of the cake. Add remaining frosting to the top, and decoratively spread it in swirls. Serve at once, or place the cake in a cake saver to keep at room temperature for up to 12 hours, or in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Note: I baked this cake with the Cake Mix Doctor’s Old-Fashioned Yellow Cake Mix. You can buy the mix here.

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