What: Pumpkin Spice Cake
- 1 package plain spice cake mix
- 1 package (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree (use the rest for my pumpkin pancake recipe already posted on our blog)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans, walnuts, or almonds, toasted (for sprinkling of cake once frosted) -- Optional
*Option: not in the original recipe, I add a 1/4 cup of sour cream for a little extra moisture.
Frosting: I make an a basic cream cheese frosting(1 8oz package softened cream cheese -- not low fat or fat free -- 8 tablespoons softened butter, 3 cups confectioners' sugar -- a little less so it's easier to pipe, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla), or a delicious orange cream cheese frosting for this cake (take the cream cheese icing recipe, and add 1 tablespoon of orange zest and 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice). I use a little extra liquid to that I can squeeze the icing onto the cake using an icing piping bag (or freezer bag with a small hole cut in the corner) in an up and down motion. The orange flavor really works well with the pumpkin spice.
Preheat the oven to 350 bake, and lightly mist a Bundt pan with baker's spray (oil/flour) -- you can also use a 13 by 9 inch pan is you chose. Place all ingredients in a large bowl or mixer, and mix at low speed for one minute. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula, and mix at medium speed for another 2 minutes. Batter should look thick and well blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake on center rack in preheated oven until cake springs back with you lightly press your finger, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. If you are using a 13 by 9 it's about 32 to 35 minutes, if a Bundt, about 50 minutes (I start checking at 45/48 minutes, and then keep a close watch, checking again every few minutes so cake doesn't over cook).
Remove cake from oven let cool for twenty minutes before you remove from Bundt pan. If you used the 13 x 9, you can just frost it and serve right from the pan, as the book instructs. I have never done it this way, however, the presentation of the cake when cooked in a Bundt pan, with the icing drizzled on it, and put on a pretty platter looks so much more appeealing (sorry Cake Doctor author, Anne Byrn).
Why It's the Best: it's very moist and flavorful, but it's the orange cream cheese frosting that makes it unique and delicious.
How We Know: every time I serve this cake, a request for the recipe is sure to follow...especially during the holidays.