Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Cake Recipe

14- inch pumpkin layer for bottom tier
I took today and tomorrow off from my day job to bake THE cake of the year - the wedding cake for my daughter Tricia and her very-soon-to-be husband, Jeff (3 days!)...

Phase one of the wedding cake is almost complete.  It smells GREAT in here!  I'm baking 3 layers (14-inch, 10-inch, 8-inch) of pumpkin cake, which will be followed by the baking of same-size layers of dark chocolate cake.  I'm also baking an extra cake for the restaurant to reserve in the kitchen just in case they need more (to be on the safe side).  With a full dessert table in addition to the cake, there should be plenty of options for anyone craving a sweet ending to the wedding dinner!

In addition to baking the cake, we're making the topper.  Henry, Meghan, and I took a walk in the woods today, and chose twigs with which we'll fashion the letter "A" for Ayers, Tricia's new last name.  I'll secure the twigs with copper wire, attach the monogram to large toothpicks, and insert the supports into the top of the cake.  It all works in my head - just have to see if it works in real life!

My pumpkin cake recipe is something I have adapted from a recipe I found on-line, at's Southern Food page.   Instead of all white sugar, I incorporated brown sugar as well.  I also added vanilla extract, because it's a cake and I think almost all cakes are enhanced by a bit of vanilla.  I used pumpkin pie spice rather than individual spices, and I left out the pecans because of potential nut allergies (it's a big wedding!).   This seems to be a very successful adaptation. The cake smells devine, and it is so pretty coming out of the oven, with a gorgeous, deeply colored crust.  I can't wait to trim the layers to level the cake, and sample the goods (quality control is absolutely required!).  Recipe follows the collage of photos...

~ Click to Enlarge ~

Half the cake ~ dark chocolate layers to go!

adapted from's Southern Food
makes two 9-inch layers
Oven 350 degrees Farenheit, preheated

Prepare pans with parchment lining and baking spray, or grease and flour the traditional way

Make the batter:

In large mixing bowl, mix the following:

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To the egg mixture, add the following ingredients, sifted together and added all at once, and mix thoroughly:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2.5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or a combination of cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg to equal 2.5 teaspoons)

Then add in and mix well:  2 cups mashed pumpkin (canned is great).

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 35 minutes or until center tests done with toothpick, or bounces back when lightly pressed with your finger.

Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes.  Turn out onto rack to cool completely.

Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting or buttercream.

Options:  add a cup of chopped pecans or walnuts to the batter before pouring into pans.


  1. Jeanne sound so good .I love anything pumpkin . it also looks good, can,t wait to see the finished product sure it will look magnificent. I wish you a happy day , hope the weather co-operates for your daughters wedding . love and god bless !

    1. Thanks Sharron! Can't wait to see how it comes out - I actually have no idea until I do it! And I hope we have good weather too, but a friend told me a saying from a Thai wedding she attended. Just as the wedding was about to begin, it started raining. The bride seemed very happy, and my friend asked why. The bride said that, in Thai culture, raindrops at your wedding mean less tears shed in your marriage. I love that. So, what will be, will be!

  2. Replies
    1. Sarah, tell Bob that at least half of each layer ISN'T chocolate!

  3. Sara and I were talking today about you baking the cake and we can't wait to see the finished product. We're sure it will be beautiful, as is everything you make. Best wishes for a happy day!

  4. Lynne, thank you! I miss Sara - one of the best student assistants I ever had! I'll post pictures and share the results! Thanks so much!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Carol - me too! I have an idea in my head of how it will all look, but until I get there, I really don't know!

  6. YUMMY,YUMMY,YUMMY...........

  7. How great that we are all able to share the growing excitement as the cake takes a step further each day! Can't wait to see what the next post brings...

    1. Thanks Di - three tiers are frosted and ready for their fondant. I'll post of few more pics of the process but then I'll hold off until Tricia and Jeff see it for the first time at the reception. I don't want to spoil it for them! Posting a little update later tonight.