Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Or more accurately for my purposes, Cream Cheese Frosting with some Pumpkin Cake. I hate to say this, but even I, professed pumpkin fanatic, am getting some pumpkin fatigue. I am however still interested in the tangy sugar bomb of cream cheese frosting, but as it’s unacceptable to just eat cream cheese frosting out of a bowl for some reason, I thought I’d make some cake to go with it. I saw a photo of this cake in my Instagram feed and it looked just lovely, and was said to be more light and cakey than quickbread-like (although I like those too). I made it for a another October staple, the block party, with friends last this weekend.

The original recipe calls for caramelized pumpkin seeds on top, which I will definitely try at some point, but I had it in my head to top something with chopped pistachios, so that’s what we’ve got.

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

From Sarah Jampel on Food52, original recipe from Tartine

For the cake

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Heat oven to 325° and prepare a 9 inch round cake pan.

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, sugar, and salt. Whisk in egg yolks. In another bowl, Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. With a spatula, stir into wet ingredients until just combined.

In another bowl, whisk egg whites until they are white and frothy, and fold into the batter. Pour into the pan and bake 40-45 minutes. Cool and invert onto a plate.

For the frosting/garnish

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 8 tbsp butter, room temp
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cups or so chopped pistachios

Beat together cream cheese, butter and cinnamon, then add sugar a little at a time, beating until combined. (I used 2 cups).

Spread over cake (you may have some leftover) and sprinkled with pistachios.