Pumpkin Spice Cake with Honey Frosting

It’s Tuesday! After a rocky start to the week (Monday is just not my strong suit), the day picked up with a trip to the gym, a Giants win (!), and Shaun cooking up tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. This morning got me going with some maple cinnamon oatmeal, pumpkin spice coffee and planning what to make for Saturday’s Halloween party at my sister Kimberly’s.

Meanwhile, I hope you’re not sick of pumpkin just yet because today I’m serving up a pumpkin spice cake that’s moist and festive. When our friend Kristen celebrated her birthday a couple weeks ago, I knew a pumpkin cake would be just the ticket for a Fall soiree. Not to mention that a little bird told me that she was a fan of pumpkin. It was a no brainer. So when I stumbled up this Martha Stewart recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cake with Honey Frosting, I knew it was meant to be.

So I got to work planning the cake, making just a few changes to fit my own specifications that 1) I didn't have the proper baking pan and 2) wanted the frosting to have just a hint more sweetness than the original recipe called for. The result? A moist, slightly sweet autumn cake that was quick and easy to boot. Looking for a great Halloween or Thanksgiving recipe that will WOW your guests? Look no further, my friends.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Honey Frosting
*Adapted from Martha Stewart
for the cake:
1/2 C unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C sugar
1 15oz can pumpkin
for the frosting:
1/2 C unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 C honey
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 C confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x9" baking dish. Ok, I don't have a 9x9" baking dish. And I couldn't find a foil one last minute at Whole Foods either. So I decided to take a chance on my 8.5" round cake pan. I figured, why not? (Spoiler alert: it worked! sort of). In a mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, butter and pumpkin puree. Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour into baking dish.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. So remember how I said the cake pan sorta worked? Well here's how it turned out:

It's like my cake spawned a little baby on top. I'm assuming that this was caused by not using the correct pan. To remedy the situation, I simply sliced off the excess on top. Using a long bread knife, I very carefully evened out the top. I may have even got down on my knees to be exactly eye level with the cake top.

The moral of the story? Use the proper pan...and if you don't have it or can't find it, improvise. No one knew any different. Fortunately, this excess cake meant some sampling for the chef. You know, just to make sure it tasted alright.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, combine the softened butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the honey and mix until completely combined, scraping up the bottom of the bowl to make sure it's all combined. That honey can pack some weight and sink right to the bottom. Though I'd never used honey in frosting before, it gave an extra layer of flavor that was the perfect complement to the pumpkiny goodness of the cake.

Mix in the vanilla and sugar, adding sugar 1/2 C at a time. Now frost that bad boy. I got the rustic look on mine by dumping a lot of icing on the top of the cake and spreading it over the edges and down the sides...carefully! Cake decorating is certainly not my specialty (though I'm not ruling it out down the road :)), so I used a slow and steady hand to spread the icing with a butter knife so it was just right.

To top it off, I added a thick layer of Halloween non-pareils sprinkles that I snagged at Target that very morning. Aren't they festive? And doesn't this simple sprinkle design (if you could even call it that) just scream this cake is for grown-ups, but still celebrates the season!?

I toted mine on a cute cake caddy that was gifted to me by my awesome Mom, hence the blue plate. Slice it up and bask in the oooh's and aaaah's from the crowd!

 

So there it is, a chic yet rustic and absolutely delicious cake that's perfect for any autumn occasion, especially you're upcoming Halloween fete! So what do you think? Are you over the pumpkin craze? Are you planning any fun desserts for upcoming Halloween parties? And bonus question: How did you get through you Monday yesterday?

Psst...missed the first part of Halloween week? Catch up here!