Gingerbread Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Maple Frosting screams the flavors of Fall. This recipe has pumpkin puree in the batter making this dense gingerbread cake very moist and flavorful. Adding a thick layer of cream cheese/butter frosting laced with maple syrup adds richness and sweetness to contrast the warm spices of gingerbread. This is one of my favorite cakes!
I made the first Gingerbread Pumpkin cake using my Nordic Ware Great Pumpkin Cake Mold. I thought it would look as adorable as the Pumpkin cakes I see all over Pinterest.
Well, my cake decorating skills are lacking and this is what I ended with. I tried a thinner glaze frosting but it was a major #fail. The cake tasted great however!
On my second try I decided to go with a never-fail sheet pan instead, and a thick layer of cream cheese/butter maple frosting. It was a good call.
The cake is easy to make from scratch in a stand mixer. The standard process of combining the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients works for this. Add the pumpkin puree at the end and blend until incorporated.
Transfer the fully blended gingerbread pumpkin cake batter to a prepared 9 x 13 pan.
I always use my homemade "goop" to prep a pan. I learned this trick from another amazing food blogger and baker, I Am Baker. Blend equal parts of flour, shortening and vegetable oil to a thick paste. Grease your pan by brushing it all around. Store the extra goop in a glass jar in your fridge for future baking.
You can also use Baker’s Joy or another prepared spray with flour. This is an important step for easy release of the cake when sliced.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean in the center. The smell of gingerbread spices in the oven will fill your house! It's wonderful on an Autumn day. The top will look cracked and dry, but the cake will be moist.
Let the cake completely cool. Frost with cream cheese maple frosting. Chill until set. Cut into squares and serve. Great for breakfast with espresso too!
Gingerbread Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Maple Frosting
Gingerbread Pumpkin cake
- 2 1/12 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground ginger
- 2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon clove
- 1 ½ cups canned pumpkin purée
- 10 tablespoons butter room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup dark brown sugar firmly packed
- ½ cup molasses
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup candied ginger minced (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese room temperature
- 1 stick butter room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven and prepare pan:
- Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan by brushing with homemade “goop” (see recipe on blog) or spray with baking spray.
Make the cake
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar for about 5 minutes or until creamy and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down a couple of times. Add the molasses and beat again until fully incorporated.
- On slow speed, add the flour in three batches, alternating with the water. Beat each addition until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. Add the pumpkin puree and beat one last time until well mixed. Add the candied ginger with a spatula at this point if using.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread evenly. Bake 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool.
Make the frosting
- Using a hand mixer, beat softened cream cheese and butter together until well blended and fluffy. Beat in the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and well combined.
- Add dollops of cream cheese frosting on the top of the cake. Spread evenly in a thick layer.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Even better the next day as the gingerbread flavors meld and intensify.
- Cut the cake in squares and serve.