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This Cake is Not a Lie

November 11, 2011

Baking has always been a favorite hobby of mine. When I was old enough to be allowed in the kitchen, I would make cookies from scratch. I did mint-flavored shamrock cookies, peanut butter cookies topped with Hershey’s Kisses, orange spice cookies and sugar cookies for Christmas, and the traditional chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies.

When I got older, though, it was all about cake, and I began to make cakes for birthdays and special occasions. I usually stuck to yellow cake with either vanilla or chocolate frosting. These days, I enjoy using different flavors, and now that Fall is in full swing for most of us, that means turning my attention toward ingredients that are a staple of the season — namely, pumpkin.

Pumpkin immediately conjures up images of  pumpkin pie, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bread. Cake, however, is a different story. There doesn’t seem to be too many recipes for cakes that call for pumpkin in them, at least from my experience.

My mother’s birthday is in mid-November. One year, I asked her what type of cake she wanted. I was expecting the usual chocolate cake with buttercream frosting reply. She surprised me, though, when she wanted something a little more Fall-ish; something with cinnamon in it. So, onto the internet I went in search of cake recipes with cinnamon in it, and I came across this recipe I’m going to share with you below, which has pumpkin as a main ingredient.

Chocolate pumpkin spice cake with cinnamon chocolate cream cheese frosting


  • Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can (15 ounces; 1 3/4 cups) pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
  • Cinnamon-chocolate cream cheese frosting (see below)
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (I opt out of these)

Baking directions:

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 13 by 9-inch pan with vegetable oil spray. Set the pan aside.
  2. Place the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter will be thick and should look well combined.
  4. Fold in the cinnamon chips until well distributed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.
  5. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the cinnamon-chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Cinnamon-chocolate cream cheese frosting:

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  1. Place the cream cheese and the butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until well combined, 30 seconds.
  2. Stop the machine. Add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and 3 3/4 cups of the confectioners’ sugar. Blend with the mixer on low speed until the ingredients are moistened, 30 seconds.
  3.  Add more sugar if the frosting seems too thin. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is fluffy, 2 minutes more.
  4. Spread the frosting over the cake in the pan with smooth, clean strokes. Sprinkle the pecans over the top.
  5. To make slicing easier, store this cake, lightly covered with waxed paper, in the refrigerator until the frosting sets, 1 hour. Then wrap it in aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze it, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

The cake I made had more of a chocolate cinnamon taste. I really couldn’t taste the pumpkin, but it does make it very moist and the cream cheese frosting gives it a nice combination of sweet and tart. If someone you know isn’t into pumpkin, this may be a good way to include it without it being too overbearing, and is a neat alternative to some of the typical desserts you would normally see at end-of-the-year gatherings.

So happy baking, happy Fall and happy eating!
4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2011 11:57 am

    Oh. My. God. That’s a beautiful thing. Where’s my fork?

  2. Fab@54 permalink
    November 11, 2011 2:59 pm


  3. November 11, 2011 9:59 pm

    Oh I so want to make this but I don’t think I can get all those ingredients here in Australia : (

  4. November 14, 2011 4:14 am

    Oh! That looks SO good! I love to bake. This is gonna be fun. >w<

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