Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl

Is there anything else for dessert other than pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving? “Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl” might be an idea. This dense, moist cake has both pumpkin flavor and the spices of pumpkin pie. With a cream cheese filling swirled into the batter, you don’t need an icing for this cake. It uses a one-bowl cake concept and is easy to mix up. Plus, it can be baked a day or two ahead of time. This cake might make an alternate dessert if you want something different to serve in addition to or other than pumpkin pie. With the flavor of pumpkin pie, but not the texture, this cake is quite tasty especially with a dollop of whipped topping.

This cake really does taste alot like pumpkin pie — only better. Other than my mother-in-law’s “Pumpkin Chiffon Pie,” I have to admit that pumpkin pie is not one of my favorite desserts and I find that it is easy to skip this dessert at Thanksgiving meals. “Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl” uses some of the fresh pumpkin pulp from the “sugar pumpkins” that I cooked a week or two ago. Fresh pumpkin pulp is milder and sweeter than canned pumpkin. It is a “must” in my opinion. Secondly, the cream cheese filling helps balance the pumpkin flavor. It gives a richness to the cake. The cake uses oil rather than butter, so the cake batter can be mixed by hand in one bowl. (I did use an electric mixer to whip the cream cheese filling.)

I found the recipe for “Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl” in a cookbook published by a civic group way down the bayou in the Cajun part of the state. The cookbook is “Down the Bayou and Back Again.” It is a sequel cookbook published in 2006 by the Bayou Civic Club in Larose, Louisiana. Those ladies (and gents) really know how to cook. I love their seafood entrée recipes and side dishes; this time I happened upon a great dessert recipe. I used their recipe as a starting point and added a few of my own modifications. Incidentally, this community was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ida with many homes in this 7,000 person community damaged or demolished due to the 8-hour long storm and wind gusts up to 147 mph. Blue FEMA tarps on roofs is now the norm here. We will be thinking of these folks, especially at Thanksgiving, as they try to recover.

Making the Cake

To make the cake, I mixed up the cream cheese filling first, then set it aside. I used an electric mixer to get the cream cheese very creamy and smooth. Make sure to take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator several hours ahead let it soften.

Here are the ingredients for the cake. It uses oil in the batter rather than butter. This ingredient contributes to the dense texture of the cake. For spices, I used cinnamon and a touch of cloves. Of course, you need pecans in the cake which are found many Cajun dessert recipes. For ease in making the cake, I used self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour and leavening agents and salt. If you use fresh pumpkin pulp, it might be a good idea to let it set in a sieve to remove excess liquid if necessary.

To make the cake batter, add the “liquid” ingredients — oil, eggs and pumpkin pulp — to a large bowl and stir until mixed. (Since I had my electric mixer out; I used a clean bowl and the same beaters.) Then add the flour mixed with the spices. Stir in the pecan pieces.

Pour about half the batter to an oiled cake pan or 9″ x 9″ casserole dish. Add the cream cheese filling — and try to it smooth out in a second layer better than I did. Add on the remainder of the cake batter. Use a knife create a swirled effect. Bake.

Let the cake set on the kitchen counter to cool — it is very crumbly when warm — although really delicious. It really is much easier to cut if you let the cake set overnight. Although I used a 9″ x 9″ casserole dish, you could easily bake the cake in a 9″ x 13″ cake pan.

We ate several pieces of the cake before I had time to take many photos. It is very tasty. Then I got out the Cool Whip and added it as a topping and decoration. It balances the rich flavor of the cake.

I hope you have a good Thanksgiving with family and friends. Here’s a new dessert to add to the Thanksgiving spread. Let’s count our blessings! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients for filling:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg

Ingredients for cake batter:

  • 1 cup fresh pumpkin pulp (if necessary, drain pulp to remove excess liquid)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Cool Whip Topping, for decoration (optional)

Instructions and Steps:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a cake 9″ x 9″ cake pan or casserole dish. Alternately, oil a 9″ x 13″ cake pan.
  2. For Filling: In medium-sized bowl of electric mixer, beat together softened cream cheese, sugar and flour. Beat until light and creamy. Add egg and beat until blended in. Set aside.
  3. For cake batter: Combine pumpkin, oil and eggs in large bowl of electric mixer. (Alternately, mix by hand, in large bowl.)
  4. Beat in granulated sugar and dark brown sugar.
  5. Sift together self-rising flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to liquid ingredients and beat or stir to combine.
  6. Blend in pecan pieces.
  7. Pour half of the batter into oiled cake pan or casserole dish.
  8. Carefully spread cream cheese mixture over batter.
  9. Add remaining batter in dollops. Use knife to create swirled pattern with cream cheese.
  10. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  11. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
  12. Cut cake in 4 x 4 cuts to make 16 pieces.
  13. Decorate with Cool Whipped Topping, if desired.
  14. Cake may be made a day or two ahead of time.

*To prepare pumpkin pulp” halve two “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins” which are about 2 to 3 pounds in half lengthwise, using sharp knife. Remove the seeds by scraping with side of spoon. Place, cut side down, on lightly oiled baking sheet which is covered with aluminum foil. Pierce skin of pumpkin several places with knife. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes until pumpkin is soft. Remove from oven, cool. Use spoon to scrape out pulp. Process pulp in food processor until smooth. Use one cup in recipe and use remaining pulp in another recipe.



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