I was just scrolling through old photos and I realized that I never shared this recipe with you. *Gasp* 

What. The heck. Is wrong with me.

We love, love, loved this cake. It was the perfect size for the two of us. There was enough that we were able to enjoy it for a while, but not so much that it went stale. Or was  so big that we snarfed it more quickly than was reasonable in order to prevent it from going stale. Not that that ever happens around here. *Ahem*

Anyway, this is a great little cake, packing a lot of delicious, complex flavors from a generous amount of pumpkin pie spice. It’s a moist cake with a nice tight crumb that is really the perfect texture for a homemade cake – I’m not a fan of the spongy airy texture that you find in most cake mix cakes. My husband went really crazy for it and said it was one of the best cakes he’d ever had. The honey frosting is the perfect complement to the pumpkin-y flavor of the cake. These are flavors that you’d typically find in fall baking, but I don’t see why this cake should be relegated to only a few months of the year – the warm, comforting flavors of this cake would be perfect on a cold, snowy winter’s night.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Honey Frosting

Adapted slightly from Everyday Food, November 2005

For the cake

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice (or 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon each allspice and cloves)

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin puree*

For the frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft

1 bar (8 ounces) regular (or reduced-fat) cream cheese, very soft

1/4 cup honey

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan**. (Mine is 8×8 and worked just fine.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin-pie spice. In a large bowl, mix eggs, sugar, butter, and pumpkin puree until combined. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, and mix gently until smooth.
  3. Turn batter into prepared pan, and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake 10 minutes in pan, then turn out of pan, and cool completely, right side up, on a rack.
  4. Make Honey Frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached, beat butter, cream cheese and honey until smooth. Slowly mix in powdered sugar. Add milk to thin if necessary, so that the frosting has a nice spreadable consistency.
  5. Spread top of cooled cake with honey frosting. Cut cake into squares to serve.

*Be sure to use canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. Using pureed fresh pumpkin is not recommended.

**You can also use a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan: Increase baking time by 25 to 30 minutes (tent loaf with foil if it browns too quickly).

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