Spiced Pumpkin Cake and Thanksgiving Journal

“Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.” - Ann Voskamp

Several months ago, I read this book written by Ann Voskamp. It is the best book I have ever read on the topic of Thanksgiving. And taking on the dare to live thankfully and intentionally, I began a gratitude journal, counting and writing down the gifts that God bestows me every
day of my life.

Thank you, Lord for.....

#567 talking and laughing together with my two teenage sons until midnight
#568 a newly painted laundry room
#579 a driving teen daughter going to the grocery store for a gallon of milk
#580 the family dog's wagging tail
#581 the cool weather, 70's in November

Though I have neglected to count thousands of other blessings during these past months, this has been a wonderful way to force my busy mind and body to stop and to remind myself of the gifts. And to give thanks.

And I am grateful to share this easy and delicious pumpkin cake recipe with you today. My church family loved this moist and wonderfully fragrant cake topped with cream cheese frosting.

Quick tip: For large volume baking, combine flour, spices, salt and baking powder and soda in a large bowl. In another bowl, we use this 20-quart bowl, beat with hand mixer sugars, oil, pure pumpkin, vanilla extract, and eggs. Then, we sift the flour into the wet mixture and fold until whites of flour are almost gone.

Spray lightly with oil 23x12x2 pans, and equally dived the batter. Baking time is a little longer on these large, rectangular pans. Make sure toothpick tester comes out clean.

The cake was better and more moist days after baking!

#582 for friendships made through this blog....
A sincere thank you, my dear friends who read this blog. You are an incredible blessings and encouragement to me. Happy Thanksgiving!

Spiced Pumpkin Cake

3 cups all purpose flour (15 oz)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 3/4 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange peel

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
10 tablespoons (5 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
4 1/2 cups(18 oz) powdered sugar (measured, then sifted)

For cake:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.

Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper; dust pans with flour. Sift 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat both sugars and oil in large bowl until combined (mixture will look grainy). Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and orange peel; beat until well blended. Add flour mixture;using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture. Divide batter between prepared pans. Smooth tops.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool cakes completely in pans on rack. Run knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto racks; remove parchment paper. Turn cakes over, rounded side up. Using serrated knife, trim rounded tops of cakes to level.

For frosting:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in dark rum (if using) and vanilla. Add powdered sugar in 3 additions, beating just until frosting is smooth after each addition (do not overbeat or frosting may become too soft to spread). Place 1 pumpkin cake layer, flat side down, on platter. Spread half of cream cheese frosting over top of cake to edges. Top with second cake layer, trimmed side down. Spread remaining frosting over top (not sides) of cake.

Make Ahead Tips:

This cake be made and fully assembled and frozen up to 2 weeks or refrigerated up to 3 days. Cover well with food service film and put another cover of foil and wrap tightly. Bring to room temperature before serving.

To make sheet cakes as shown above in 24x12x2 pans, multiply recipe x2 per pan and frosting recipe x 1.5


  1. Wonderful recipe Kay. We all have so much to be thankful for.

  2. I have copied this recipe, its delicous

  3. I will be making this cake for our little church community in the next couple weeks (when it is my turn to provide a light luncheon for our fellowship hour) ... thank you for such a wonderfully rich and moist offering!

    Also ... Ann Voskamp's book IS such a wonderful read! I have ordered a copy to give as a Christmas gift to me sister-in-law. She will really appreciate its wisdom and message.

    Happy Holidays, Kay!

  4. Kay this cake looks mouth-watering! WOW! I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving! :)

  5. Looks incredible and I love the idea of a gratitude journal. You're blog is inspiring, Kay. Thanks for the post.


  6. Kay, I am so thankful for you too! We truly have much to be grateful for, and it is good to remind ourselves of it all. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and wishing you all the best as we now begin the wonderful Advent season!

  7. I also loved Ann Voskamp's book, Kay. I saw you on my blog and am happy to discover yours. I love to cook, and especially for a crowd, though probably not for as big of a crowd as a "church cook" is used to! ;)

  8. Thank you for your comments, my dear friends, new and old! :) Gearing up for December are you? So glad to hear from you all.

  9. Delicious looking pumpkin cakes!
    And I love your reminder to be thankful . . . I'm thankful today for:
    1) boots to keep my feet warm and dry in this cold weather
    2) the evening ahead--time with my husband, chicken curry, Pilates, and reading Harry Potter together
    3) the cup of coffee in front of me and the foot heater warming my toes
    4) my wonderful musical friends here in Chicago that bring me so much joy
    5) the blogging community I've been blessed with! And that includes you. =)

  10. Can you use a 9x13 baking pan and just bake longer?

  11. @Anonymous, you can certainly use 9x13. Depending on the type of pan & oven you have, I would DECREASE the time by 10 minutes and do a tooth pick test until done, then note that time for yourself. :)

  12. What a wonderful idea-keeping a gratitude journal. There are so many ways we all are blessed and it helps to write them down to look back upon especially on days when things seem to go wrong. The pumpkin cake looks terrific and that thick layer of frosting is amazing!

  13. First, your cake looks amazing. We'd definitely eat that in our house! And I keep seeing that book come up in my readings around the Internet. I think need to get myself a copy. :)