Monday, November 2, 2009

HCB: Pumpkin Cake with Molasses-flavored Cream Cheese Frosting

This is my first time baking along the Heavenly Cake Bakers group I recently joined. Yay! I’m very picky when it comes to pumpkin desserts. For the longest time I didn’t like pumpkin desserts, until I made my very first pumpkin pie. Then a light bulb came on. Wait a minute… you’re supposed to use THAT much cloves??? The culprit was excessive usage of cloves that made me not like pumpkin desserts. To make a long story short, I fixed the problem by developing my own blend of spices. In the order of amount used, it’s: cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, all-spice, and cloves. I use this for all sorts of desserts (e.g. pumpkin, banana, etc). For Rose’s pumpkin cake recipe, I added cloves and all-spice. Since I’m allergic to walnuts, I omitted the walnuts. I replaced the walnut oil with canola oil. I was half an ounce short on the brown sugar amount needed, so I used turbinado sugar without any issues.

Pumpkin Cake right out of the oven. Smells great...

Due to lack of time, I went with my trusted Cream Cheese frosting instead of the suggested Burnt Orange Silk Meringue Buttercream frosting.

Molasses added to cream cheese frosting gives it a pretty, golden hue

To kick things up a notch, I added about 1-2 tsp of molasses to highlight the caramel undertone in the cake from the brown sugar. I took the cake with me to a dinner party where we celebrated my friend’s baby’s first time consumption of rice.

The pumpkin cake is officially party-ready :o)

This occasion (i.e. tradition in Bangladesh) is called “Mukhe Vat”. Making the cake to take with me to the party is what prompted me to bake it in a 9x13 pan. It was a big hit at the party. The host (my friend) later told me that she got a lot of recipe requests (I had to leave early).

At the party: a piece of pumpkin cake alongside a traditional Deshi dessert called "ChumChum". To that I say "delicious, yum yum"

Final thoughts/tips:
  • The cake tasted great with lots of pumpkin/spice flavor. It was light, moist and fluffy, not dense at all. Instead of walnuts, I could have use almonds, but I think I prefer this cake nut-free. Chewy raisins might be a nice addition too.
  • Next time, I’ll decrease the leavening a little bit as the cake dipped ever so slightly in the middle. It wasn’t crater size or anything, but it could use some tweaking to bake up more evenly
  • Consider adding 1-2 tsp of molasses to your favorite Cream Cheese frosting. It adds a nice dimension to the frosting.


  1. Adding Molasses to Cream Cheese Frosting - what a great idea! I never thought of that!

  2. Cream cheese frosting really does sound good for this cake--one of my tasters mentioned that too. Molasses is good, but I might try golden syrup for a little lighter taste. Or a batch with each version!

  3. I love your idea of molasses in the cream cheese icing! And your sheet cake looks great.

    What a versatile recipe this is! I made cupcakes and am thinking of loaf cakes with extra nuts, and raisins.

  4. That piece looks so delicious! I agree that cream cheese sounds like a perfect partner for pumpkin cake...

  5. The cake and the icing both sound delicious! I usually cut back on cloves as well- not my favorite spice.

  6. Great Job Hanaa - really nice piping on your cake too!!!


  7. Looks delish! What a lovely custom of celebrating a baby's first taste of rice.

  8. @faithy: it came to me when I opened the pantry door, looking to change this up a bit, and the molasses was staring me in the face :o) When I feel adventurous, I sift brown sugar into the cream cheese frosting instead of white sugar, but that can be a bit tedious.

    @Nancy: I love cream cheese frosting on pumpkin cake. Adding golden syrup sounds good too.

    @Bungalow Barbara: Thanks! Cupcakes sound great! I’m sure loaf cakes would work too. I love mini loaves. Easy to snack on and easy to give away.

    @Rebecca: Thanks!

    @Karin: I like cloves but it has to be a moderate amount. It’s so strong that it easily overpowers other flavors and spices.

    @ButterYum: Thank you, Patricia! I ran out of time which is why I left the cake in the pan (that way I didn’t have to frost the sides of the cake) :o)

    @Vicki: Thanks! I expected the baby to make funny faces at his first solid food but he actually liked it :o)

  9. Your piping is really good! What a great idea to add molasses to the cream cheese icing. It would have paired so well with the pumpkin.

  10. @Rozanne: thank you! I highly recommend trying the molasses in the cream cheese frosting.

  11. Yum the cake and the cookie looks delicious! I love this time of year, pumpkins in our food just seem so fitting!
    I am waiting to see your kitchen! I can't wait. I've been wanting to get new countertops for so long but still need more $!!

  12. oh my goodness the MOLASSES frosting sounds amazing!


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