Arts & Culture

Magnificent Pumpkin Spice Zest Cake

by Liliana Palmer

Pumpkin cake. Photo by Liliana Palmer for the Beacon.

I can say from personal experience that this recipe is beloved by all. It’s similar to carrot cake in texture but with the taste of pumpkin pie. The sweet and tangy frosting lifts it up to glory. 

Vegetarian but not vegan, contains eggs, gluten, dairy.


  • Canned pumpkin (unsweetened, one can)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar (using a mix of brown and white sugar tastes better than just white)
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (another change from the original, adds good flavor)
  • 4 large eggs at room temp (remove from fridge one hour prior)
  • 1 cup mild vegetable oil like canola or safflower (it looked like a lot of oil to me but it’s ok, it helps keep the cake moist and a good texture)
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (original recipe used a more complicated mix, but honestly this works best)


  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 6 oz room temperature cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (Important)
  • 2 teaspoon lemon rind, finely grated (VERY IMPORTANT)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 ½ cups confectionary sugar, and extra if needed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 15x10x1 pan. The cake will be cut into squares like brownies.
  1. Beat together the pumpkin, white and brown sugar, molasses, eggs and vegetable oil. In another bowl, mix the remaining dry cake ingredients.
  1. Gradually add the flour mix to the pumpkin mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  1. Scrape the batter into the pan. Make sure it is even. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Insert a toothpick and if it comes out dry, the cake is done.
  1. Set the cake out to cool while making the frosting. Beat butter, vanilla, and cream cheese together until smooth.
  1. Gradually add confectionary sugar until it is the correct consistency. Add more sugar if needed. If the frosting is too stiff, carefully add a bit of milk or lemon juice a teaspoon at time until it is perfect.

Categories: Arts & Culture

Tagged as: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s