Thursday, October 19, 2023

Pumpkin Swirl Cake Decadence

Do you ever see a new recipe that you just know you have to try, as soon as possible? I do more often than you might think. A short while ago I saw this recipe from King Arthur Baking and knew that I had to make it soon, while pumpkin season is here. 

This is a lovely, moist, fragrant marble cake. The original recipe was for a cake made in a loaf pan, even a decorative loaf pan with pumpkins design on top. I needed a sheet cake for a luncheon I was going to, so I tripled the recipe and made it in two 9x13-inch pans. Then I truly made it decadent by topping the cakes with Lori's Cream Cheese Icing, which is the best cream cheese frosting you ever had.

The cake is a vanilla cake, but partway through the making of the batter, you divide the batter into two, then add pumpkin and pumpkin spice to one half and sour cream to the other half. Batter is dolloped into the pans alternately, then you swirl it with a skewer or chopstick. That way each piece has some dreamy vanilla-sour cream cake and some fragrant pumpkin cake. It is impressive looking and made quite a hit with the women who were at the luncheon. Of course I decorated the cakes with seasonal sprinkles and candy corn, but you can use whatever decorations you like.

If you'd like the recipe for just the loaf pan size cake, you can find it HERE on the King Arthur Baking site. The recipe below is for two 9x13-inch cakes plus enough Cream Cheese Icing to frost each of those cakes, plus a bit more for decoration if you like...or for putting between pumpkin cookies or between graham get the idea!

Pumpkin Swirl Cake
Makes two 9x13-inch cakes
Recipe from King Arthur Baking

6 eggs
3 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups vegetable oil
3 tablespoons vanilla
6 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
6 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
6 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (See Note at bottom)
1 1/2 cups sour cream

Grease and flour two 9x13-inch baking pans...with at least 2-inch sides. Set aside

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat eggs and sugar until smooth. Add oil gradually, beating continuously. Stir in the vanilla, baking powder and salt. Gently mix in the flour, scraping sides and beaters as needed, until completely mixed. Batter will be stiff.

Transfer half of the batter  to another bowl...about 3 cups...and mix in the pumpkin puree and the pumpkin spice. Set aside.

To the vanilla batter, add the sour cream and beat to incorporate. Scrape down sides and beaters if needed and mix a bit more.

In the prepared pans, dollop about 1/4 cup one batter, then 1/4 cup the other batter and continue doing that to create a checkerboard effect in the pan. Repeat with the other pan. Once all of the batter is in the pans, use a skewer or chopstick to swirl figure eights across the checkerboard pattern. Only a few are needed...resist doing too many or you will lose the separation of the batters that makes the cake so lovely.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, until cake springs back when center is pushed gently. Tester inserted will come out clean. Cool on wire racks 5 minutes, then turn out of the pans, or, if preferred, leave in the pan and serve from the pan once frosted and decorated.

Note: No pumpkin pie spice? Make your own:
5 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 

Let cool completely before icing. Use your favorite buttercream or the following Cream Cheese Icing.

Lori's Cream Cheese Icing
Makes enough for two 9x13-inch cakes, plus extra for decoration or another use

2 sticks butter, softened
24 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4-6 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter, cream cheese, sour cream and vanilla together until fluffy. Gradually mix in powder sugar. Towards the end, add 1/4 cup at a time until you reach you desired texture and taste.

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