Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Streusel Swirl

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on November 8, 2011

pumpkin cake with baked in cream cheese swirl and streusel topping

I must confess…I’ve never been a huge fan of Paula Deen. Don’t get me wrong, she seems like a wonderful lady, but I didn’t grow up with Southern cuisine so she is really not someone who I follow on a regular basis.

I recently came across her recipe for pumpkin bars and thought I would give it a try. Let me first say that the title was a little deceiving…when I think of dessert bars, I’m looking for something a little more dense, baked in a pan with layers of different flavors and textures.

So in my book, this was not a dessert bar by definition but actually a very moist and delicious pumpkin cake. I did make a few changes to her recipe by adding a few more spices to enhance the pumpkin flavor. What I love most about this recipe is that it does not have any added dairy products in the batter. This is something I get asked about all the time because many people have to deal with allergies and other sensitivities and it’s the main reason why this recipe caught my eye.

I cannot explain in words how absolutely delicious this cake was…the cake itself is so moist and delicious that it really does not need much else. I added my own twist with the  cream cheese topping with pecan streusel that was baked right into the cake just to jazz it up a little, but it’s not necessary if you prefer to skip it.

Since the Holidays are just around the corner, I know that many people are looking around for easy and delicious recipes to make, and I’m telling you that this is definitely something that you MUST try…

Streusel Topping (enough for 2 cakes)
1 sticks cold salted butter
1 cups flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup ground pecans **optional

First make the streusel topping. Add all of the ingredients together into a bowl and cut the dry ingredients into the butter with your fingers until it resembles a coarse meal, then set this aside.

NOTE: Streusel topping can be added into cake batter to create a layer of caramel in the final product.

Cream Cheese Topping
8 oz cream cheese (1 small box), room temperature
3 oz granulated sugar (about 3 tablespoons)
2 oz egg (a little more than 1 large egg)
.5 oz vanilla (1 teaspoon)
2.5 oz cake flour (2 tablespoons)

Next, make the cream cheese topping. Add the cream cheese to the bowl of your stand mixer and begin mixing using the paddle attachment. Slowly add in the sugar and then the eggs and vanilla. Scrape down sides and continue to mix until there are no lumps. Lastly, add in the flour and mix well until smooth, then set aside.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl (makes 1-12”x12” cake)
1 small can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (or ½ cup oil plus ½ cup applesauce)
1-2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon (increased from 2)
½ teaspoon ground cloves (I added)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (I added)
¼ teaspoon ground allspice (I added)

The cake comes together very quickly. Add the pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs and oil to a medium sized bowl and whisk well together. Sift together all of the dry ingredients and then add into the pumpkin mixture. Whisk well until there is no visible flour or lumps. Grease and paper line your baking pan and spread in your cake batter. Spoon on all of the cream cheese in large dollops all over the cake, then using a knife swirl the cream cheese into the cake batter.

Lastly, top this with the streusel generously all over the cake…

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the cake springs back and tests clean. Allow to cool completely before slicing into cake.

 

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